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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0
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1answer
92 views

Considering feelings of animals

Assuming that animals feel physical and emotional pain in some way that is comparable to human feeling, why does Judaism discount their needs? I am interested to hear rabbinic discussions about this. ...
2
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0answers
70 views

Training an animal to do malacha

Is one allowed to train an animal to do malacha on shabbas (e.g. turn on a light)? Is it comparable to amira l'nochri (telling a non-Jew to do so), or do we say its mutar altogether?
3
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1answer
54 views

Is there a special status for the offspring of an animal that was dedicated for a Karban?

For example, if someone in the time of the temple dedicated a cow for a Karban, and before they could bring it to be sacrificed it became pregnant (or impregnated another cow), would its calf have any ...
7
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3answers
278 views

What's the difference between כשב and כבש?

What's the difference between כשב and כבש? Why does the Torah use both?
8
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2answers
135 views

Why did the animals of Ninveh have to fast and wear sackcloth?

In Yona 3:7-8 we find that the people of Ninveh included the animals in their teshuva process. Why make the animals fast and don sackcloth? How was this part of the teshuva process?
9
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3answers
312 views

Did all animals come into the Teiva?

Were there any type of animals that were destroyed completely by the Mabul? (For example - Is there any source that there were dinosaurs or any other type of wildlife and they were destroyed by the ...
5
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0answers
214 views

Where did the “a cat will always be a cat” story about the Rambam come from?

I've seen and heard a story about the Rambam told multiple times along the lines of this particularly concise retelling: There is a beautiful story of a disagreement that Maimonides had with a ...
3
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0answers
84 views

Could Yonah's “whale” have been a whale?

Just prior to the start of Yom Kippur this year, a young child corrected me when I mentioned Yonah's whale and said that, "it wasn't a whale; it was a Dag Gadol." I had to admit, this was good ...
2
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1answer
89 views

Shofar from an extinct animal

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 ...
17
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5answers
814 views

What is it about pigs that's so despised vs. other non-kosher animals?

We all hear about pigs being so much more reviled than other forms of non-kosher. This is true in general culture; I believe such a minhag was recorded with regards to using soap rendered from ...
13
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1answer
176 views

Why was the parah aduma found in 2002 disqualified?

In 2002, various news sources reported that a red heifer was found and the Temple Institute in Israel declared it kosher. Many of these sources later reported that the parah aduma was disqualified ...
4
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4answers
303 views

What is the problem with dogs?

Deuteronomy 23:19: לֹא תָבִיא אֶתְנַן זוֹנָה וּמְחִיר כֶּלֶב בֵּית יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ לְכָל נֶדֶר כִּי תוֹעֲבַת יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ גַּם שְׁנֵיהֶם Why does the Torah have a problem with using the ...
8
votes
1answer
244 views

Gift of a Teddy Bear to New Born Baby

Can I give a new born jewish baby a furry Teddy Bear? I was told that a handmade teddy bear especially made as a gift and given to a new born baby of a religious family was returned? A doll would be ...
21
votes
2answers
419 views

If I injure a bug, should I kill it?

I'm sure this has happened to lots of people: you somehow injure a bug (or some other animal). I have always heard that this is a case of Tzaar Baalei Chaim, and that you should kill the bug to ...
10
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1answer
161 views

Are plants that exhibit rapid plant movement considered non-Kosher animals?

There is a question here asking if sea sponges are Kosher. The answers seem to center around the idea that regardless of if they have animal cells, a halachic classification might depend on how it ...
2
votes
2answers
843 views

Can Jews raise pets (cats, dogs, swine)?

The Muslims do not have swine but they do have cats and dogs. Something to do with not touching haram animals. I know that Jews also consider pigs unclean, as well as cats and dogs. Is this ...
7
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3answers
147 views

Animals sixth sense

It seems that there is evidence that animals possess a sixth sense, such as in their fleeing from the area struck by the huge tsunami of 2005 well before the earthquake which triggered it occurred. Is ...
2
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0answers
39 views

what is the רציפי of perek shira?

I am curious as to the identity of the רציפי an animal identified in perek shira. From what I understand the translation of bat is erroneous and I'm wondering what the correct translation is.
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3answers
343 views

what did the Jews' animals in the desert eat

The talmud in Bechoros 5b says "When the Jewish people left Egypt, there wasn’t a single Jew who didn’t have [at least] ninety donkies laden with silver and gold from Egypt" I assume there was not ...
1
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1answer
90 views

Why does the RaMBa"M allow one to derive benefit from cooked mixtures of milk and meat of improperly slaughtered animals?

As noted in this other question and its comments and answers, the RaMBa"M allows one to derive benefit from the cooked mixture of milk and meat of an animal of a Kosher species that was not ...
3
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2answers
183 views

Is it prohibited to derive benefit from a mixture of milk and meat if the animal was improperly slaughtered?

Is it prohibited to derive benefit from a mixture of milk and meat if the animal was improperly slaughtered? Assume the animal slaughtered, like the milk-giving animal, is kosher, but the slaughter ...
5
votes
1answer
190 views

Milk and Meat of Non-Kosher Animal Species

Is cooking milk with the meat of non-kosher animal species the same problem as cooking milk with the meat of kosher animal species? In other words: can a Jew cook milk with a non-kosher animal ...
3
votes
1answer
31 views

Is there a concept of giving a fatter sacrifice?

Is there a concept of giving a fatter sacrifice as opposed to a smaller one? I believe the Torah says there are different levels of sacrifices depending on your wealth (e.g. a cow vs. a bird vs. ...
12
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2answers
1k views

What is the significance of bears in Judaism? Why has Dov (or Dov Ber) been such a common Jewish name?

I understand, to some extent at least, why lions are an important symbol in Judaism. After all, in the beginning of the Shulchan Aruch we are told we should rise like a lion to serve our Creator, and ...
2
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0answers
44 views

Berachah at the zoo?

Should one say the Berachah of משנה הבריות when one goes to the zoo* and sees many animals one would never see outside the zoo? What if one actually sees animals that he has never seen before? Should ...
7
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2answers
133 views

Elisha, the children, and the bears: what is really going on here?

After Eliyahu goes up to heaven, Elisha solves a water problem in Jericho and then heads to Bethel. On the way, some young children accost him, he curses them in the name of God, and two she-bears ...
0
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4answers
517 views

Why were cows so Important and preferred as sacrifice over other animals in Bani Israel?

I read a lot about cows used in sacrifice , what is the reason that cows were sacrificed and what was the importance of cows for Bani Israel
3
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0answers
91 views

Is it considered tzaar baalei chayyim to deliberately feed a live animal to another animal?

There are many pets available today that experts recommended to feed (infrequently or at times solely) on live animals. Many reptiles (snakes, chameleons, geckos, monitors, etc.) and many fish are ...
31
votes
6answers
3k views

Does the Torah discuss aliens?

Does the Torah discuss extra-terrestrial life and/or civilizations? Do any Torah sources exist which discuss what these hypothetical beings would be like and their status/nature? (eg. Would they be ...
2
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0answers
119 views

Is a Jew able to go hunting?

What is the Halacha in regard to whether or not a person can go hunting? What have Poskim said on this issue?
3
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0answers
61 views

Were semi-marine animals on Noah's Ark?

Otters, alligators, salamanders, frogs, penguins, seals, polar bears, sea lions, platypuses, beavers, sea snakes, sea turtles, etc. These animals to varying degrees need to be able to be both on land ...
1
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2answers
136 views

Laws of “Shehiyah” relating to a “Chayah”

In the Shulchan Arukh (Yoreh Deah Siman 23) we find the laws of "shehiyah", which relates to the laws of shechita. This is basically a prohibition stating that one may not pause in the middle of the ...
11
votes
2answers
367 views

Why do we think of the korban pesach as a sheep, not as a goat?

Ask many a grade-schooler (and many an adult, for that matter) what animal the korban pesach is, and he'll tell you "a sheep".[1] In fact, it can be a sheep or a goat. (It's explicit in chumash ...
7
votes
1answer
373 views

Viewing copulating animals

As a child at the zoo I was taught that one is not allowed to view animals while they are copulating. However as a pet owner I have learned that the exposed genitals of animals do not prohibit a ...
5
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3answers
845 views

How much is 2 Zuz worth in current USD?

As mentioned in the Passover Hagaddah, how much is "2 Zuz" worth in March 2013 US Dollars? Please note there may be different types of Zuz: "זוזי פשיטי" and "זוזי ממש" (Gemara Ketuvot 67a). This may ...
2
votes
1answer
121 views

Animal testing of cosmetics and other products

To what extent does tzaar baalei chayyim--the prohibition on causing needless pain to animals--apply to animal testing of products such as cosmetics? What are the potential halachic problems for both ...
2
votes
1answer
85 views

Purchasing products that were not manufactured in a Torahdik manner?

Are there any restrictions on purchasing or using non-food products that were manufactured in violation of the Law? If so, on what grounds? For example: A non-Jew manufactures a product, and, in ...
16
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6answers
406 views

G'dolim or Rabbis Owning Pets

Are there any g'dolim (or rabbis of major influence) - past or present - who are known to have owned pets/kept animals for non-agricultural purposes?
2
votes
2answers
214 views

Can one make a mi'shebeirach for animals?

Is it proper to conduct a mi'shebeirach prayer (which is a prayer normally said by a synagogue official, at a communal Torah reading, for the health and recovery of a sick person) for the ...
2
votes
1answer
104 views

Aggadah Of Great Bird Destroying Towns

I once heard about Jewish aggada telling about big bird throwing huge eggs made of steel which were destroying towns. Does anyone knows if there such aggada exists and what the source for it is?
4
votes
2answers
117 views

Shechting non-Kosher animals

The question was asked: If someone for example is sick and must eat from a non-kosher animal. Must it be shechted (slaughtered) first like a kosher animal? I don't see any reason why it should, since ...
5
votes
4answers
251 views

Check cashmere for Shatnez?

Is one required to check cashmere clothing for shatnez? Cashmere is a kind of wool that does not come from sheep.
11
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4answers
263 views

Kashrus status of turkeys

From what I have heard there were those that did not eat turkey (such as Rabbi Yaakov Kamenetzky Zatzal) due to a question whether we have a Mesorah as to the Kashrus of this bird. I know that many ...
2
votes
2answers
139 views

Inconsistency in listing creeping things in Noach's Ark's population

The animal population of Noach's Ark is commanded/listed six times in Parashat Noach: Genesis 6:19-20 (Initial command) Genesis 7:2-3 (Reiteration of command) Genesis 7:8-9 (Entry to the Ark) ...
2
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3answers
472 views

How many Kosher animals were in Noach's Ark?

How many animals total of each Kosher species were in the teivah during the flood?
5
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2answers
1k views

Why is the word “tzvi” ambiguous?

The word tsvi (צבי) is traditionally considered to mean "deer". For example, the Hebrew name "Tsvi" has the Yiddish equivalent "Hersh", and "Hirsch" means "deer" in German. On the other hand, in ...
16
votes
7answers
568 views

Eating Meat: What Changed?

Adam wasn't allowed to eat meat. After the mabul (Flood) we were suddenly permitted to eat (Bereshit 9:3). What changed (ie what was the reason we weren't allowed to before, why are we allowed to now ...
6
votes
2answers
153 views

“Tzon k'doshim!” ―“Baa!”: source/provenance

In some synagogues, on Simchas Tora, someone will shout "Tzon k'doshim!", meaning "holy sheep/goats", or "Tzon kadashim!", meaning "sheep/goats of sacrificial-offering sanctity". He's replied to with ...
4
votes
1answer
204 views

Playing with non-kosher animals

I have often heard it said that there is a tradition amongst kabbalists not to own, play with or possibly even look at animals that are not kosher. Assuming that this is correct, my question is ...
6
votes
2answers
140 views

How/why does kaparot work?

The ritual of kaparot [lit. atonement], which is usually done just prior to Yom Kippur (usually the day before), where one waves a chicken or an [unspecified] amount of money over one's head in a ...