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.


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!).

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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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