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Fins and Scales

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Rabbi Moshe Leib Halberstadt

Sivan 29, 5780
Question
If the Torah says all animals that have scales have fins how does a sea snake have scales and no fins
Answer
The term scales according to the Torah refers to visible scales which can be peeled using the nail (like a shell or a peel). The sea snake and similarly the swordfish have microscopic scales which cannot be peeled off using the nail. Therefore, according to Torah, they are not considered scales. (Rema Yoreh Deah 83, 1. Maor Hakashrut Rabbi Levinger P. 308. Hamahapach Rabbi Zamir Cohen vol. 4).
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