NEW YORK – A group of haredi rabbis in New York caused a row within the local Jewish community after ruling that salmon is not kosher.
The rabbis said salmon, as well as other types of certain fish, may contain a tiny parasitic worm, Anisakis, which is not kosher. This renders the fish non-kosher as well, the rabbis said.
The ruling has caused alarm among many New York Jews, who have made the famous bagel and lox a staple of their diet. Moreover, the decision may hold significant financial implications: The smoked salmon industry makes hundreds of millions of dollars a year in the US, with the Jewish community considered its main consumer as result of the fish's price and the fact it's kosher.
However, the controversy is far from over, as the Union of Orthodox Congregations of America announced that the haredi rabbis' ruling is invalid. "Salmon is kosher for consumption, don't worry," said Rabbi Moshe Elefant of the group.
Meanwhile, officials at Israel's Chief Rabbinate say that salmon undergoes regular inspections in order to ensure it is fit for consumption and does not include parasites. Rabbi Shneor Revah, an expert on the kashrut of fish, recommended the consumption of fish grown in cages, as this minimizes the likelihood that parasites made their way into the fish.
Nissan Shtrauchler contributed to the report