Wednesday, March 15, 2006

The myth of Kosher Fish Lists...



Many of you are interested in new and exciting varieties of kosher fish. The truth is, there is almost nothing stopping you from buying fish (so long as you know how to buy in a non-kosher store), anywhere and everywhere.

The problems arise when someone does not know how to check the kosher status of the fish themselves.

What is the problem exactly? Well, the first thing is that one cannot rely on fish lists. Why not? Several reasons come to mind, including the fact that there is little way of knowing whether the fish you are buying in fact is the one the seller claims it is. Another is that most fish sold without skin are forbidden (see Y.D. 83).

Checking the kosher status of fish yourself is not difficult at all. Simply locate the scale, remove it, and confirm that the skin did not rip as a result of the removal. More on the practicals of the procedure if anyone is intersted!!

"Sea"son's greetings!!!

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

I would love to see your post on how to buy fish at a non-kosher fish store. It would be quite useful.

Rabbi Goldberg said...

Kashrut.com published an article I wrote on the subject, which is link on the side (Consumer FAQs on Fish by Me). The link is to:

http://www.kashrut.com/articles/fishfaq/

If you have follow up questions, please do not hesitate...

Zev said...

Not addressed: If one knows that the fish is kosher but was not cut with a kosher knife (and not cut on a clean board), is it enough to cut off a small piece of the cut ends and wash carefully?

Qolea L Hasaarah said...

What about worms in the fish? Wouldn't that be a problem when buying a fish that you don't know how to check?

Rabbi Goldberg said...

"Not addressed: If one knows that the fish is kosher but was not cut with a kosher knife (and not cut on a clean board), is it enough to cut off a small piece of the cut ends and wash carefully?"

--You are 100% correct, I apologise for leaving out. One can scape it with the sharp end of a knife in the area where it came in contact with NK fish. See Pishei Teshuva 96:5, where he explains that because GREIDA or KLIPA will destroy the fish, this is sufficient.

A more detailed article on buying from NK store is in the works!

Rabbi Goldberg said...

"What about worms in the fish? Wouldn't that be a problem when buying a fish that you don't know how to check?"

--Worms in fish are very complicated. The bottom line is that if the worm entered the fish at a point when it was not visible to the naked eye, it is not forbidden. This is generally the case. For more on this, see pages 66-67 of the OU guide to checking for bugs, free download at:
(http://oukosher.org/index.php/articles/single/2716/).