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Wednesday, April 25, 2018

This Idiot Is Dead Wrong ....AGAIN!

Is Swordfish Kosher?

Photo Credit: Jewish Press
The commentaries on the Shulchan Aruch say dag ha’cherev [literally, “the fish of the sword”] is kasher.
Why is it widely considered to be not kosher, then?
Because around 60-70 years ago, they asked Rabbi [Moshe] Tendler if he could make a list of which fish are kosher and which aren’t. Rabbi Tender decided to list swordfish as a treife fish because he called up an expert who told him scales on a swordfish are a different consistency – or something like that – from those of other fish. So he decided it was a treife fish.
But that’s absolutely not correct. The commentaries on the Shulchan Aruch say dag hacherev is kasher. Professor [Shlomo] Sternberg, a big genius in learning and math, published an essay maybe 20 years ago in which he writes that Rabbi Soloveitchik asked him to conduct research on the status of swordfish. He did. He showed Rabbi Soloveitchik the scales of a swordfish and Rav Soloveitchik said, “It’s a kashere fish!”
Professsor Sternberg writes that he still has the envelope with the scales he showed Rav Soloveitchik in his Gemara Chullin.
If the commentaries on the Shuchan Aruch say dag ha’cherev is kosher, how can Rabbi Tendler claim it isn’t?
Rabbi Tendler claims “dag hacherev” is a different fish. It’s not true.
But Rabbi Tendler did a service to the Orthodox Jewish community because at the time there were Conservative rabbis who were giving hashgachas, so he laughed them out of existence and said they don’t know what they’re talking because [they were giving swordfish a hechsher when] swordfish is really treif. So the Orthodox realized you can’t rely on the Conservatives.
L’maaseh, the Conservatives were right on this issue, but Rabbi Tendler accomplished his goal.
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Swordfish (Xiphias gladius) does not seem to have scales when one looks at a sample. Some say that it has scales that are embedded to such an extent that it is impossible to remove them without making a hole. Others say that it has kosher scales on parts of its body which fall off during its development. Still others claim that it may have some kosher scales even at the time of harvest.

The Orthodox Union traditionally treats swordfish as non-kosher.

(See Sh’ailos and Teshuvos Tzitz Eliezer 9:40 who discusses a statement made by the Knesses HaGedolah about “cherev hadag” and explains why we cannot use the statement to permit swordfish.)

https://oukosher.org/blog/consumer-kosher/consumers-faqs-on-kosher-fish/

https://www.kashrut.com/articles/fish/



4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Are you OK? Look forward to resumption of your estimable blog....

Paul Mendlowitz said...

Thanks Anon...Traveling...almost back at my desk. Much appreciated :-)

natalie moulson said...

The kaf hachaim explicitly says that 'pes espada' translated into English, swordfish, is kosher. In fact the Sephardic Jews eat it all the time.

natalie moulson said...

The kaf hachaim explicitly says that 'pes espada' translated into English, swordfish, is kosher. In fact the Sephardic Jews eat it all the time.