Questions pertaining to the identity or biology of animals mentioned in Jewish texts literature, or the status of animals in areas of Jewish law, such as diet or damages.

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Why was it so important for Hashem to create the 'mouth' of the ass

We read in Balak that the ass 'spoke' to Bilaam. This was a special miracle that an ass could speak, made during the six days of creation. Hashem doesn't make miracles for nothing. What is the great ...
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4answers
117 views

Did the Torah Sages discuss evolution

Are there examples in chazal of the sages discussing the phenomena of micro-evolution (or macro), i.e. adaptive changes in creatures.
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1answer
50 views

Is a horse included within the definition of “behema” with regard to Shabbat melacha?

Related to this M.Y. question, which I relayed to a friend, he suggested asking this related question: Deuteronomy 5:14: וְי֙וֹם֙ הַשְּׁבִיעִ֜֔י שַׁבָּ֖֣ת ׀ לַיהוָ֖֣ה אֱלֹהֶ֑֗יךָ לֹ֣א תַעֲשֶׂ֣ה ...
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Can a horse owned by a Jewish owner run in any of the Triple Crown races?

All of the "Triple Crown" horse races (Kentucky Derby, Preakness, and Belmont) occur on Shabbat. If the horse's owner is Jewish, (I just learned that American Pharaoh's owner is Jewish; I didn't know ...
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4answers
81 views

What prayer may be said upon the death of a beloved pet, specifically, a dog?

Our beloved Yorkshire Terrier has died, due to complications of old age. What prayer(s) may be said, and, is there any one prayer, in particular, that stands out as the most commonly cited prayer upon ...
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1answer
45 views

Tzar balei Chaim mouse traps

There are many different types of mouse traps. (Example old fashioned snappers, new electrocution, confinement, sticky) my question is would some on these be assur because of tzar balei Chaim ( the ...
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2answers
73 views

is there a prayer for a beloved family pet who is dying?

If a family pet is dying, is there a specific written prayer to say for the pet?
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42 views

Throwing out bagged bread vs. feeding to ducks?

There is a prohibition of throwing out bread in larger quantities than a k'zayit (olive-size) if it is still fit for human consumption (see Orach Chayim 180:3; Regarding if it is no longer fit for ...
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1answer
208 views

Water left unopened

According to this article from the Kof-K one is obligated in covering water bottles, but we dont practice today as snakes are not common, but what if i lived in a desert like city, like Phoenix ...
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1answer
70 views

Can one destroy a bird's nest if the noise bothers him?

If there is a bird's nest next to one's study and he finds the endless chirping to be annoying, is he allowed to destroy it or should he try to bear the annoyance. This is not a question of halacha, ...
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4answers
114 views

Why separate verses for the camel, hare, and hyrax?

In vayikra 11, we're given an overview of the kosher and non kosher animals. Among mammals, it singles out four as explicitly non kosher: the pig for only having split hooves, and the camel, hare, and ...
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What is a “tinshemet”?

The תִּנְשָֽׁמֶת is mentioned twice regarding non-kosher animals. In Leviticus 11:18, among the non-kosher birds: וְאֶת־הַתִּנְשֶׁ֥מֶת וְאֶת־הַקָּאָ֖ת וְאֶת־הָרָחָֽם׃ In Leviticus 11:30. among the ...
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1answer
46 views

Is it a problem to eat animal leftovers

Is it true that there is a Jewish custom not to eat after animals (even if not mius issue (ie the person eating does not know)) ie if a rat ate a peace of a fruit I can't just cut off that part and ...
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1answer
60 views

Can one feed the sheep / goat at the petting zoo sheep “pellets” on Hol Hamo'ed Pesach?

Some petting zoos have a small dispenser containing sheep food. They look like small pellets that I believe are a chametz mixture. Shulchan Arukh, Orach Chayyim 442:1 says: . אבל דבר שיש בו תערובת ...
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28 views

Do animals have a connection with God?

According to Jewish sources, do animals have a connection with God? by connection I mean some kind of awareness of His existence or perhaps some sort of communion.
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1answer
75 views

Regarding chametz, what is considered “not fit to be eaten by a dog”?

Regarding whether something needs to be considered chametz or not, there is a general rule of ראוי לאכילת כלב - i.e. - if a dog wouldn't eat it, then it's not considered food and therefore it is not ...
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1answer
97 views

How did G-d make animals and how did they became living beings?

I read a couple of questions and answers that are related to mine, but I could not find any answer to my specific question. The first human being was formed from the dust of the ground; this became ...
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0answers
48 views

Is it permissible to bring back extinct species?

Is it allowed according to halacha to bring back extinct species? The technology is on its way, and i have seen some discussion in non-Jewish contexts about the ethics of it, and how we might be ...
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0answers
31 views

What is a תלא אילן that looks like the תחש?

Shabbat 28a discusses the תחש skin that was used as a covering for the Mishkan. One opinion there (R' Nechemya) says: רבי נחמיה אומר מכסה אחד היה ודומה כמין תלא אילן והא תלא אילן טמא הוא ה"ק כמין ...
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1answer
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If my ox gores an androgynous, am i liable?

(Playing devil's advocate with this question.) In Shmot 21:31, Rashi says: לפי שנאמר והמית איש או אשה, יכול אינו חיב אלא על הגדולים, תלמוד לומר או בן יגח וגו' , לחייב על הקטנים כגדולים: The ...
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1answer
40 views

Aquatic Plants for Aquarium During Shmita

I have a fish tank and was wondering if there are any restrictions to putting aquatic plants (fully submerged) inside to help with the water chemistry during the shmita. The plant's main function will ...
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3answers
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What distinguishes humans from animals?

Both Humans and animals seem to have: Flesh: (Bereshit 6:13) The ketz (end) of kol basar is come before Me. Nefesh Chaya: (Bereshit 1:30) wherein is a Nefesh Chaya Ruach Chayim: (Bereshit 6:17 & ...
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1answer
40 views

Why did God create wild vicious animals?

Can we learn any lesson from the wild beasts that devour their prey? Do the sages have anything to say about wild animals?
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1answer
570 views

Feeding my friend's animal on Shabbas

If my friend has a pet such as a dog or cat, can I feed it on Shabbas? Do we say it's prohibited because I am not responsible to feed it (Shulchan Aruch) or do we say since my friend has to feed him I ...
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1answer
95 views

Why does Rashi say תנין is a snake, not a croc?

Rashi on Shemot 7:10: ‏ "ויהי לתנין" - נחש The pasuk: וַיָּבֹ֨א מֹשֶׁ֤ה וְאַהֲרֹן֙ אֶל־פַּרְעֹ֔ה וַיַּ֣עַשׂוּ כֵ֔ן כַּאֲשֶׁ֖ר צִוָּ֣ה יְהוָ֑ה וַיַּשְׁלֵ֨ךְ אַהֲרֹ֜ן אֶת־מַטֵּ֗הוּ ...
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1answer
139 views

The Torah's list of animals with one kosher sign

I have a question that has been troubling me for many years and I have never received a satisfactory response. On March 22, 2005 THE NY Times had an article entitled Religion and Natural History ...
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49 views

Animals in the plague of 'Arov'

Where is the source that wild animals even from different habitats came to Egypt to attack the locals? Is it a Medrash, if so, where?
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1answer
90 views

Why are crocodiles more deadly than all wild beasts?

Concerning Tzphardea, Rabbi Hirsch 7 27 writes צפרדע can not mean crocodiles, otherwise there would have been no Egyptians left in the land. It is clear that they were only annoying creatures, not ...
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2answers
45 views

Identity of the Serpent [duplicate]

Is there a consensus on whether the serpent in the Garden of Eden was Satan or not? Is it possible that the application of the word serpent is an adjective?
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3answers
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What does it mean that Hashem plays with the Leviatan?

The Talmud in Avodah Zara 3b says that the last quarter of the day Hashem plays with the Leviathan. Is there any explanation of what that means? If so, where? הקב"ה יושב ועוסק בתורה....רביעיות ...
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1answer
73 views

Did the brothers know about the snakes and scorpions in the pit?

Yosef's brothers took him and threw him into a pit (Bereishis 37:24). Chazal tell us that the pit had snakes and scorpions in it (see Rashi there). Reuvein seems to think he is saving Yosef by ...
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2answers
291 views

Abel was a shepherd, wasn't it a crime?

Shepherds kill animals, and make food from their meat. It wasn't allowed in the antediluvian era. Abel was a shepherd, wasn't it a crime? Wasn't it at least problematic?
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What defines a “בהמה” (also “חיה”)?

As discussed in *Dag* (דָג) in kashrus halacha, *Tzomeach* (צוֹמֵחַ) in kashrus halacha, and *Of* (עוֹף) in kashrus halacha, there are different rules used to determine the kashrus status of ...
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30 views

*Tzomeach* (צוֹמֵחַ) in kashrus halacha

To find the kashrus status of an organism, we first need to correctly classify it as tzomeach, animal, bird, or fish, as each group has its own distinct requirements. E.g., animals need to chew cud ...
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1answer
120 views

*Of* (עוֹף) in kashrus halacha

To find the kashrus status of an organism, we first need to correctly classify it as plant, animal, of, or fish, as each group has its own distinct requirements. E.g., animals need to chew cud and ...
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1answer
291 views

*Asher Bamayim* (אשר במים) in kashrus halacha

To find the kashrus status of an organism, we first need to correctly classify it as plant, animal, bird, or asher bamayim*, as each group has its own distinct requirements. E.g., animals need to chew ...
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2answers
113 views

Are mouse-deer kosher?

Mouse-deer do chew cud (they has four stomachs), but have not two, but four hoofed toes. Are they kosher?
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3answers
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Is it acceptable under kashrut to eat tyrannosauridae meat?

Theoretically speaking, if tyrannosaurs were still present these days, or in some way or another brought back, would they be kosher? Let's assume that they are properly slaughtered and prepared.
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Making restitution for a “missing” ox: a question on the Mishna

There are four classes of people who are entrusted with items of value (Bava Metzia 7:8, Shevuot 8:1): one who looks after it as a favour, one who does so for a fee, one who borrows it and one who ...
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1answer
39 views

How can a parah adumah be validated?

This question links to a post from the Temple Institute that mentions that a red heifer was born in Israel in 2002 and that a couple of rabbis had traveled to check the cow and verified that it was ...
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483 views

Why did Yaakov send only animals to Esav?

In Parshas Vayishlach, the Torah details the gift Yaakov sent to Esav, consisting of hundreds of animals of various types. Why did Yaakov only send animals? Why not send other things like gold, ...
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Why all the talk about colored sheep and goats?

In the VaYetze weekly reading (Parasha) there is a long description of the colors of the sheep and goat: Akudim, Nekutim... What is the reason behind all of this descriptions? If the text wanted to ...
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2answers
84 views

What was the significance of the ram by the Akeida?

The Akeida ends off with Yitzchok being spared and Avraham finding a ram as a replacement sacrifice. In general, what exactly was the nature of this symbolic sacrifice? Rashi tells us that with ...
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1answer
36 views

Why does the posuk emphasise that Lavan was Ya’akov’s uncle?

It says in Bereishis 29:10: וַיְהִי כַּאֲשֶׁר רָאָה יַעֲקֹב אֶת-רָחֵל, בַּת-לָבָן אֲחִי אִמּוֹ, וְאֶת-צֹאן לָבָן, אֲחִי אִמּוֹ; וַיִּגַּשׁ יַעֲקֹב, וַיָּגֶל אֶת-הָאֶבֶן מֵעַל פִּי הַבְּאֵר, ...
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1answer
52 views

Praying Mantis (גְמָל שְׁלֹמֹה) and Ladybugs (פָּרַת מֹשֶׁה רַבֵּנוּ), roots in early sources?

Are the hebrew names of the praying mantis (גְמָל שְׁלֹמֹה) and ladybug (פָּרַת מֹשֶׁה רַבֵּנוּ) found in Tanach (or later, in chazal)? If so, what is the justification for these names?
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462 views

Were some Jews transformed to monkeys for violating the sabbath?

Some historical Islamic sources quote that early Jews who violated the Sabbath were transformed into apes : O Jews! Remember that Allah sent His torment on the village that disobeyed Him and broke ...
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1answer
67 views

Sforno on the Nachash

The Sforno on Bereishis 3:1 explains that the Nachash, snake, is not an actual snake but is rather the Satan/Yetzer Harah. With that in mind, what does the Sforno do with the curse Hashem gives the ...
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1answer
29 views

Why did Yaakov only mention sheep dying?

In Bereshis 33:13 it says יג וַיֹּאמֶר אֵלָיו, אֲדֹנִי יֹדֵעַ כִּי-הַיְלָדִים רַכִּים, וְהַצֹּאן וְהַבָּקָר, עָלוֹת עָלָי; וּדְפָקוּם יוֹם אֶחָד, וָמֵתוּ כָּל-הַצֹּאן. Yaakov initially ...
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1answer
67 views

Snake lamps on Shabbos? [closed]

I have a pet snake that has two types of lamps. One lamp is turned on in the mornings (day lamp) and then the other is turned on at night (night lamp). They both are needed to produce light and heat ...
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1answer
67 views

Were there more than just 2 or 7 pairs of animals on Noach's ark?

Noach was told to take a pair (male & female) of all non-clean animals, and 7 pairs of clean animals into the ark. However, Breishit 6:21 says: And take thou unto thee of all food that is ...