Rav Moshe Vaye Writes About On ‘Worms In Fish’ (World Famous Expert On Bugs)


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Rav Moshe Vaye shlita, the world renowned expert in the field of hilchos tolaim and bedikas hamazon for over forty years, has been investigating and bringing the bug situation in all foods to the attention of the gedolim to have them pasken on them. He has written three authoritative seforim on all issues of bugs in all different types of foods called bedikas mazon khalocho. R’ Vaye has a machon in Eretz Yisroel, that all of the gedolim – and the entire eretz yisroel recognizes as the leading kashrus agency regarding bugs. Attached is a brief article that Rav Vaye has prepared discussing the topic. 

The following letter was submitted to YWN:

DearYWN Editor
I have a working relationship with Rav Moshe Vaye shlita, and I am sending you a copy of a brief article written by R’ Moshe Vaye shlita regarding anisakis in fish. (This was sent yesterday to all the major kashrus organizations). It is clear from Rav Vaye’s article that he has been aware of anisakis for well over twenty years and discussed it personally with R’ Moshe Feinstein ztl and other gedolim. Please post this. An English translation may be available in the near future if there is interest. However, please post the article in its original form. If you wish to translate the article into English you are welcome to do so as well.
This is not a new sheilah, and there were many gedolei yisroel that Rav Vaie personally discussed the very same issue with. Many gedolim that Rav Vaie was personally in contact with held that anisakis is permissible. If after you post this article any questions arise, they may be submitted to me and Rav Vaie will respond to each one.

Name withheld upon request.

Click HERE to read the Teshuva.

(YWN Desk – NYC)


  1. Das Torah has finally spoken!!

    Yeshiva world I commend you to have the guts for posting the emes. For me case closed and should be for all of us in America. Rabbi Moshe Feinstein Zatzal our posik (I don’t care about any other poskim in America or Eretz Yisroel) said that it is 100% muttar. Why are all these so called American mashgachim and rabbonim running around. I think instead of wasting their time with this nonesense they should start learning a little and then maybe we would have a chance of producing another R’ Moshe, unfortunately it is much easier and politically correct to assur something. On another issue chazal tell us a nogea bedavor is not believed doesn’t everyone know that this Rabbi Revach has an agenda because he is giving a hechser on fish which by the way were found to have the same problem?!

  2. an english translation certainly seems to be in order… I do find it strange though that R’ Vaye would publish a letter contrary to the opinion on gedolei eretz yisroel… The article above says that he consulted with “MANY” gedolim who held that anisakis is permissible. Who are these rabonim? Shouldn’t he at least make mention of those he consulted with?

  3. It’s so wonderful to have no other (bigger) problems to deal with. B”H. But even in this great age we still have no control over the weather and do not have a cure for stupid.

  4. just finished reading this article.
    he’s the king of this sugya.
    its well known.
    in fact the entire eretz yisroel is somech on him for every single shaila in bugs. whats different now? and when i say “everyone is somech on him”, i mean every single posek in eretz yisroel consults with him. every single posek. let me repeat that. every single posek.
    this includes rav elyashiv, rav wosner, rav kanievsky.

  5. Everyone should be aware that revach is a Lubavitcher. Makes one wonder why all of a sudden he’s running around to the Litvish Poskim.

    It must be that he is making $$$$$$$$$$$$ someplace….

    Oh! I almost forgot, he is giving a hechsher on a fish company.

    What two-facers.

    It’s high-time these frauds are exposed for what they are.
    yes. I said it.

  6. Rav Vaye wanted to present his findings to Rav Elyashiv last week, and some people “claiming” to have authority refused him entry, and usually he is a ben bayis there. Something “fishy” is going on.
    And the OU take everything Revach says with a pinch of salt, to say the least, and that is nothing new.

  7. Those who are casting aspersions on the erlichkeit of the rabbonim involved are osid liten es hadin.
    Why a rav hamachshir being machmir is considered a conflict of interest, but a rav hamachshir being meikil is not, is beyond me. Let’s please stick to the issues instead of name-calling.

    From Bill of Heans:
    “just finished reading this article.
    he’s the king of this sugya.
    its well known.
    in fact the entire eretz yisroel is somech on him for every single shaila in bugs. whats different now? and when i say “everyone is somech on him”, i mean every single posek in eretz yisroel consults with him. every single posek. let me repeat that. every single posek.
    this includes rav elyashiv, rav wosner, rav kanievsky.”
    Yes, and they disagree with him in this case.

    If Rav Moshe was meikil on this same shaila, why is Rav Dovid deferring to Rav Elyashiv?
    If anyone is interested, in Rav Revach’s sefer, “Shni Hatoloas” 2nd chelek, he prints a letter from Rav Vaye, and has a “maasa u’matan with him”.

    That Rav Vaye holds these worms are mutor is nothing new, and the gedolim still hold they are ossur.

  8. For anyone who wants a list:
    From: http://www.kehilasyaakov.org/Fish.html
    Updated 2/20/2010
    The following are the preliminary findings of various fish experts. We will update this list as new information is received.

    The Anisakis worm is found in the following fish (frozen or fresh) and may not be eaten unless checked for worms. [Even with a hechscher]

    Canned Salmon (wild)
    Cod: Scrod, Hake
    Flounder: Yellow Tail/ Wild Dabs/ Black Backs, Turbot, Yellow Fin Sole
    Pacific Red Snapper (Eastern or Atlantic Red Snapper is a different variety and is OK)
    Pollack – Alaskan
    Fillet fish sticks or other breaded fish products
    Red Perch
    Sable a.k.a Black Cod [In NY, some smokehouses use Chilean Sea Bass but call it Sable (which is also a problem)
    Sardines – Norway, Scotland
    Wild Salmon – All types Except New Zealand
    Yellow Fin Sole

    The following fish do not require checking:
    Farm Raised Salmon [E.g. Atlantic, Norwegian, Chilean, New Zealand, British Columbia)
    Flounder – Only Fluke, Georgia Banks, Channel
    Gefilte Fish
    Herring fillet
    Lox [Farm raised, if wild would state “wild”]
    Minced Fish Sticks
    Pollock – Atlantic
    Sardines from Morocco, Philippines, Portugal
    Sea Bass – Striped Bass, Grouper (Mexican), Blue Nose (New Zealand)
    Whitefish: Michigan – Lake Superior [Some allow the Canadian as well]

    Checking:Fish with white flesh can be checked [after the skin is removed) by shining a strong flashlight from underneath or holding up to a bright light. They may appear as extended worms or coiled in a circle. They are readily visible. Salmon or pink fish require an ultraviolet light and if infested cannot be removed.

  9. #6: All those “authorities” at the home of our gedolim are a disgrace to klal yisroel, as they obstruct the truth from being clarified through masa u’matan with our gedolim, for the sake of political reasons . They remind me of “Geichazi” the gabbai of Elisha Hanavih who refused the “Isha Hashuamis” entry to Elishe Hanavih, and on whom the Gemara says “Ein Lo Chelek L’oilam Haba’ah”! If only our Gedolim would be aware of this reality, they would definitely kick out their gabbaim the same way Elisha Hanavih eventually realized and kicked out Geichazi!

  10. The problem I believe is that some rabanim involved in kashrus are not being given acces to the gedolim in Eretz Yisroel. I am sure The OU would have no problem discussing the issue DIRECTLY with rav elyashiv, rav wosner, rav kanievsky. The question is are the gabboim giving access to rabanim that on the face of it appear to poskim differently. This is the same problem as the sheital issue. Gedolim poskin only based on information given. ( by people with access to rav elyashiv, rav wosner, rav kanievskythem)

  11. #2 LBK

    Rav Vaye is “NOT” contrary to the opinion of the Gedolim in Eretz Yisroel.
    He definitly “IS” contrary to Rabbhi Revachs opinions and his understanding of the anisakis worm and its migration, and its relation to Halacha.
    The issue here seems to be that Rav Karpf and Rav Bess agree with Rabbi Revach, but the other rabbonim such as Rav Vaye, Rav Falk (gateshead), who are respected experts in worms and Kashrus, do NOT AGREE with Rabbi Revach.
    The Gedolim who signed the Issur relied on Rabbi Revachs intereprtation, as given over by Rav Karpf and Rav Bess.

  12. Sholombayis:
    Are you smarter than the gedolim in knowing whom to rely upon? Rav Elyashiv does ask Rav Vaye for information. Rav Vaye and Rav Revach’s different opinions were printed in Rav Revach’s sefer. It is pretty clear that Rav Elyashiv accepted one opinion over the other despite being aware of both. To assume that he would pasken without hearing both sides of an issue is a bizoyon to his kovod.

  13. #14
    I did not write that I know on whom to rely, so what is bothering you in your first sentence.

    As for your follow up;
    It is NOT clear at all that Maran, Harav Elyashiv, is aware of Rav Vaye or Rav Falks arguments. It is well known in all of Yerusholayim that the Matirim are not allowed access to Harav Elyashiv, so where and how would rav Elyashiv be aware of Rav Vayes or Rav Falks opinions.

  14. Daas Yochid:

    There is so much talk about Rav Elyashiv’s gabboim controlling access to him based on their own agendas, to the extent that he almost NEVER gets to hear both sides once the gabboim have gone with one particualr psak.

    I would really appreciate your sharing your inside information with us as to how all this talk is not true.

    Aside from Rav Belsky’s being locked out regarding the fish worms issue, I think a good place to start would be the Indian shaitels question.

    There, it is well known that even Rav Elyashiv’s main talmid, who is the Rav of Ramat Shlomo and wished to share with the Rav his extensive research on the matter, was denied the opportunity to explain to the Rav the metzius regarding the Indian temple.

    Since that story is so well known amongst all of Yerushalayim, given the relationship this Rav had with Rav Elyashiv up to this point, I would appreciate your sharing with us your insights as to why we should trust your theories rather than what is common knowledge amongst teh Rabbonim of EY.

  15. Daas Yochid: Firstly, we know a basic klal in kashrus “Eid echad ne’eman b’issurin”, so if Rav Vaye says ‘Eidus’ that he has discussed this issue personally with Rav Moshe Zt”l and he himself heard from Rav Moshe Zt”l a psak “Muttar”, then we must trust his Eidus as if we heard it from Rav Moshe Zt”l ourselves. (That which Rav Dovid Feinstein Shlit”a defered to Rav Elyashiv Shlit”a is because he has not ever discussed this particular shaala with his father Zt”l, this does not discredit at all Rav Vaye’s “Eidus”). See Mishnayus Edyos.

    Secondly, Rav Vaye’s opinion was never personally presented to Rav Elyashiv Shlit”a through Rav Vaye himself, it was only (maybe) mentioned through Rav Revach to Rav Elyashiv Shlit”a. However, a dayan must hear out both sides from both parties personaly, not through only one baal din. Since Rav Vaye is not being permitted entry to Rav Elyashiv Shlit”a (by some “Gabbaim”), we may correctly assume on our own that if Rav Vaye was present by Rav Elyashiv Shlit”a and heard out, Rav Elyashiv would probably opt for Rav Vaye’s opinion over Rav Revach, given the definite edge Rav Vaye has over Rav Revach in this area as far as expertise and credibility ( in addition to kocha d’heteira adif); in addition to Rav Vaye’s personal eidus from Rav Moshe Zt”l.

  16. without taking any side or stating any opinion, i just want to point out that Rabbi Vay is usually an exceptionally tremendous machmir on anything to do with bugs and worms; much more than R’ Moshe, Rav Padwa etc. That’s exactly why everyone relies on him and trusts him – because he comes across as being totally obsessed with the bug issue. I’m totally shocked that he’s the meikal here. On the other hand, I’m not at all surprised that R’ Karp is once again machmir here, as always…

  17. Can we get print quality images of these letters
    THese are very hard on the eyes
    If you have a link please post it

    Thank you

  18. To Shalombayis: You post: “The Gedolim who signed the Issur relied on Rabbi Revachs intereprtation, as given over by Rav Karpf and Rav Bess.”. The gedolim to whom you refer – actually any gadol – do not “rely” on anyone’s interpretation. They decide, upon hearing the evidence, what the halachah is.

  19. Gedolim paskin shailos based on the information given to them. As far as it is know (please correct if wrong) Gedolim have changed psak based on new information whether unknown before or accidentally withheld. …/ At the same time it is imperative that we listen to our respected manhigem and not question their psak.

  20. For those who want a legible copy of Rav Vaye’s teshuvo, you can try saving as picture, then autocorrecting. It’s not great, but I can read it.
    Besides R’ Moshe, listed as having told R’ Vaye that it’s mutor are R’ Elyashiv, R’ Karelitz, and R’ Chaim Kanievsky. If R’ Moshe were alive today, there’s no reason to think he would not have assured as well.
    It is clear from Rav Vaye’s own words that he had ample oppurtunity to present this shailoh to Rav Elyashiv, and did so. Nevertheless, based on either new information or a new m’tzius, he now assurs. Can we now close the discussion about whether or not Rav Elyashiv has heard both sides? Besides the fact that Rav Vaye’s teshuvo clearly shows that Rav Elyashiv heard his side, we have Lomed Mkol Adam’s declaration that “a dayan must hear out both sides from both parties personaly, not through only one baal din.” which, since correct (although technically there are no baalei din here) should in and of itself prove that Rav Elyashiv heard both sides, since he did issue a psak.

  21. One rather odd thing in the teshuva is that Rabbi Vaye says that Chazal knew about anisakis and then he references Chullin. Huh? Since there has been an increase in anisakis infestation in recent years as reported by disease control centers around the world and fishing industry presenters, what exactly is he seeing in Chullin? There’s no Laaz word in Rashi there that says anisakis. (Of course, Rashi learns the sugyas talking about meat worms, but still…)

  22. Because of a lack of knowledge of the way things work by Rav Elyashiv, people are attacking and making ignorant remarks. Until you see a t’shuva, letter, kol korei etc. WRITTEN AND SIGNED BY RAV ELYASHIV, which you can then read, trust and be m’dayek in the l’shonos v’ta’amim, you can never really be sure what Rav Elyashiv’s actual opinion is. Anyone who has been following Rav Elyashiv over the years knows that, VERY OFTEN, you can get contradictory piskei halocha in the name of Rav Elyashiv from several different people IN THE SPACE OF A COUPLE OF DAYS! R’ Karp is perfect example. While very sensational and controversial, R’ Karp IS STILL a tremendous boki and talmid chochom. Therefore, when he comes to Rav Elyashiv he comes with a formulated opinion, with a yam of beki’us and mar’ei mekomos, and TELLS Rav Elyashiv that this is his p’sak based on all of this beki’us. Rav Elyashiv agrees that this is a legitimate viewpoint and nods along. Then R’ Karp runs all around being m’farsem “Rav Elyashiv’s” p’sak! The next day someone else – one of the talmidim muvhokim (R’ Dovid Morgenstern, R’ Zelig Kosowski, R’ Nochum Eizenstein etc.)- ASKS Rav Elyashiv HIS OWN OPINION, and he says THE OPPOSITE!!!! Therefore, it’s TOTALLY NOT apikorsus to question what Rav Elyashiv’s ACTUAL opinion is, EVEN if R’ Karp insists and publicizes that it’s l’issur, until Rav Vay is actually allowed in NOW, and THEN we see Rav Elyashiv’s signature or hear it clearly from one of his close talmidim muvhokim!

  23. #24 Daas Yochid: You claim Rav Vaye had “ample oppurtunity to present/discuss with Rav Elyashiv Shlit”a”; He has always been in line with Rav Elyashiv’s psak “Muttar” in the past, as you qoute yourself; if so -was No reason to discuss further. Now, as you state, that new information has been presented to Rav Elyashiv Shlit”a by Rav Revach, which has caused Rav Elyashiv Shlit”a to change his psak; its only fair that Rav Vaye has a chance presenting his side regarding this new information, since Rav Vaye is also aware of this new information and he still feels this [new information] was not presented correctly. The FACT is that Rav Elyashiv only heard this new information personally from Rav Revach alone, not at all from Rav Vaye in person (there was no halachic obligation to do so, since this doesn’t “technically qualify as baalei dinim”); and presently Rav Vaye is not being permitted entry by some “gabbaim”.

  24. Rav Vaye writes in his sefer that he personally discussed the issue with Rav Elyashiv some 20 years ago. The Rav is fully aware of his opinion.

  25. Unfortunatly, this issue has become so polticized, to the point that otherwise intelligent Talmidei Chachomim are making ridiculous statements.

    The fact remains, and is well known in Yerusholayim, that Rabbonim who are known to be exceptional Yirei Shomayim, great Talmidei Chachomim, who believe that these fish are Mutar, are prevented from meeting with Maran, Harav Elyashiv. Someone or other, who is from those that feel that the fish are Assur, do not allow maran, to hear the opinion of the matirim.
    It is ridiculous to say, Well, Rav Elyashiv heard from Rav Vaye 15 years ago, or Rav Wosner heard from Rav Falk 15 years ago, when these Rabbonim are not allowed access to our Poiskei Hador, are not allowed to present their current views to RaV Elyashiv.
    In essence, this might (G-d forbid) cause a great segment of Klal Yisroel to disregard anything that Maran, Rav Elyasdhiv will say, and WE OURSELVES will have caused the greatest “Bizoyen”, the greatest disrespect for Torah and Gedolim ever.

  26. Sholombayis:
    “In essence, this might (G-d forbid) cause a great segment of Klal Yisroel to disregard anything that Maran, Rav Elyasdhiv will say, and WE OURSELVES will have caused the greatest “Bizoyen”, the greatest disrespect for Torah and Gedolim ever”
    Yes, this has happened. People continue to doubt Rav Elyashiv’s psak, for example, “goodbye”, and “Lomed Mkol Adam”, despite numerous people reporting it. As Lomed Mkol Adam correctly points out, in a previous post, “eid echod ne’emon b’issurim”. This applies not only when one hears an eidus he likes. As to why it doesn’t apply to the “eidus” of R’ Moshes psak, read my response in #24.
    There is no reason for Rav Elyashiv to waste his time with more people stating their opinions. He has heard all sides of the issue, as a responsible posek must (and to assume he hasn’t discredits him to the point of bizoyon hatorah), has paskened, and unless new information comes along, he needs not listen to whomever wants to try to convince him otherwise.

  27. There is no reason for Rav Elyashiv to waste his time with more people stating their opinions.

    How ridiculos!
    Having Harav Vaye present his opinion to Maran is a waste of time???
    I write again…It is well know in Yerusholayim that Rav Vaye is not given access to Maran.
    It is also well known that Maran, respects Rav Vayes opinion. But, in todays climate Rav Vaye and his opinion are hidden from Maran. NOT because Maran does not want to waste time.
    This creates a farce of Halacha

  28. Sholombayis:
    I write agaim: Rav Vaye’s opinion is known to Maran. Maran would not allow a farce to be made of halacha. This is not a din torah in choshen mishpot where each baal din gets to respond.
    You write that it is well known that Rav Vaye can’t get in. If we’ve allowed our discussion to descend into rumors, I’ll tell you what I’ve heard – Maran called Rav Vaye in to tell him that he is assuring the worms, so that Rav Vaye would no longer tell people that Maran is matir.

  29. #30 Daas Yochid: If you would like to refrain from eating certain fish, then Kol Hakovod; but why must you act as the extended political arm of some Rav Elyashiv’s “Gabbaim” and terrorize all YWN readers by creating a new issur on eating certain fish called “Kovod HaGedolim” (when Rav Elyashiv Shlit”a himself has no hakpada at all), let’s stick to as whether these fish have an issur of “sheretz hamayim” and that’s it.

    On a different note, Halacha was never an issue of “Emunas Chachamim” throughout the generation. Only Hashkafa shaalos were the strict domain of our Gedolim. See perek “Makom Shenahagu” in Gemara Pesachim, as well as many Sugyos in Gemara Chulin, that we find different towns had followed different minhagim as to what was assur and what was muttar, especially in dinim of Kashrus. So why is this shaala becoming a clear cut shaala strictly in a Gadol’s domain? Let every town ask their own Rav for his opinion, as was always the mesora in Klal Yisroel. This doesn’t at all intefer with the universal acceptance of our Gedolim’s authority and opinion when it comes to hashkafa. When Rav Shach Zt”l was the Manhig of Klal Yisroel, halacha issued never became entagled with “Gedolim” and their authority, it was always the domain of poskim who were aquainted in the field.

    Finally, if we happen to have a Gadol who is also a Posek Hador in Halacha, as was the case when Rav Moshe Zt”l was alive; then we would be fortunate to have universal authority to be “MATTIR” not Osser, as every “Bar Bei Rav” could assur out of lack of clarity. And the “eid echad ne’eman b’issurin” is needed and used “L’Kula” Not “L’Chumra” (we dont need “Eidus” to Assur).

  30. Lomed Mkol Adam: “Let every town ask their own Rav for his opinion”
    That would be silly. Why should one prefer the opinion of a local Rav who does not have the resources to accurately research the metzius nor the expertise in Torah especially in a less commonly learned sugya over our Gedolei HaPoskim???

  31. #35 Hello99: Do you trust your local Rav when it comes to Niddah shaalas (chayvei kriesus), and do you trust your local Rav on Hilchos Shabbos shaalos (chayvei missah), then you can and should trust your local Rav on Maacholos Asuros shaalos (chayvei malkus).

    Of course a local Rav doesn’t pasken shaalos on his own, He either has a mesora on particular shaalos, or he chooses (using the minimal knowledge that he does know) from which of the gedolei poskim of the time (Rav Vaye or Rav Revach) to rely on and pasken accordingly. This is how a Minhag Hamokom-Shul/Neighborhood is established. And you/nobody have any buisness privately/publicly questioning your/any Rav’s psak.

    If we would cut out all this ongoing Terrorism by scaring out Rabbanim from having the confidence Hashem has given them to properly pasken shaalas, then we would thereby restore the spiritual security of each community, which is definitely what Hashem’s Ratzon is.

  32. Lomed #36:
    There is a difference, it would seem to me, between asking a shailoh which needs personal attention, and one that doesn’t. Based on the need for a rov to personally observe something, or the unique nature of a particular shailoh and the fact that it’s not reasonable to expect the godol hador to be able to answer every shailoh, we of course rely on our personal (local) rabbonim. We would expect that if he doesn’t know the answer, he would refer the shailoh to someone who does. But when a shailoh such as this one comes along, which is universal, and we know the psak of the gedolei hador, it would make sense for someone to feel it’s worthwhile to be machmir.

  33. Revach writes that he and 2 mashgichim checked 4000 herrings in Norway and found them clean. I watched at the Eida an expert check a herring. It took him about ten minutes and the fish was in bits. He pulled out a few worms,and I asked him if there could still be any left there. He said “there still could be”. Now for three people to check (thoroughly) 4,000 herrings and declare them clean, should take 10 days (24 hours) working nonstop.
    So there goes another lie.

    Revach gives a Hechsher on washed vegetables. He claims they are 100 o/o clean.
    Bluff exposed . insects are found daily.