The Jewish Chronicle - - Judaism -

ONE OF the lesser-known donts of Jewish law is not to eat meat and fish to­gether. Re­li­gious peo­ple will avoid eat­ing them at the same time, but will have them at the same meal, though usu­ally with a break be­tween them.

This rule ap­pears in the sec­tion of the Shulchan Aruch about “items that are due to ex­po­sure”. Drinks left un­cov­ered are for­bid­den, lest a snake drink from them and leave venom be­hind. We are also ad­vised not to put coins in our mouth in case they carry some­one else’s dry saliva.

In this con­text, an­other health and safety reg­u­la­tion was not to eat fish and meat to­gether for fear it might cause a cer­tain skin in­fec­tion. Although this is more of a warn­ing rather than a strict ban, the ha­lachah does not take it lightly. “Dan­ger is more se­ri­ous than a pro­hi­bi­tion”, says the Tal­mud (Chullin 10a). Although we see no med­i­cal risk in eat­ing fish and meat to­day, the pro­hi­bi­tion survives as a sign of the se­ri­ous­ness with which Jewish law treated pos­si­ble threats to health.

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