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Jewish Food/Mandatory Consumption of Fish


Hi Patti,

As a Roman Catholic during my boyhood years, we were mandated to eat fish every Friday of the year.  Are Jews mandated to eat fish at least once a week by their religion?


Hi Angel,

No, Jewish people are not mandated to eat fish weekly as part of their religion. The only food laws observant Jews follow are the Kosher food rules, and to eat a special diet on certain holidays, such as Passover. If you'd like to read about the rules of Kosher foods, here is a good site:

As far as fish goes, Jews can only eat fish that have both scales and fins. This is why seafood such as shrimp, lobster, octopus or mussels are not Kosher.

From what I understand, before Vatican II, Catholics were mandated to "abstain from meat" on Fridays, which isn't a mandate to eat fish. Fish is just a good substitute for meat from warm-blooded animals, and it became a tradition.

I hope I've been a help.



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