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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6
votes
3answers
349 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
105 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
217 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
634 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
262 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
170 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
809 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
189 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) ...
10
votes
3answers
174 views

Hamster Food and Chometz

I have hamsters at home, and their usual food is chometz. I can feed them with cornflakes and other kitniyot for a short period (about a week, maybe more), but not for a long time. Hamsters store food ...
3
votes
1answer
85 views

כחל of a Ḥayah Tehorah - same din as כחל of a Behemah Tehorah?

I'm trying to tighten up my answer on Haman and prepare for my Purim Derashah. Does anyone know if כחל of a Ḥayah Tehorah has the same Din as a Behemah Tehorah? FYI, I want to change the words ...
11
votes
3answers
494 views

Is Okapi meat Kosher?

Is the Okapi a kosher animal? According to its Wikipedia page, it is most closely related to the giraffe, which everyone seems to agree is kosher. A quick Google search tells me that it chews its cud. ...
11
votes
2answers
375 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
180 views

Beef from cows?

Rabbi Sholem Fishbane, Kashruth Administrator at the Chicago Rabbinical Council, says: You would think, with so many cow sh'chitas in America, with so many, you know, steaks, what we have, that ...
4
votes
1answer
201 views

Shabbos Shira - putting out bread for the birds

Is there a problem with putting out bread for birds on Shabbos (in a case where there is no carrying issues)?
8
votes
1answer
189 views

First-born animals today

From what I understand, the laws of "bechor behemah tehorah" (kosher first-born animal) are still in effect today, both in Israel and outside. To avoid problems with this, we sell a share of the ...
2
votes
2answers
162 views

Dolphins in the Sea

I have heard that there is a Midrash which says that Dolphins swam on either side of the dry land when the sea was split for Moshe to warn the fish not to swim out onto dry land. Why are there ...
6
votes
1answer
57 views

Was it only the tamid whose head was near the altar, and face toward the hechal?

The korban tamid was slaughtered north of the altar (mizbeach). Its body was oriented lengthwise so that its head was toward the altar, and rotated so that its face was directed toward the hechal. A ...
6
votes
2answers
198 views

Can I defend my animals with lethal force?

We know that it is permitted, in self-defense, to kill one who is trying to kill you, and I have heard that this applies to other people too (I see someone trying to kill someone else and I ...
10
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
22
votes
2answers
447 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
6answers
282 views

Does the colouring of animals depend on what the mother sees before conception?

What is the meaning of the hishtadlus that Yaakov made with the conception of the animals starting at 30 (37)? Is it or was it a natural thing that the colouring of animals depends on what their ...
3
votes
1answer
94 views

Michvar goats' sneezing from Jerusalem incense?

Tamid chapter 3 says (in my own free translation): One could smell from Y'richo the scent of the blend[1] of the k'tores. Rabbi Eliezer b. Diglay said, "Father's house had goats on Mt. Michvar ...
3
votes
2answers
528 views

Are there burial requirements for pets?

Halacha requires certain burial practices for people, because people are special. Are there any requirements or, especially, prohibitions regarding pets who have died? Is it acceptable to cremate ...
5
votes
3answers
68 views

Noach: why the people's food mentioned first

בראשית ו כא:‎ ואתה קח לך מכל מאכל וכו' והיה לך ולהם לאכלה Why is Noach and his family's food mentioned before the animals' food? The halacha is animals eat before humans.
9
votes
3answers
320 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
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 ...
8
votes
1answer
121 views

Animals vs. plants: kashrus

Why did God make all plants, but only some animals, kosher? Sources, please.
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 ...
7
votes
2answers
702 views

Ten plagues of Egypt: hail and pestilence

According to Moses, the fifth plague of Egypt killed all livestock except that of Israel. If all were killed, then why did Moses warn the Pharaoh to bring his cattle to shelter before the hail? The ...
5
votes
1answer
195 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 ...
16
votes
4answers
652 views

Are Animal Crackers depicting non-kosher animals non-kosher?

Are animal crackers that depict animals such as swine, lions, and camels treif?
6
votes
3answers
2k views

Why do/did Jews sacrifice animals?

What's the purpose of sacrificing animals in Jewish tradition/law?
8
votes
4answers
653 views

Werewolf in the Torah

I have been told that there are Pirushim on the Torah who speak of werewolves. Can anyone locate them?
3
votes
1answer
186 views

Remove mouse trap on shabbos

Are you allowed to remove a mouse trap with a mouse on it on shabbos?
6
votes
3answers
248 views

What is better - checking yourself - or buying pre checked?

Nowadays you can purchase pre checked fresh lettuce, and frozen checked veggies. What is more preferable - to check yourself or to purchase pre checked?
5
votes
1answer
81 views

When a sacrifice calls for “two turtledoves or two common doves”, can it be one of each?

There are places in the Torah that call for an offering of "two turtledoves, or two common doves" (as translated by Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan), e.g. Leviticus 12:8. Could s/he bring one of each kind, ...
4
votes
1answer
174 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?
7
votes
3answers
288 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
714 views

Is there an issue with ladies going to the zoo when they are pregnant?

Is there an issue with ladies going to the zoo when they are pregnant? If yes then why is it a problem?
9
votes
1answer
329 views

Veal and Kashrus

Is there any kashrus issue with veal? What about with white veal?
4
votes
11answers
274 views

Pinchas Ben Yair's Donkey

וַיָּבֹא הָאִישׁ הַבַּיְתָה וַיְפַתַּח הַגְּמַלִּים וַיִּתֵּן תֶּבֶן וּמִסְפּוֹא לַגְּמַלִּים וּמַיִם לִרְחֹץ רַגְלָיו וְרַגְלֵי הָאֲנָשִׁים אֲשֶׁר אִתּוֹ. Breishis 24:32 Rashi on this Posuk ...
16
votes
7answers
596 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
502 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?
16
votes
6answers
415 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?
18
votes
5answers
945 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 ...
12
votes
6answers
1k views

If a pig was genetically modified to chew its cud, would it be kosher?

If they were to genetically modify a pig to chew its cud, would it be kosher?
6
votes
5answers
581 views

Eating Giraffe Meat

Why is it common practice not to eat Giraffe Meat?
8
votes
2answers
472 views

Why do you make a Bracha on seeing a monkey?

Why do you make the Bracha Mishaneh Habriyos on seeing a monkey?