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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Pets in Judaism

So I was wondering what Judaism has had to say about pets in the past. Is it ideal to have them? Is there any spiritual negativity in keeping dogs or such? Dogs are generally not representing good ...
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0answers
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Is it permitted to share a plate or bowl with a pet (such as a cat or dog)?

Is it permitted to use the same plates and bowls to feed a pet cat or dog which are also used for eating? Assuming the pet is fed kosher (for humans) food is this permitted? Are there any issues ...
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1answer
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+100

Why say the rams are reddened?

Among the materials used for the mishkan were "reddened rams' hides" (T'ruma 25:5). There are two ways one can read that phrase: it can mean "reddened hides of rams", that the hides were reddened, or ...
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2answers
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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) ...
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5answers
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Are sea sponges kosher?

The sea sponge is scientifically classified as an animal, therefore maybe it would be considered unkosher, as seafood. On the other hand, it seems much more similar to a vegetable of some kind, so ...
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2answers
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What was the significance of the ram by the Akeida?

The Akeida ends off with Yitzchok being spared and Avraham finding a ram as a replacement sacrifice. In general, what exactly was the nature of this symbolic sacrifice? Rashi tells us that with ...
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6answers
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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 ...
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0answers
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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 ...
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9answers
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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 ...
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3answers
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What is better: checking vegetables yourself, or buying them 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?
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2answers
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What is the mur incense

How can I find the mur incense? From Harav 297.3 ... ומכל מקום טוב להניח חתיכת מור בתוך מיני ריחות שמברכים עליהם בורא מיני בשמים כדי שיברך ברכת בורא מיני בשמים כהלכתה: I see that there is a ...
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1answer
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Why did Yaakov only mention sheep dying?

In Bereshis 33:13 it says יג וַיֹּאמֶר אֵלָיו, אֲדֹנִי יֹדֵעַ כִּי-הַיְלָדִים רַכִּים, וְהַצֹּאן וְהַבָּקָר, עָלוֹת עָלָי; וּדְפָקוּם יוֹם אֶחָד, וָמֵתוּ כָּל-הַצֹּאן. Yaakov initially ...
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4answers
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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 ...
3
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2answers
81 views

Dogs in Judaism

I've heard that dogs are somewhat special in Judaism. For example, I heard that the word "כלב" (dog) comes from "לב" (heart), and it means something like "loved one". I also once heard that G-d gave ...
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1answer
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Noah - Feeding the Animals

Chazal tell us that Noah worked hard to keep all of the animals in the ark well fed. Most (or at least many) animals are carnivores or insectivores. Does that mean Noah in fact brought in animals to ...
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3answers
575 views

Why are there no fish korbanot?

Land animals, birds, wheat and fruit offerings all feature on the list of offerings that Bnei Israel bring for Hashem. Is there anyone that discusses why there are no fish korbanot?
2
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1answer
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Questions about the story of Noah

There's a doubt I have about the story of Noah that I can't explain. If Noah's ark landed about 4000 years ago in what is now Turkey, how could some land animals get to places such as Australia or ...
5
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1answer
209 views

Why two lambs to make a meal for Isaac?

In parshat Toldot Rivka asks Yaakov to get 2 kids for her to cook for Isaac. What can we learn from using two kids? Was it in the time of year when kids are first born and they were tiny? Was a ...
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2answers
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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 ...
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1answer
108 views

How many giraffes were on the ark

How many giraffes were on the ark? Basically, some hold that the giraffe is kosher, so there should be 14 (or 7, depending on the explanation of the verses) giraffes. On the other hand, most of the ...
3
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1answer
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Were there more than just 2 or 7 pairs of animals on Noach's ark?

Noach was told to take a pair (male & female) of all non-clean animals, and 7 pairs of clean animals into the ark. However, Breishit 6:21 says: And take thou unto thee of all food that is ...
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1answer
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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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1answer
44 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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1answer
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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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1answer
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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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5answers
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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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7answers
1k views

How do we reconcile the order of creating animals betweeen Genesis and science?

http://skeptics.stackexchange.com/questions/6932/does-the-torah-encoded-age-of-the-universe-match-science#comment53788_6932 The Genesis 1 creation account conflicts with the order of events that ...
6
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1answer
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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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3answers
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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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3answers
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Kashruth Issues with Dog Food?

If someone is keeping a vegetarian/milk household, and then they acquire a dog that eats meat based dog food products, what potential Kashruth issues might arise? Would there be difference in Kashruth ...
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3answers
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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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2answers
153 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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1answer
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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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0answers
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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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2answers
67 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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2answers
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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
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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
45 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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1answer
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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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1answer
84 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 ...
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2answers
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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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1answer
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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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1answer
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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 ...
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0answers
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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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3answers
2k 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 ...
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2answers
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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
152 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.
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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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1answer
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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 ...