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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2answers
394 views

Why do we burn chametz instead of other ways of destroying it?

Before Pesach we burn whatever chametz we have not sold or otherwise removed from our ownership. Why specifically do we burn it instead of finding another way to dispose of it? Perhaps a lest wasteful ...
7
votes
4answers
176 views

The difference between שור and פר

In Mishpatim (and perhaps elsewhere), the Tora refers to an animal incurring or causing damage, and calls it a shor, שור, commonly translated ox. In Pin'chas (and Achare and perhaps elsewhere), the ...
4
votes
1answer
324 views

Why was King Shaul commanded to kill all the animals of Amalek?

In the Haftorah for parshas Zochor we read that Hashem commanded King Shaul not only to destroy all the Amalekites, but also all their animals. Why was there a need to destroy also the animals?
6
votes
1answer
151 views

Answering Amen to kaddish for a dog

I once attended a synagogue regularly where a particular congregant was infatuated with his dog. Upon the passing of the dog the congregant began to say kaddish. He was unclear of his reasons for ...
6
votes
1answer
52 views

Does tzar baalei chayim include mental anguish?

Does the prohibition on causing tzar baalei chayim (paining animals) preclude acts which only cause an animal mental anguish, such as scaring them, or it is limited to physical pain?
8
votes
1answer
156 views

Animals Created By Sefer Yetzirah

The Malbim explains that someone created a calf using Sefer Yetzirah, and it could then be eaten with milk. What is it about the animals created from Sefer Yetzirah which make it permissible to eat ...
3
votes
1answer
52 views

Why did the bull demand Eliyahu hand it over?

In the Yalkut Shim'oni on Ⅰ M'lachim 18 (remez 214), we see a bit more of the story found in that chapter of Navi: Eliyahu's bull continued following him. But the bull that was designated for ...
6
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5answers
585 views

Eating Giraffe Meat

Why is it common practice not to eat Giraffe Meat?
7
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1answer
321 views

What are some understandings as to how animals populated different continents after the flood?

What are some understandings as to how animals populated different continents after the flood? Did some species of animals survive the flood? Or are we to understand that the flood only affected the ...
8
votes
1answer
123 views

Status of an elderly pet on Shabbos/Yom Tov

My dog passed away just short of her 19th birthday, which is very geriatric in dog terms. I believe she would have been the equivalent age of a human in their 100s. She was blind, deaf and arthritic, ...
2
votes
1answer
101 views

sefer Yetzirah ox goring,or Golem damages

If an ox made from sefer Yetzirah gored a regular ox, or vice versa, or if a golem hit someone is there any Torah obligation to pay for damages that was inflicted? I used the classic example of ...
2
votes
2answers
102 views

Is shooting rattlesnakes on a cattle range considered hunting?

Part of taking proper care of the cattle on a range is eliminating all dangerous vermin or predators both for the safety of self and cattle. Rattlesnakes are the worst example, and most rangeland ...
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vote
2answers
1k views

In Genesis 22:8-14, is there a difference between a ram and a lamb?

Having taken a translation from this website, which I am told to have Orthodox Jewish credentials, I am referring to Genesis 22:8-14 'God will see to a lamb for an offering, my son,' replied ...
3
votes
3answers
881 views

Why did the Israelites build a golden calf in the desert?

Why did the Israelites build a golden calf in the desert? The question is, why a calf? Why not a golden cat, a golden eagle, a golden lion, golden parachutes or a gold bar? Of all the images they ...
2
votes
1answer
107 views

What was Moses' staff made of?

What was Moses' staff made of? Copper? What's relationship between Moses' staff being turned into a snake in Parsha Sh'mot and the incident in Parsha Chuckat if there is any?
7
votes
2answers
124 views

What is it with the donkeys all over Parashat Mikeitz?

So, we got Bereshit 42, psukim 26, 27 כו וַיִּשְׂאוּ אֶת-שִׁבְרָם, עַל-חֲמֹרֵיהֶם; וַיֵּלְכוּ, מִשָּׁם. כז וַיִּפְתַּח הָאֶחָד אֶת-שַׂקּוֹ, לָתֵת מִסְפּוֹא לַחֲמֹרוֹ--בַּמָּלוֹן; וַיַּרְא, ...
7
votes
1answer
141 views

Spaying of female dogs

Is it acceptable to spay a pet female dog, or is there a prohibition against neutering a female dog like that of a male dog?
6
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0answers
95 views

Does halakha count primates as “almost human”?

I have read that the although the halakha requires koah gever (human strength/exertion) for pouring water over hands for n'ttilath yadhayim but it says explicitly in the Mishna that a qof (monkey) may ...
5
votes
1answer
134 views

Aristotle eating Aiver Min HaChai

I heard there is a Rambam that mentions that Aristotle ate Aiver Min HaChai. I am looking for both the source in the Rambam and any earlier sources that could have been the basis for this.
3
votes
1answer
221 views

Is it permissible to be mechalel Shabbos to save the life of an animal or pet?

Is it permissible to be mechalel Shabbos to save the life of an animal, such as a family pet? Could minchag, chumras, and/or purely Rabbinical prohibitions be relaxed in such a situation, and to what ...
5
votes
1answer
94 views

Can you experiment on animals?

May a person perform or otherwise participate in experiments on live animals which will cause the animals pain? I would assume this is forbidden under tzaar baalei chayim. But perhaps there is a heter ...
8
votes
1answer
168 views

Can I free a trapped wild animal on shabbat?

If I find an animal trapped under a box on shabbat, is there anything wrong with letting it out?
0
votes
1answer
103 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
votes
0answers
74 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
votes
1answer
58 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
votes
3answers
292 views

What's the difference between כשב and כבש?

What's the difference between כשב and כבש? Why does the Torah use both?
8
votes
2answers
153 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
votes
3answers
329 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
votes
0answers
254 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
votes
0answers
92 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 ...
18
votes
5answers
993 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 ...
14
votes
1answer
184 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
votes
4answers
356 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
279 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 ...
22
votes
2answers
455 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
votes
1answer
188 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
1k 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
votes
3answers
152 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
45 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.
5
votes
3answers
420 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
vote
1answer
93 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
votes
2answers
194 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
201 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
32 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. ...
2
votes
0answers
48 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
votes
2answers
148 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 ...
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votes
4answers
655 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
votes
0answers
101 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 ...
33
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
votes
0answers
122 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?