Sunday, June 20, 2010

Chazon Ish on fish worms

Could someone explain what the Chazon Ish is talking about? In
particular the last line.


  1. He's referring to the ancient Greek idea of Hylic matter and the ability of things to spontaneously generate or change form one substance to another.

    This is mentioned in The Ramban's comments on Brias HaOlam, as well as in the Moreh and if I remember correctly, the Kuzari dwells on it at length.

    If you would like, maybe I could provide more exact references later, but that is what he's on about.

  2. The Chazon Ish is interesting-he seems to be echoing the two points of view of what minei gavli means. THat is ,the worms or whatever should be okay because they grew in the keilim but on the other hand maybe they are only muttar if they spontaneously generated there. Which translates as R Belsky is right but it could be that the osrim have a point in requiring spontaneous generation. This would mean that any species that we know of it reproducing normally would be ossur no matter where you found it.

  3. R' Belsky's position is go ahead and eat the worms so that people should get sick?

    Canadian Press

    The Department of Natural Resources and Wildlife (MNR) recommends caution to fishermen who consume wild Atlantic salmon.

    The authorities explained that the parasitic worm Anisakis simplex, which is present in more than 200 species of fish, including cod, mackerel and herring seems to be increasing in several populations of salmon in the world.

    The consumption of wild salmon undercooked and affected by this parasite may be hazardous to human health, resulting in digestive problems or allergies.

    The Department therefore recommends to avoid eating fish heavily infested. Before cooking, be sure to remove all visible larvae. It is then necessary to cook the fish properly before eating it, the internal temperature must be at least 63 ° C for 15 seconds.

    It is also advisable to consume raw salmon, since it should first have been frozen at a temperature of - 20 ° C for at least seven days, temperature is rarely reached in a home freezer.

    Smoking of fish is in turn valid if the internal temperature of fish reaches 63 ° C for at least 15 seconds.

    The authorities say they will maintain surveillance over 10 salmon rivers of Quebec.

  4. I think that those who think the worm thing is about spontaneous generation are not aware of the relevant halachic issues.

    It's hard to tell from the snippet of the Chazon Ish that you show, but I think that the issue relates to the pasuk that prohibits worms being "shoretz hashoretz al ha'adama." Chazal and poskim relate to worms that have "wormed on the ground" versus worms that have never "wormed on the ground" having lived their entire lives inside vegetables, inside fish, or inside water. A worm that has never "wormed on the ground" is not assur according to the Torah.

    This comes up, if I remember correctly, in a Taz in Hilchos Taarovos that attempts to be limud zchus on people who eat vegetables without checking them, saying that the bugs that are found inside were born inside the vegetable and thus not assur.

    In the case of fish, this would be the case if worms were swallowed as eggs that then hatched inside the fish. It also might be the case if the worms were swallowed when too small to see, and only became visible (and thus of halachic significance) when inside the fish. I have confirmed with some scientists that most worms enter fish when eggs or larval.

    I don't know what the Chazon Ish is saying regarding worms in water inside keilim or borot. He seems to be distinguishing between those that are crawling on the sides from those that are tiny inside the water. But I'm not sure of the references, so more info is needed to see exactly how what I wrote relates to his conclusions.


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