Thursday, February 25, 2016

Are sea sponges kosher?

Let's take a look at seafood and what Torah says about it. It is Leviticus 11:9-12
YLT Lv 11:9 'This ye do eat of all which are in the waters; any one that hath fins and scales in the waters, in the seas, and in the brooks, them ye do eat; 
YLT Lv 11:10 and any one that hath not fins and scales in the seas, and in the brooks, of any teeming creature of the waters, and of any creature which liveth, which is in the waters--an abomination they are to you; 
YLT Lv 11:11 yea, an abomination they are to you; of their flesh ye do not eat, and their carcase ye abominate. 
YLT Lv 11:12  'Any one that hath not fins and scales in the waters--an abomination it is to you.
As you can see, Lev 11:10 provides valuable detail, namely "any creature which liveth". Since sea sponges are alive animals, they are definitely not kosher. So any other water creature that does not have fins and scales.

Please also note that the text talks about freshwater seafood as well (Lev 11:10)

More interesting questions would be seaweed, which is not an animal but rather a "plant" of sorts that grows under water, on the bottom. Is it kosher? I will discuss it in my next posts and I touched on that in my previous posts in this section.

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