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After paying a trip to the Natural History Museum in London I found myself wondering... would it be allowed (to any extent) to use a shofar of an animal that has kosher simanim but is extinct? There were a number of horned ram/antelope-like species that appeared to have split hooves and, given their closeness to kosher shofar animals in terms of how they were classified and appeared, would it be allowed to use their horns as a shofar? Is it too great of an assumption that they chewed the cud?

Furthermore, if timescales for fossilisation allows, would it be muttar to use a fossilised horn that is intact?

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Doesn't the process of fossilization mean that the material from the bone is replaced by rock such that the resulting fossil is not made of bone at all? –  WAF Sep 9 '13 at 0:33
    
@WAF -- yes! But I can't help pointing out that kosher shofarot are made of horn, not bone (i.e., horns not antlers.) I am not sure that horn is normally fossilized, as it's softer than bone and has less minerals. –  Ernest Friedman-Hill Sep 9 '13 at 3:33
    
@WAF i dont know if the Torah would make that distinction. If it 'was' a kosher animal for shofar would it matter if it became fossilized. –  bondonk Sep 9 '13 at 11:37
    
Natan Slifkin has an article called "Exotic Shofars" that I found through Google....but I can't figure out how to download it -- any link I click on is dead. If you manage to get a hold of it please ping me here with a link. –  Shokhet Sep 28 at 19:16
    

1 Answer 1

Chaza"l ensured us that if an animal has split hooves and are not pigs (who don't have horns) then they chew cud.

So, if the horn is a shofar (not a keren, e.g from a cow), and it is still in kosher condition, it would be permitted.

(Assuming that only the animal was technically fossilized, but the horn is still made of the original material.)

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Who says that rule is true for animals that became extinct before Chazal lived? (Ignoring for the moment animals that are alive now but chazal never saw) –  Double AA Sep 9 '13 at 16:02
    
@DoubleAA What indicates that Chaza"l's statements would be time-limited? Btw, Rashi (mishna niddah 51b) lets us identify kashrus by the horns alone, i.e. "all shofros are kosher". –  NBZ Sep 9 '13 at 17:03
    
Not time limited. Eternally true about animals that existed then. –  Double AA Sep 9 '13 at 17:29

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