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14

Ari Zivotofsky and I have worked hard to collect tens of testimonies from Yemenites and North Africans on the ID and traditions of which chagav (locust-like insect) is kosher. There is no question, as there are still many people alive who can remember them from their countries of origin. Birds as the paradigm As mentioned in Isaac Moses' response above, ...


10

The Mishneh Torah rules: The prohibition applies to a limb or flesh that is separated from either a domesticated animal or a beast. However, it appears to me that a gentile is not executed for eating a limb taken from a living bird. ( Melachim uMilchamot 9:11) Though the Rava'ad (see Moznaim ibid) disagrees, he exempts a sheretz (creeping creature), ...


10

If one has a flea on his skin and is biting him, he may remove it, but should not kill it. There is no violation of the melacha of tzad because these items are not generally hunted and are prohibited only Rabbinically, which is waived since there is pain. (Mishne Berurah 316:36,37) A tick bite in addition to the above heter also involves potential personal ...


9

No need to kasher once the bugs have been cleaned out, because the halachah is that bugs are נותן טעם לפגם, they impart an unpleasant taste [that does not enhance the flavor of other foods]. Source: Yoreh Deah siman 104.


9

The Iggerot Moshe (Helek Bet Hoshen Mishpat 47) writes that if you have a bug, and it bothers you, you may kill, but preferably not by hand. He says there is no ISUR. Since there is no problem in killing a bug, I would assume since Saar Bale Hayim Deorayta, I would assume that you should kill him. EDIT: I asked a big Talmid Hacham, and he said according to ...


9

According to the Mishna (Sotah 9:12), the Shamir wasn't extinct until the destruction of the second Beis Hamikdash. Incidentally, there is no mention of the Shamir in Rambam. Ever the rationalist, Rambam doesn't believe in demons (which were associated with the Shamir). He held that it was okay to quarry and cut the stones outside the Beis Hamikdash area, ...


9

Great question! Apparently, 2 cockroaches were on the ark. Breishit (Gen.) 6:20 mentions "all that crawls on the land". I would include insects in that category. Apparently, they made it out of the ark alive, too as Breishit 8:17 implies. Miraculous that the elephants didn't squash them and the cats didn't eat them :-)


9

This is adressed in the Tiferes Yisroel on Avos, ch. 4 mishna 3, oisios 20 & 21. The mishna says ואל תהי מפליג מכל דבר, don't be seperated from anything. The T.Y. explains this to mean not to question any of Hashems creations and to assume there is a good reason for them, even if we don't know the reason. He singles out the fly the gnat and snakes and ...


6

If we count from the mabul we get a different answer. According to this site, the mabul began in 1658, and it lasted a year, so it ended in 1659, 4114 years ago. 4114 is 17 times 242. Cicadas come from the ground when, after their rest period (which varies by species) the ground warms up. I would think that the mabul would have reset that clock and the ...


6

Iyov (27:18) discusses the ephemeral nature of a wicked person's success: בָּנָה כָעָשׁ בֵּיתוֹ וּכְסֻכָּה עָשָׂה נֹצֵר Translation (Mechon-Mamre): He buildeth his house as a moth,1 and as a booth which the keeper maketh. The Malbim (Iyov, ibid.) interprets the verse as referring to the ephemeral nature of a Lepidoptera chrysalis: כמו שהעש ...


5

According to the CRC-Chicago iceberg lettuce that is prewashed may be used without hashgacha and without any further washing.


5

There is an alternative, corn-based product called "zein" that, according to the linked WP article at least, "may be labeled as 'confectioner's glaze.'" According to an email I received from someone in the Hashgacha industry, zein coatings, unlike shellac coatings, "generally do not contain alcohol." I don't know if this was the product used in your candy; ...


5

The author of Or HaChayim writes (Pri To'ar 85) that he discouraged the members of his city from eating them for a few reasons, one of them being because their tradition was not completely reliable. I later happened to come across this article which discusses this topic more extensively.


5

The source for the Chilazon being in the Kineret is the Zohar, II, 48b, on parashat Terumah: "And blue" (Shemot 25:3): Rabbi Yitzchak said: Blue [techelet] is from that fish that is in the Sea Genosar, WHICH IS THE SEA OF GALILEE, which is in the portion of Zvulon. This color is needed for the work of the tabernacle to show this color, AS IT IS ...


5

According to Wikipedia, Murex trunculus is found naturally around the entire Mediterranean Sea and Black Sea and on nearby coasts of the Atlantic, always in shallow water: seemingly, nowhere else.


5

An interesting question, and answer. It is worrisome to argue with the Gra about the different meanings of words, particularly after the famous (apocryphal?) story of him ordering lashes for the maskil who asserted to him that gila, rina, ditza, chedva, etcetera, were all complete synonyms. But after all, Ibn Ezra said: ודע כי המלות הם כגופות והטעמים הם ...


5

It would seem not from Trumas haDeshen P/K 105. The case in the end where he brings achzarius seems to be talking in a case where there were tamer options. Dead worms just won't catch fish. Although if your going for lake trout, mini-marshmallows work great!


4

Reb Moshe in Iggras Moshe (חושן משפט חלק ב' סימן מ''ז) says if it is disgusting and or the creature ruins food,or mosquitoes who bother the person the answer is YES. Reb Moshe in an Illustration of his Tzidkus (righteousness) adds of course you should try not do it by hand instead with fly traps and the like because killing by hand desensitizes you and ruins ...


4

My guess is that it's a bug issue. Yuck. If one bug was pureed (or cooked, assuming cooking breaks apart the bug) with several cups of berries, the ground-up bug is nullified ("batel") 1:60 by volume and you can eat the puree. This minute quantity of non-kosher ingredient, which isn't a flavoring, coloring, stabilizer, or enzyme, is not a problem. ...


4

Use dryer sheets. I personally use Bounce brand sheets. Hang one for every 10 cubic feet or so, in a very bee infested area. You probably won't need that many though. Adjust according to bee count. (PS. With the dryer sheets hung on some of the decorations, we actually leave honey out. Its amazing!


4

A basis is a basis only if its owner put something muktze on it on purpose. (Usually.) So bugs wouldn't count. Source: Mishna B'rura 309:13 (and there in the Shulchan Aruch).


4

Lately, I've heard a lesson from R. Avrohom Kuperman about this topic (what a coincidence!), and he finally told that it is forbidden. The line of thinking that it should be permitted (as you presented it in the question) is correct, but! We only allow to make melachot (actions) that you enjoy from the melacha itself. But in this case of killing insects you ...


4

This depends on the Hashgacha. Some Hashgachot on broccoli are only signing off on the purposefully present ingredients and processing equipment, but are not addressing the requirement for Bedika (Triangle-K for example on a lot of frozen produce (See here)). Others are signing off that they indeed already performed a Bedika (typically via Chazaka) and ...


4

According to Halacha we follow Rav Sheishes's view (bechoros 7b) who holds like Rabbe Yaakov (the Tannah) that the reason honey is kosher (even if the bee extracts part of its flesh into the honey as part of the process - Rabeinu Gershom) is a Gzeiras Hakosuv (by Hashem's command) and not like the opinion who says that the reason for its permissiblity is ...


4

I use mosquito barrier immediately prior to Sukkos and I have a mosquito free Sukkos.


4

The Minchas Yitzchak 10:27 and Shevet Halevi 6:94(he brings the Minchas yitzchak as well) bring a similar case about flushing a fly down the toilet that was there already .If one wants to use the toilet then its mutar since we say its a misasek(with other reasons). However to have kavana to kill it and get rid of them is problematic. See the tshuvas inside ...


4

Yishai left a comment with a link to an article, in which the Lubavitcher Rebbe remarks that the mosquito is a creature that only takes, and doesn't give.... The mosquito does serve somewhat as a giver, the Rebbe explained. Its contribution is the lesson it provides for us. The mosquito is the one who teaches us the very concept that to be a G-dly ...


3

The M"B in simon 627,30 writes that one is not allowed to carry a dead body out on yom tov, even if having a dead body in your house bothers you, even if he is a kohen and is therefore not allowed to go into his own house, even though carrying on yom tov is one of the malachos that we say mitoch, the reason for this is because we only say mitoch on a ...


3

1) Check the Star-K's guide to insect checking, appropriately named: http://www.checkforinsects.com/ 2) Here is a Tu Bishvat guide for this year (5771), based on the sefer of R' Moshe Vaye: http://www.jerusalemkoshernews.com/wp-content/uploads/shvat_5771_english.pdf.


3

Somebody just drew a beraita to my attention (Shabbat 107b), which I think might answer my question. In a discussion that concerns whether or not lice spontaneously generate, Rabbi Eliezer's opinion is brought to the effect that one who kills a louse on Shabbat is as liable as had he killed a camel. Rabbi Yehoshua disagrees, saying that one is permitted to ...



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