Rav Avigdor Miller on Tashlich and the Fish



What should we think when we see the fish during tashlich?


You want to know what I think? I think the same thoughts as when I pass a fish store.

And you shouldn’t wait for tashlich. When you pass a fish store and see the fish in the window, that’s a good time to stop and look. The fish in the window come from the ocean. And in the ocean the fish come together without shadchanim. They’re parim veravim bayam. They get married in the ocean and they produce offspring. And it’s for one purpose, to give us more fish to eat. It’s a neis how fish meet each other in the depths of the ocean and are able to copulate and produce more fish. It’s a niflaos haBorei. We have to marvel at that.

We marvel also that the fish doesn’t have any air and still it breathes with its gills. It’s able to take out from the water the dissolved oxygen. Fish must have oxygen, but they are so built that they can use oxygen dissolved in the water and they live without lungs – except the lungfish. And so when you look at a fish, it’s a special briah.

It’s chessed Hashem too. Fish of course is a ta’anug. That’s why all Jews eat fish on Shabbos. It’s part of the happiness of Shabbos in order to learn the chessed of Hashem.

And so I say you don’t have to wait for tashlich. When you pass a fish store and you see big juicy fish lying there, a big carp, a big salmon, a big trout, stop a half second and take a look at them. Ahh! What a wonder it is that it happened in the middle of the ocean that they came together and produced such tasty tidbits for the people to enjoy and to appreciate the chessed of Hashem.

TAPE # 978 (September 1994)