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44

The Torah says that we may not eat anything without fins and scales if it is among the "sea-life" or of the "beasts of the sea" (Vaykira 11:10) which the Ramban thinks refers specifically to sea creatures that have two legs like those of land-creatures. Assuming that he's talking about mermaids, he implies that they have two legs, instead of fins, and are ...


23

The gemara in Bechoros 8a, which discusses mermaids, says they can be impregnated by people. As such, they would be non-kosher due to the qualification found there (Bech. 7b) a kosher fish lays eggs and a non-kosher fish births a live creature. This is the simple understanding found in the pirushim on the Tosefta (1:5) there. Tosafos there complicates ...


20

The Midrash Tanchuma (Vayikra 1:8) asks your question: ולמה קריבין קרבן מן העוף ומן הכבשים ומן הצאן ומן העזים ולא מן הדגים, שנאמר, [ו] אם מן העוף עולה קרבנו, אלא בשביל שהם בשר ודם כמו האדם ויוצאין מבטן אמן כמו האדם, מכפרים על האדם. אבל הדגים, ביצים הם ויוצאין מהן וחיין. And why do we offer up sacrifices from birds, sheep and goats but not from fish? ...


16

Rabbi Hershel Schachter quotes Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik (Divrei HaRav p. 192) as having been shown a swordfish and permitting it, claiming that there aren't any rules that mandate what the scales should look like. He further notes some historical precedent for eating swordfish in Europe (my impression is there is some disagreement about what fish is ...


15

The Tzitz Eliezer 9:40 discusses swordfish and says they are forbidden. He says that it is quite likely that the "fish with a sword" discussed in the Knesses HaGedola is really a sailfish, which also has a small sword.


15

Rama on Yoreh De'ah 13:1 says that it is forbidden to eat a fish while it's alive due to it being disgusting. (Baal Teshakzu) Mishna Torah Hilchos Shechita 1:4 says it is permitted to eat live fish.


13

Kosher speciation Generally speaking, we have a rule that "kol hayotzei min hatahor tahor, vichol hayotzei min hatamei tamei" ("that which comes from a kosher species is kosher, and that which comes from a non-kosher species is non-kosher"; see Bekhoroth 1:2). Since this new species comes from kosher and non-kosher species, there would be several potential ...


12

Because the question asks, "which sources say yes and which sources say no", I feel like the question warrants a response that includes a few more sources. The most comprehensive discussion of the issue is published by Dr. Ari Zivotofsky in Bar Ilan's journal Bechol Derachecha Daeihu (vol. 19) and its history is summarized in this news article. Rav Hershel ...


12

Here is an answer from The Star-K. Similarly fish gelatin in order to be considered kosher must be produced from kosher species of fish. The use of fish gelatin with meat foods poses an interesting question. As we have mentioned the Shulchan Aruch (Yore Deah:116) prohibits cooking meat and fish together because of health concerns. When dealing with ...


11

A couple of possibilities: I recall hearing once that it was a miracle (neis), but cannot remember where or from whom I heard/saw it. I similarly recall that the waters around the Teivah were not boiling (source and reason), so it is quite possible the fish hung around there. The waters were only boiling on the surface and not in the depths of the sea (no ...


11

Teeth aren't an issue - unlike with land animals and birds, kosher fish can be predators. (In fact, barracuda is kosher - and you don't get much more toothy than that!) Fish don't need a mesorah to be kosher (unless it's a corner case, such as where it's uncertain whether the scales are detachable from the skin, or where it resembles too closely a non-...


11

Kosher mammals (cows, sheep, goats, deer, etc.) and birds (pigeons, chickens, etc.) must be killed by kosher slaughter. So if your pet pigeon dies of natural causes, it’s not kosher. (In fact, if you kosher-slaughtered it but then found it had a massive tumor that would have caused it to die soon anyhow of natural causes, it’s still not kosher!) Kosher fish ...


11

Dr. Leiman writes on the mouse that is 'half-mouse-half-earth" that, (p.452): "... it comes as no surprise that the rabbis discussed the status of a creature they had never seen, and one that modern scholarship would label as imaginary. The greatest scientists and historians of their day took its existence for granted. If so, its halakhic status needed to ...


10

The only Rishon I saw who identifies the Dag Gadol in his commentary is [R Eliezer of Beaugency to Yonah 2:1][1], and he identifies it as a "בַלְיינְא וכיוצא בו", which is a baleine (etc.) in French (see also here) or a whale in English. Therefore, I find it very hard to believe that there is any issue with explaining it as such, and I would recommend that ...


10

It says in Sanhedrin 59b כי הא דרבי שמעון בן חלפתא הוה קאזיל באורחא, פגעו בו הנך אריותא דהוו קא נהמי לאפיה, אמר: (תהלים ק"ד) הכפירים שאגים לטרף. נחיתו ליה תרתי אטמתא, חדא אכלוה וחדא שבקוה. איתיה ואתא לבי מדרשא, בעי עלה: דבר טמא הוא זה או דבר טהור? - אמרו ליה: אין דבר טמא יורד מן השמים. בעי מיניה רבי זירא מרבי אבהו: ירדה לו דמות חמור מהו? - אמר ליה יארוד ...


10

I'd asked Rabbi Hershel Welcher of Queens a similar question, about goats that were given a bit of spider genes so they would produce gossamer in their milk. He felt the concept of "zeh v'zeh gorem, mutar" applied -- as the spider genes would not have sufficed to produce an organism, such a goat is kosher. So the same should apply here.


10

As always, the answer is: "it's a machlokes!" Open up a Shulchan Aruch to Yoreh Deah 116:2, where it says not to mix meat and fish. The Taz's opinion is that because meat-and-fish is a health concern, we are stricter about it than normal kashrus prohibitions, therefore if you pour one ounce of fish juice into a hundred ounces of beef broth, you may not eat ...


9

There are a number of opinions that state that catch and release is forbidden halachically on account of צער בעלי חיים - causing the animal pain. For example, according to the Rav Menashe Klein, Zt"l - Mishneh Halachot - Choshen Mishpat - Chelek 12, Siman 432, it is asur (forbidden) to fish for sport if the fish will not be used for food, and even if the ...


9

I have heard that Rabbi Avraham Yosef Shlita has said in a Shiur that it is not Muktze, since this is the way people eat it.


9

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 ...


9

R' Cohen in Dose of Halacha quotes R' Ben-zion Abba Saul who does allow you to use flakes, though writes that others advise you to buy worms, etc. or something that is chametz free. Rambam (Chametz Umatza 4:8) and the Shulchan Aruch (OC 442:4) write that one does not need to dispose of a mixture containing chametz that is totally inedible (by humans). ...


8

If the fish is kosher (i.e. you can identify it as a kosher species in an acceptable way, e.g. you see the scales on the whole fish, or for skinless salmon by the red color of its flesh which is a sign of kashrus), and everything is cold and clean (fish and utensils), then the fish can be eaten l'chatchila. This is based on the Shach in Yoreh Deah 91 (#3), ...


8

In Chullin 27b, the Gemara points out that "animals, which were created from earth, are made kosher via two 'signs' [cutting the windpipe and the esophagus]; fish, which were created from the water, don't need anything to make them kosher; birds, which were created from the mud [containing both earth and water - Rashi], are made kosher via one 'sign.'" ...


8

Yes. Goldfish are kosher. You can even kill it to eat it if you want. Ritual slaughter is not necessary for fish (Rambam (Maimonides), Laws of Shechita (Slaughter) 1:3). Lists of kosher fish


8

The Chasam Sofer (Toras Moshe parshas Shemini) writes that the meaning of the Medrash (cited by many Rishonim) that the pig is called a חזיר because עתיד הקב"ה להחזירה לישראל - Hashem is going to "return" it to the Jewish people - is that the physiology of the pig will be altered to chew its cud (the Kosher sign that it currently does not have) and will ...


7

Harav Akiva Eisenberg (formerly a lecturer at Aish and Ohr, now retired,) told me something excellent. Our preparation and the order of the meal at the Shabbos table is a re-enactment of Ma'aseh Bereishis. The order of our preparation and of our meals seems to be inviolate, as if it were set in stone. Who would have a fleishige first course and a main ...


7

There is a fundamental difference between eggs and caviar. Chicken eggs come in a totally separate shell - however caviar does not come in a seperate shell therefore it is still considered fish. Although I do not have a source - the reason there is no source is that it must be clear that fish eggs are considered as fish. A small proof to this is on Rosh ...


7

I like the question but couldn't find any mifarshim on the Medrash addressing this issue, so I will offer a deflection of the assumptions as an answer. I will argue that Fish, along with plants and bugs, were never meant to be immortal. Their life cycles and death were a matter of nature from day one, (well, from their respective days of creation:). So ...


7

Shellfish do not have fins and scales. As the pasuk Shmini 11:9 says Among all [creatures] that are in the water, you may eat these: Any [of the creatures] in the water that has fins and scales, those you may eat, whether [it lives] in the waters, in the seas or in the rivers. **Rashi explains: fins: Heb. סְנַפִּיר. These are [the wing-like ...


6

Rav Moshe Feinstein has a great responsa in which he says that if it gives you pleasure you may hunt. Fish are generally considered to be lower life forms in that we grant fish fewer halakhic protections (for example eiver min ha'hai does not apply to fish). Though Rav Moshe does say in his responsa that it is not something that he thins is great to do it ...


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