Gefilte Fish

View as Single Page Single Page    Print this page Print this page

» Gefilte Fish
our recipe for
the classic course.

» A History
of Jewish fish in
America.

» Financial
troubles for Jews.

» A List
of every
kosher fish.

February 10, 2012
A Brief History of Gefilte Fish

The #1 reason gefilte fish is served at Shabbat dinner tables these days might be, in the words of Fiddler on the Roof, tradition! Originally, however, the dish that we currently call gefilte (a word meaning “stuffed”) was embraced for other reasons. Most notably: financial. Most families couldn’t afford to buy enough fish to feed their entire family, so they ground up fish and bones and mixed it with less-expensive grains.

Gefilte fish served religious purposes, too. Fish was often favored as a Sabbath appetizer because the Hebrew word for fish, dag, corresponds to the numerical value seven, which reflects the holiness of Shabbat, the seventh day. Gefilte fish also allowed people to eat fish on Shabbat without having to separate the bones–a process which istechnically forbidden on Shabbat.

And gefilte fish was thought to have one added perk. According to the ancient sages, fish is an aphrodisiac. Thus, its presence on the Sabbath table could also encourage couples to “be fruitful and multiply.”

Share this article on Facebok Share  

SIGN UP FOR OUR OTHER NEWSLETTERS

History Kveller Recipes Shabbat Weekly Torah

Jewniverse is an initiative ofMyJewishLearning.com.

 

Did you like this article? MyJewishLearning is a not-for-profit organization.

Please consider making a donation today.

View as Single Page Single Page   

Note: The opinions expressed here are the personal views of the author. All comments on MyJewishLearning.com are moderated. Any comment that is offensive or inappropriate will be removed. Privacy Policy