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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5
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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 ...
2
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2answers
72 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?
16
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2answers
300 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 ...
6
votes
4answers
261 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 ...
1
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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. ...
1
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1answer
47 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
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 ...
5
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2answers
228 views

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?
0
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1answer
66 views

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 ...
3
votes
1answer
157 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
29 views

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 ...
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0answers
74 views

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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2answers
95 views

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
157 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.
11
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3answers
3k views

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 ...
1
vote
1answer
66 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 ...
7
votes
4answers
1k views

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 ...
3
votes
3answers
120 views

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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4answers
115 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
78 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
152 views

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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1answer
1k 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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2answers
107 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?
3
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0answers
49 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
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 ...
-5
votes
1answer
165 views

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 ...
-5
votes
1answer
552 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
76 views

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 ...
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0answers
89 views

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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1answer
317 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 ...
3
votes
4answers
129 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
57 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 ...
0
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2answers
142 views

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 ...
8
votes
1answer
720 views

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 ...
0
votes
1answer
109 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 ...
11
votes
2answers
1k views

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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0answers
38 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.
3
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0answers
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 ...
5
votes
1answer
108 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
155 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 ...
2
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0answers
57 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
390 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?
2
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0answers
50 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
125 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 ...
0
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4answers
4k views

What actually happened to Jacob's and Laban's sheeps and goats?

Genesis 30 (JPS): 34 And Laban said: 'Behold, would it might be according to thy word.' 35 And he removed that day the he-goats that were streaked and spotted, and all the she-goats that were ...
4
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1answer
39 views

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 ...
23
votes
5answers
2k 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
493 views

Veal and Kashrus

Is there any kashrus issue with veal? What about with white veal?
2
votes
1answer
45 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
140 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 ...