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.

learn more… | top users | synonyms (1)

1
vote
2answers
943 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 ...
7
votes
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 ...
1
vote
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
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. ...
2
votes
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 ...
12
votes
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 ...
7
votes
2answers
136 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
357 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 ...
3
votes
0answers
94 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 ...
0
votes
4answers
2k 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 ...
2
votes
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
votes
0answers
64 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
179 views

Playing with a pet on Shabbos

Is there any opinion that holds one may play or touch a pet on Shabbos (even though animals are normally muktzeh on Shabbos.) Specifically one that is meant for this purpose (to play with.) I heard ...
7
votes
1answer
378 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 ...
10
votes
3answers
267 views

Would a genetically engineered red heifer be usable?

Assuming that a non-Jew chose to create a genetically engineered parah adumah (red heifer) and further assuming it met all the halachic requirements --no two black hairs, hadn't been used for work ...
5
votes
3answers
869 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 ...
0
votes
4answers
522 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
1answer
202 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 ...
2
votes
0answers
99 views

Meaning of dreams with some kinds of animals

The gemara in berachot says: "All kinds of beasts are a good sign in a dream, except the elephant, the monkey and the long-tailed ape" (57b). Why is a dream with an elephant, a monkey or a long-tailed ...
1
vote
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 ...
2
votes
2answers
221 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
119 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
292 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 ...
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, ...
2
votes
2answers
141 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) ...
11
votes
4answers
267 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 ...
6
votes
4answers
790 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 ...
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
209 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 ...
5
votes
4answers
260 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.
8
votes
2answers
136 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?
3
votes
0answers
55 views

Why is 1 Elul / 1 Tishrei the New Year for livestock?

The first Mishna in Rosh Hashanah says that 1 Elul is the new year for livestock, i.e. I can only tithe one year's "crop" of livestock at a time, so 1 Elul delineates the herds. (Update: we follow the ...
4
votes
1answer
223 views

What is the אדני השדה

The Mishna in Kelaim 8:5 talks about the אדני השדה . I know of a few perushim who say that this is a type of monkey (Tiferes Yisroel syas that it's an orangutang). If you look in the Yerushalmi on ...
1
vote
0answers
112 views

Doggie “Kisses” on Tisha b'Av when Rechitza (Washing) is Forbidden

Several authorities forbid washing on the Ninth of Av, and many of those same authorities often require one to sit on the floor or a low stool during that evening and morning. However, I own a dog and ...
8
votes
1answer
165 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?
8
votes
1answer
99 views

Animal rights vs other considerations in halacha and hashkafa

On a boat, Reuven owns five ostriches and one of them eats a diamond off of Shimon's hat which is on his head. Though we are not sure which one ate it we know with certainty that one of them did. ...
6
votes
3answers
343 views

Are there meforshim on perek shira?

Are there meforshim on perek shira? I'm looking for anything besides artscroll. If there are many, which would you recommend to start?
4
votes
2answers
102 views

Bird droppings invalidating location for prayer?

One may not pray near feces or other sources of biological waste and decay that give a foul odor (see the article for several opinions on when/how it applies). Does this include bird droppings? ...
5
votes
1answer
212 views

Does anyone have a proof text that animals *don't* have spirits?

I've heard it said that animals don't possess a רוח However, Ecclesiastes 3:21 uses the phrase רוּחַ הַבְּהֵמָה. Is there any text that indicates that animals don't possess a spirit? Edit: Upon ...
15
votes
3answers
610 views

Does an ivory spoon make hot tea non-kosher?

Both the handles of cutlery and spoons entire have been made of elephant ivory, which is from a tusk (a tooth) of an elephant. Elephant is of course not a kosher animal. Presumably, then, these spoons ...
7
votes
1answer
256 views

Chad Gadya: The price of a kid goat

Was the fair market value of a kid goat really two zuzim? This piyyut is of course allegorical, but, if the value given is highly inaccurate, is the discrepancy in value symbolic beyond the symbolism ...
8
votes
1answer
167 views

mating prevention as Tza'ar Ba'alei Chayim

Does anyone know whether keeping an animal of one sex as a pet is considered Tza'ar Ba'alei Chayim or not, since it cannot mate?
1
vote
1answer
101 views

Where do chazal refer to rus and naomi as birds?

Where is the chazal that refers to Rus and Naomi (na'ama?) as shnei preidos tovos - two good birds?
11
votes
2answers
750 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
184 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
178 views

What can I feed my elderly cat during Pesach?

I have a 19-year-old cat who is (now) on a low-protein diet, precluding the canonical week of tuna. Is there someplace I can buy chametz-free, low-protein food? Are there any consequences (for me) ...