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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Noah and Clean Animals

Why did God command Noah to take seven each of the "clean" animals on the ark? Is this evidence that the sacrificial system was in play? Why did God make a distinction between clean and unclean to ...
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49 views

was only the serpent able to speak?

In Genesis we find the serpent is described as the most cunning of all animals. He is not desccribed as the only one who can speak. does this mean other primordial animals could also speak?
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Are animals commanded (Bereishit 1:22)?

In two places in parshat Bereishit Gd commands "be fruitful and multiply". The second place is the familiar commandment directed to humans (Gen 1:28). In the first place, the same words are used but ...
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Is one allowed to eat a fertilized chicken egg at any time of the chick's development?

Genesis 9:4: אַךְ־בָּשָׂ֕ר בְּנַפְשׁ֥וֹ דָמ֖וֹ לֹ֥א תֹאכֵֽלוּ׃ Sefaria.com translation: Only flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat. Rash"i commentary ...
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Was man created before or after the animals?

According to Genesis chapter 1, it seems that the animals were created first. According to Genesis chapter 2, it seems that man was created first. What are the different understandings that have been ...
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305 views

Can a service dog enter a Temple during service?

At Rosh Hashanah service today, a congregant brought his service dog with him. He's not blind, the service dog vest said it was for hearing. Is the temple being kind, or are they required to permit ...
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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 ...
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110 views

Do the actions of animals have moral value?

I vaguely remember reading in the Torah some laws regarding the proper restitution when one person's livestock injures or kills someone else's livestock, but as far as I can recall, it was more ...
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185 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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37 views

Why isn't restitution for a goat mentioned in Shemot 21:37?

My Artscroll English Tanach, Shemot 21:37 goes like this: "If a man shall steal an ox, or a sheep or goat, and slaughter it or sell it, he shall pay five cattle in place of the ox, and four sheep in ...
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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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77 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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308 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 ...
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4answers
262 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 ...
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1answer
47 views

Where did the king's horses come from?

It's written in this Torah portion that a king isn't allowed to acquire any horses for himself, because it will cause people to go to Egypt and buy them, and it is forbidden to return to Egypt. ...
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48 views

Agricultural events and the Jewish calendar

There are many dates in the Jewish calendar that are connected to agricultural events. They include: Shavuot is Chag Ha'Katzir, the Holiday of the Harvest - Shemot 23:16 Sukkot is Chag Ha'Assif, the ...
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88 views

Why did God tell people not to muzzle cows?

Thou shalt not muzzle the ox when he treadeth out the corn. - Deuteronomy 25:4 Why did God tell people not to muzzle cows? The Christians claim that the Jewish laws were there to protect renters ...
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Why does the Torah list animals before converts?

אַתָּה וּבִנְךָ וּבִתֶּךָ עַבְדְּךָ וַאֲמָתְךָ וּבְהֶמְתֶּךָ וְגֵרְךָ אֲשֶׁר בִּשְׁעָרֶיךָ Why would the Torah List animal before the Geirim?
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Where can the Phoenix be found in Jewish Sources?

What are the earliest sources that refer to the mythological Phoenix in Judaism? No need for the name to "phoenix" or "עוף החול" (the modern Hebrew name), but I'm looking for an immortal bird which ...
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158 views

Impure baseball cap?

I am Chozar Teshuva so if this is a ridiculous question then please bear with me. Long story short, my cat soiled a ballcap that I own (soil as in, with urine). I put it through the dishwasher, got ...
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Did Moshe give 1/50 of the donkeys, sheep and cattle to the Levi'im?

Numbers 31:30 says: (Sefaria.org translation), describing G-d's command to Moshe: וּמִמַּחֲצִ֨ת בְּנֵֽי־יִשְׂרָאֵ֜ל תִּקַּ֣ח ׀ אֶחָ֣ד ׀ אָחֻ֣ז מִן־הַחֲמִשִּׁ֗ים מִן־הָאָדָ֧ם מִן־הַבָּקָ֛ר מִן־...
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Why were birds considered to be flieishig (meat) but not fish?

I am basing this on what I had heard in yeshiva a while ago, so I don't know the exact source of the reasoning. My understanding is that according to the Torah, birds (poultry) were considered parve ...
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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
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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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If shepherds are taboo to Egyptians, what do we make of them having sheep themselves?

Yosef tells his family to say they're shepherds because that's taboo to Egypt: you must say, 'We and our fathers have dealt in livestock all our lives'. You will then be able to settle in the ...
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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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Horse back riding for women

Is it permissible for an Orthodox woman to do horseback riding in an ordinary saddle, or does she have to use a sidesaddle? Furthermore, would she be able to use women's trousers made for horseback ...
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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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213 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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Why God refers to Deer and Gazelle on Eating without sacrificing?

In this question Can jews eat unclean animals when blood is removed? God mentions that jews can eat gazelle and deers without sacrificing them first. That's because all sacrifice must be in the ...
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571 views

Where in the Torah does it says we cannot eat live anmals? [closed]

I remember something along not eating meat with blood still in it. Does it really mean that we cannot eat an animal when it's still alive or that blood is literally not okay? Some too related follow ...
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Where were Yaakov's own animals when his wives' were divided into two camps?

At the beginning of Vayishlach, Yaakov divides his possessions into two camps. Chizkuni, seemingly bothered by Rashi's question about the gender of "המחנה האחת", explains that it means (not "the one&...
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7+7 clean animals(Noach 7:2)

Why is the clean animals mentioned only once and the rest of animals(a pair) is mentioned numerous times with the omission of the clean .
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326 views

Is a Jewish farmer allowed to raise animals for non-kosher slaughter?

Is a Jewish farmer allowed to raise animals for non-kosher slaughter? Does it make a difference whether it is a non-kosher animal (e.g. pig), vs. a kosher animal? Does it make a difference whether the ...
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4answers
130 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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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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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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Is kopi luwac (civet excreted coffee beans) kosher?

Kopi luwak , or civet coffee, refers to the seeds of coffee berries once they have been eaten and egested by the Asian palm civet http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kopi_Luwak Is it kosher because they ...
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113 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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Why do Fish not need Shechita?

In order to eat "regular" Kosher animals, there is a requirement for the animal to undergo Shechita (ritual slaughter). If an animal were to be killed / die without Shechita it is forbidden to be ...
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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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156 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 ...
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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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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 ...