Is anyone familiar with the practice of not drinking water after eating fish? I know that something has to be used to clean your mouth before eating meat, but somehow I got the idea in my head that one should not drink water after eating fish because its disrespectful to the fish. I am new to my community and I quickly realized that none of them follow this practice, furthermore, none of them have heard of such a practice. I know I did not invent this in my own head, and I would love to figure out where it came from. Please, post if you know.

This one came through my blog.


2 Answers 2


The following explanation is in a footnote at torah.org

22 For unknown reasons, Tosfos, Moed Katan 11a (quoted by Reb Akiva Eiger Y.D. 116 and by Kaf ha-Chayim 170:79), advises against drinking water [or soda] after fish. She'arim Metzuyanim B'halachah 33:2 (2) suggests that for this reason whiskey - and not water - is customarily drunk between fish and meat.

Actually She'arim Metzuyanim B'halachah uses the expression יין שרף which I would literally translate as "brandy". I see that people use something alcoholic but not necessarily distilled (and certainly not whiskey over Pesach!).


The Piskei Tosafos in Moed Katan (found after the end of the gemara) Siman 37, says that drinking water after fish is harmful to the heart but heals the body.


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