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Rabbis in Israel may ban fish because of worms

It’s been a long time since the Rabbis banned a food product, it seems they have been quite busy this year with scandals that they forgot to ban anything. The last couple of years have been filled with so many bans, it’s hard to believe that they could find something else to ban, but yet again, the Rabbis are trying to prove that they can assert power over the Jewish diet and way of life with their latest ban – Fish.

According to the Jewish Star article, one of the rabbi Karp of Modiin is seeking to ban Salmon and other fish due to round worms. This may hurt Jewish traditions like salmon with dill sauce, sushi and gefilte fish.  I sure hope they don’t “find” bugs or worms in meat – I am not ready to give it up.

Possible reasons for the banning of fish other than these round worms:

I wonder if this has anything to do with Omega-3 becoming so popular that the Rabbonom don’t want us to get too close to the goyim.

Is it possible that the rise in fish eating amongst frum Jews has made them healthier and therefore more attractive and less likely to pay attention to tznius?

Salmon is pink and you know what else is pink – so untznius.

Maybe they want to ring in all the vegetarians, because they aren’t really keeping shabbos if they don’t eat meat.

Is it possible that these Rabbis are heavily vested in fish farms and are trying to ban wild fish to make their shares go up.

I think this Karp wants to be really ironic – maybe he’s a hipster.

Fish is untznius.

Just another way to control their subjects.

Maybe Karo doesn’t like his wife’s gefilte fish and this is the only way he can get out of it without embarrassing her.

Something smells fishy will have to be changed.

{ 35 comments… add one }
  • Lizardqueen11 February 26, 2010, 4:30 AM

    Interesting fish post in time for Adar/Purim since the Zodiac Sign of Adar is Pisces, symbolizing fertility, blessing, only living with Torah, and continuity. Instead of banning fish, they need to buy those shares and tap into the Jewish consciousness in the free market that adores fish. (As American as Apple Pie, as Jewish as gefilte fish. (As for fish being untznius, they don’t close their eyes – what could be MORE untznius?)

  • Joel Katz February 26, 2010, 7:26 AM

    Heshy, just a small note – but BIG difference.
    Rabbi in the article is from Modi’in Illit – not Modi’in.

    Religion and State in Israel

  • Avrumy February 26, 2010, 8:24 AM

    The article is so full of fish puns that it is hard to tell if it is legit or not.
    These power-hungry out-of-touch rabbis love to ban things, just for the halibut.

    • Schwartzie February 26, 2010, 10:17 AM

      har har har

      • Yochanan February 26, 2010, 2:55 PM

        nyuk nyuk nyuk

  • conservative scifi February 26, 2010, 8:44 AM

    I can normally tell if Heshy is pulling a leg immediately, but I looked at the original article and I can’t tell if this is a Purim Spiel or not. The article claims that this is in the Talmud but does not cite where. I did find other internet sources which say cite the same part of the Shulchan Aruch for the same point.

    If anyone knows where this is mentioned in the Talmud, I’d appreciate it.

  • dman February 26, 2010, 8:51 AM

    Conservative scifi:

    The article seemed “fishy”, so I emailed the author and the editor to ask if this was part of their Purim satire.

    I received a very prompt reply that this article is not a joke.

  • SF2K1 February 26, 2010, 9:55 AM

    Not my original comment but a great one I found on VIN about this matter:

    “The Zohar in Bereishis says that HKB”H created creatures that
    permeate the beriyah. They are too small to be seen with the naked
    eye, for if we were to see them everywhere, we would go meshugah.”

    Makes sense that’s exactly what happens with a million and one things from strawberries to salmon go from “kosher” to “treif” with bugs that our ancestors never noticed.

  • Heshy Fried February 26, 2010, 10:46 AM

    The funny thing about bans is that most of them sound like a joke and that’s the problem. When will the rabbis start to wake up and ban things that are actually harmful to the body and soul, like chocolate chip hamentashen and yerushalmi kugel.

    • abandoning eden February 28, 2010, 8:02 AM

      yerushalmi kugal is the soul food of jews, how can that be bad for the soul?

      (speaking of which anyone have a good recipe? I have one, but it turned out to be much less greasy than the type I grew up with and love)

  • musicluver February 26, 2010, 11:07 AM

    My Rav gave a whole drasha last week about this. There was a Meeting with about 40 different Rabbonim involved in Kashrus.
    He received a fax from the Rabbinical Council of California (RCC) of which fish needs checking for worms. I got in touch with the RCC to email the list to me. According to the RCC, lucky for us Jews, Gefilte Fish and Herring (filet) were not a problem (I assume that with gifelte fish, its mixed in and chopped up so much that it’s botul beshishim). Salmon is ok as long as it’s farmed and not wild. Yellowtail (yup, there goes one sushi). IS problematic.
    There’s a few others that I have not listed. The RCC requested that I not circulate the email because it is still being investigated by many Rabbanim

  • musicluver February 26, 2010, 11:16 AM

    One Rabbi at the meeting suggested that the rise in worm findings in fish has to do with the amount of pollution since the industrial revolution.

  • guest February 26, 2010, 11:33 AM

    I think it’s a pretty sad state of affairs when it’s no longer possible to tell whether something is real or a Purim joke.

  • Avrumy February 26, 2010, 12:08 PM

    I have this wonderful recipe for salmon with broccoli and strawberries. Should I just toss it?

  • dman February 26, 2010, 12:11 PM


    You have the patience to check broccoli?

    • Avrumy February 26, 2010, 2:09 PM

      That’s my point.
      [Male] Rabbis have declared it nearly impossible to eat broccoli and strawberries, and now salmon!
      What next? Drinking water? Oh wait, they banned that, too.
      Luckily, my Yiddish is poor so I cannot follow their bluster.

  • A. Nuran February 26, 2010, 1:03 PM

    All fish can have parasites.
    This chumra isn’t about kashrus. It’s about control and a vested interest in someone’s fish farm.

  • dman February 26, 2010, 2:16 PM

    And, asparagus, raspberries, romaine lettuce (unless one is very patient)….

  • Anonymous February 26, 2010, 3:44 PM

    The OU said it’s nonsense but the RCC supports it… *sigh*

  • Sergey Kadinsky February 26, 2010, 5:01 PM

    I can still have Fried, but no fish. Wait.. did the gedolim ban Fried, too?

  • conservative scifi February 26, 2010, 5:23 PM

    Quickly, before shabbat, I did find the Talmudic source. It is Hullin 67b. I am amazed that the Rabbi thinks he can change the ruling in the Talmud.

  • ghottistyx February 27, 2010, 11:25 AM

    Oy vey, as a Fishman, what would my ancestors have done with a fish ban?

    Really, how are ashkenazim going to start their shabbos meals now?

    Funny thing about Karp. So my father’s sister married a Dr. Karp. So whenever people find out that I got cousins named Karp, they’re like “wait a minute, I just realized something: Karp/Fishman, and you guys are related!” And they always say it like they think they’re the first people to have thought of that one.

  • Phil February 27, 2010, 9:08 PM

    Many fish has different type of parasites, some are easier to spot than other. Incidentally, carp and pike (gefilte mix) a notorious for parasites.

    Once you mince everything, you nullify the problem. That’s why you’ll find gefilte fish and strawberry jam with hecsher’s.

    I think they should ban sushi, too much chance for parasites and harmful bacteria. Same goes for Tuna. It’s ful of mercury, and smells untznius 😉

    • Meir February 28, 2010, 1:17 AM

      Is mercury assur now? (and I mean for a reason other than the not-followed ban which bans cigarettes)

    • A. Nuran February 28, 2010, 3:48 PM

      If it’s for health reasons, then mincing the fish doesn’t do shit. The eggs will still be there. And the insects are still in the jam even if they’re in pieces.

      This is about conditioning people to jump whenever you croak “frog”. And believe me, I know from frog.

      • dman February 28, 2010, 5:26 PM

        It is my understanding that a whole worm is a bigger Halachic problem than a piece of a worm.

        • Phil February 28, 2010, 9:47 PM


          Minced worm is nullified if there is 60 times the vlume of fish and you didn’t actually see a worm in the mix before mincing. If you did, you would have to remove it before mincing.

          If you ingested a partial worm, it’s one problem, if you ingested an entire worm it become 4 problems.

  • Tova February 28, 2010, 9:04 PM

    ‘Salmon is pink and you know what else is pink ? so untznius.’

    How would the gedolim know this? Aren’t they forbidden from looking directly at such an area?

  • Constant Cynic March 1, 2010, 5:18 PM

    Clearly, Bodek is not earning enough revenue from veggies alone and needs to expand their product line. I can understand it – in this economy who can afford veggies anyway? Gotta start selling staples of life if they’re to stay afloat – like Gefilte Fish.

    This is Marketing 101. First step to product launch is to create a need.

    Look for Bodek frozen fish with B”datz hecksher in the Kosher aisle of your local Supermarket or at your Kollel co-op. Coming soon.

  • Eliyahoo WilliamDwek May 25, 2010, 2:00 PM

    When ‘dayanim’, ‘rabbis’ and false ‘mekubalim’ use the Torah for their own power and commercial profit, this behaviour is abhorrent.

    No other ‘rabbi’ will ever act against another ‘rabbi’ – even when he knows his colleague is clearly desecrating the Torah. Each rabbi is only worried about losing his own position.

    Therefore, the ‘rabbi’, ‘dayyan’ or false ‘mekubal’ (‘kabbalist’) will never effect justice. And he will never truly stand for the Torah or the Honour of Hashem. His pocket will always prevail.

    These are the men who are the worms – in the fish.

    The Torah must never be used for commercial gain and profit. Amm israel can only be lead by those who have the necessary love and respect of Hashem and the Torah.

  • Eliyahoo WilliamDwek May 25, 2010, 2:02 PM

    Any man who chooses to be a ‘rabbi’ (‘true teacher’ of Torah) or a ‘dayan’ (‘judge’), or a ‘mekubal’ (‘kabbalist’) should be doing so Voluntarily. Out of his pure love for Hashem and the Torah. And his Ahavat Yisrael.

    If he refuses to do community work voluntarily, and wants and accepts payment for everything he does, such a man should not be leading a community. He should get a job and earn a living. He can collect milk bottles or clean the windows. That is what is called ‘earning a living’.

    Torah is learned, studied and taught: out of Love. Voluntarily. But the ‘rabbis’ have turned the Torah into their ‘Profession’, from which they earn money.

    We are commanded in the Shema to:
    ‘LOVE Hashem, your G-d, WITH ALL YOUR HEART, and with all your soul and with all your might.’

    ‘VE’AHAVTA et Hashem Elokecha BECHOL LEVAVECHA uvechol nafshecha uvechol meodecha.’ (Devarim, Vaethanan, 6:4-5)

    Is the ordinary man or woman PAID to pray to Hashem, or to say some words of Torah? No. Has veshalom! But the rabbis are. These men can give ‘lovely’ shiurim that they have rehearsed. But they would not give a shiur without being paid for it.

    The true hachamim and rabbis of old, all actually worked at proper jobs and professions.

    Wake up! Even a little child could have worked this out. These salaried men can never truly stand for the Torah, because in a case of conflict between a correct course of action according to the Torah, and the rabbi or rav’s pocket – his pocket and position will always prevail.

    Pirkei Avot: (2:2)
    “Raban Gamliel beno shel Rabi Yehuda HaNassi omer: yafeh talmud Torah im derech eretz, sheyegiat shenaihem mashkachat avon. Vechol Torah she’ein imah melacha sofa betailah ve’goreret avon. Vechol haoskim im hatzibbur yiheyu imahem leShem Shamayim……”

    “Rabban Gamliel, the son of Rabi Yehuda HaNassi, said: It is good to combine Torah study with a worldly occupation, for working at them both drives sin from the mind. All Torah without an occupation will in the end fail and lead to sin. And let all who work for the community do so for the sake of Heaven………”

  • ttest47 July 25, 2010, 6:15 AM

    Letz, apikoros! There’s a special place in Gehinom for low-lifes like you.

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