Audio: Rav Belsky’s 20-Minute Overview on the Recent Fish Tumult


rav-yisroel-belsky[Audio below.] Rav Yisroel Belsky, rosh yeshiva of Yeshiva Torah Vodaas and one of the leading halachic authorities of our times, possesses vast Torah knowledge coupled with an understanding of the modern sciences and a keen ability to link the two in a most reasonable and understandable way.  His  rare acumen has benefitted Klal Yisroel for decades, with Rav Belsky serving as one of the leading experts in the kashrus field worldwide.

Below is  a recording of a 20-minute overview that Rav Belsky, in his inimitable clear and articluate manner, gave regarding the recent worms-in-fish tumult, which has led to much confusion, misunderstandings and questionable claims.

Click below to listen:

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{Noam Newscenter}


  1. many gedolei harabanim including rav elyashav shlita and rav feivel cohen do NOT agree with rav belsky. i suggest you print their approaches as well. by NOT doing so you are implying that this mehalech of rav belsky is the widely accepted final word.


  2. Chazal say “bein-oir-li’bossur” is mutter is when a parasite type has injected an egg or larvae through the skin into the flesh of the fish & are nourished by the host fish, those are the only ones that are permitted.This is very common in fish.

    Chazal say that the worms in the intestines are not permitted are the anisakis type aka herring worm. Even when they leave the intestine in to the flesh it retains the status of “not permitted”.

    Usually the anisakis will be found in what is known as the “belly flap” which is the narrow part of the flesh surrounding the intestines.

    By Wild salmon it will be common to find the anisakis worm even in the rest of the flesh, not only in the belly flap. The reason for that is that salmon when they go to spawn they stop eating, the anisakis in the intestines are completly deprived of food, so they migrate through the whole salmon in search of food.

  3. Why does Matzav make it sound like they are “taking sides”? Calling it a “tumult; “much confusion”; “misunderstandings and questionable claims.”

    This seems to be a machlokes haposkim. Those who assur understand the reasons to be matir. They feel it is nevertheless assur. While those who are matir understand the reasons to assur, nevertheless they are matir.

    This is a machlokes haposkim and each one of us is required to follow the opinion of his own Rov. Poskim have argued since before Shamai and Hillel, and will continue to do so until Eliyahu Hanavi will clarify for us all of our questions. Kach Hi Darkah Shel Torah!!

    A web site should not be leaning to either side of the fence!!

  4. Could you rephrase the last paragraph,which makes it sound like the 20 minute talk adds to the confusion?

    I think that beyond knowing what we should and shouldn’t eat, we need to know what to think. Isn’t it important to maintain the highest respect for gedolim in our country, and how to maintain this integrity? Etc. This won’t come from comments, that’s for sure, but not sure whom it should come from.

  5. I have heard that in the simple understanding of the gemoro in Chullin and elsewhere that the worms originate in the flesh of the fish a.k.a spontaneous generation and proves it from the difference between different types of creatures described in the gemoro, some as not being “poro v’rovo”, and some coming from eggs – all of which the scientists believe come from eggs -(this I heard from a talmid chochom who spoke to him about it).
    He does not generally feel it his place to state an opinion when R’ Elyashiv has paskened; this was evident on many occasions, including the sheitel issue, where he told family members not to wear the Indian hair after R’ Elyashiv paskened.

  6. His argument that a species which is “a worm born of a worm” must have been around at the time of the Shulchon Aruch and gemorah does not take into account the possibility that there is a tremendous increase in the number of these worms (anisakis) in recent years. In the times of the Shulchon Aruch and gemorah they were so rarely extant in the flesh that we could assume that any worm found in the flesh is a different species.

  7. See Maggid Mishna on Ramba”m hilchos ma’acholos assuros 2nd perek halochah 17, and Rashb”a at the end of the sugya in Chullin, who uses the term NIVROIM MIN HABOSOR ATZMO. I’ve heard that Rav Belsky Shlita”s shito is that rishonim can be proven wrong when contradicted by science, but Chaza”l cannot. He has therefore understood the gemorah unlike the simple pshat, and unlike the rishonim, in order to comply with the current scientific assumption that spontaneous generation cannot occur. The poskim who assur simply go with the simple pshat as confirmed by the rishonim.

  8. According to the scientific research uncovered by some of the osrim, the anisakis are NOT microscopic when they enter the viscera of the fish.
    I’ve heard that Belsky Shlit”a acknowledges this and curently is matir for a different reason. He was heard denouncing the microscopic heter, calling it “spontaneously generated”.

  9. R’ Dovid Feinstein has stated many times in recent days that he has not assered or matered and since the poskim in eretz yisroel ruled so there is no reason for him to say a psak and one should not move from the psak of Rav Elyashev shlita. This can be confirmed by anyone who speaks to Reb Dovid.

  10. Funny thing is, people on the stature of the gedolim who’ve paskened on NOT commenting here. May I suggest that the only acceptable comments be what one has heard directly, in person from his own (named) rav, if even that?

  11. This very same sailo was raised about 18 years ago at that time all of the poskim who were alive were matir for varios reasons acording to Rav Moshe Vaye who is considered the greatest expert on worms,he wrote a pamphlet at that time saying whaT each godol told him why it was mutter. About 28 years ago the Hisachdus Horabonim sent a delegation to Rav Moshe Feinstein zal to discuss this very shailo and he was matir. You can check this out with Rav A.S.H. Bick. If someone wants to be machmir becuuse of the new tumul and the letters from the Gedolim in Israel OK but people should know that all of the gedolim 18 years ago were matir. Acording to Rav Moshe Vaye the facts now are exactly the same as they were then and he printed in 3 pamphlets 18 years ago that all of the gedolim told him it was mutter.

  12. To Da’as Yochid: I’m not commenting on the issue itself, just begging someone, not necessarily from Matzav, to address this ancillary issue and set parameters to discussion.


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