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The Color of HeavenArtscroll
Topic: Fish, Swordfish, Kosher

David Notowitz wrote:

Is swordfish kosher? Are there differing opinions on this?
Dave

Nisso Khabie at wrote:

Hi, I had a quick kashrut question. I was wondering about swordfish, because I have heard from different people that some say it is kosher and some say it is not. I am not very familiar with the fish itself and whether or not it has fins and scales but it seems that it does. If you can give me an answer and explanation I would be very appreciative.

Jeff Selik hillside@ix.netcom.com wrote:

I would like a final ruling if in fact swordfish is kosher? There seems to be so much confusion as to it being a fish available to eat for those of us that keep Kosher. Please advise.

Dear Dave and Nisso Khabie and Jeff Selik,

A fish is kosher only if it has scales which can be removed from the skin. If the scales are not removable, the fish is not kosher.

Take sturgeon, for example. Sturgeon is often smoked and its eggs used for caviar. But it's not kosher, because its scales can't be removed without ripping the skin.

The swordfish is highly regarded as a game-fish and for its flavor. But in the adult stage the swordfish is totally lacking in scales.

Although at birth it has scales, these scales are attached in such a manner that they are not readily removable without destroying the underlying skin.

Hence, the swordfish does not qualify as kosher. So next time you see a swordfish, be en garde.

Sources:

  • Leviticus 11:12

 
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