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Rabbi David Sperling

Adar II 24, 5774
How can I keep kosher when I have a fish allergy? Lots of kosher things use fish gelatin, skins or fats instead of other animals to keep the product kosher and it would be very risky for me to be kosher. I keep shabbat and go to shul for shabbos and I want to keep kosher but it would be kind of dangerous.
Shalom, Thank you for your question. First of all let me say how wonderful it is to hear of your interest in growing in your Judaism. May you be blessed with every success. In connection with your fish allergy and keeping kosher – that certainly sounds like a challenge. On the other hand, you may find that keeping kosher actually helps your situation. One of the aspects of kashrut is that the Rabbis who provide the supervision have an incredibly detailed knowledge of what ingredients are used. No product is approved as kosher unless it is absolutely certain what is in it. Because of this you will find that you will be able to easily determine which products have any fish in them by using the kashrut supervision as a resource. You can go online and be in touch with the major kashrut organizations (such as O-U, Star-K, and O-K in the USA), and ask them which of their products contain fish gelatin. From my research it is not such a lot of products as you seem to think. I believe you will find that there is a very large range of food that is fish free and kosher. May you be blessed with good health and growth.
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