Within Perek 14, passukim 3-21, discusses the dietary prohibitions and permissions. My first inquiry is the anomaly particularly found in Passuk 11. ״כל ציפור טהורה תאכלו״- “Every clean bird, you may eat.” Every other animal type within the aforementioned passukim contain a different syntax. For example, concerning the ox, sheep and goat, etc the passuk delineates a list of acceptable animals for consumption, and then lists the parameters of a kosher animal (see passukim 5-6). And no condition of “Every clean animal you may eat” is stated. By passuk 9, the passuk concerns the fish, again with the parameters for a kosher fish but no enumeration of the “clean animal” condition. The question proceeds, what is the reason for this discrepancy?

A secondary inquiry may proceed, what is the passuk telling me that I would have not known otherwise? Is it not clear that every clean bird I may eat?

A tertiary inquiry, although less significant is the redundant enumeration of this condition. By passuk 20, it is repeated and with no clear connection to the directly adjacent passukim.


2 Answers 2


Rav Hirsch points out on R'ei 14:11 that this is the indication that one cannot eat a bird unless the mesorah in that location states that it is allowed to be eaten.

It seems to us that it is not impossiblethat, taken in comparison with v. 4 and 5, the directive for this practice may be found here. The law as to which mammals were fit to be used for food could be made sufficiently clear by naming them, the number of kinds is quite small. But the kinds of "fit" birds is so numerous that it was shorter for theTorah to enumrate the twenty-four kinds of "unfit" birds. (Chullin 63,b). So the Torah gives the indication of the popular practice to keep to the established custom (see on Levit. XI, 13-19).

As to your question on R'ei 14:20

כָּל־ע֥וֹף טָה֖וֹר תֹּאכֵֽלוּ

Rav Hirsch translates differently from Rashi. Rashi translates both צפור andעוף as a bird (or fowl). However both pesukim are required because:

You may eat every clean fowl: But not the unclean ones. Here [Scripture] comes to attach a positive commandment to the negative commandment. Similarly, in the case of [clean] animals, it says:“that you may eat” (verse 6), [but] not the unclean ones. A prohibition inferred from a positive commandment [is regarded as] a positive commandment, so that one [who eats such food] transgresses a positive and a negative commandment.

Rav Hisch translates צפור as bird. However, he translates עוף as winged thing to include kosher insects.

We dare to put forward the assumption that hereunder the permitted kinds of grass-hoppers could be understood under this heading (cf. Chullin 139,b).


Parasht Re'e is parallel Parasht Shmini, please compare:

(I copied only the key verses, but one should read the entire sections to see that those two are parallel)

פרשת שמיני פרק יא

וְאֶת־אֵ֙לֶּה֙ תְּשַׁקְּצ֣וּ מִן־הָע֔וֹף לֹ֥א יֵאָכְל֖וּ... כֹּ֚ל שֶׁ֣רֶץ הָע֔וֹף הַהֹלֵ֖ךְ עַל־אַרְבַּ֑ע שֶׁ֥קֶץ ה֖וּא לָכֶֽם... אַ֤ךְ אֶת־זֶה֙ תֹּֽאכְל֔וּ מִכֹּל֙ שֶׁ֣רֶץ הָע֔וֹף ...

Parasht Shmini p11

The following you shall abominate among the birds—they shall not be eaten... All winged swarming things that walk on fours shall be an abomination for you... But these you may eat among all the winged swarming things...

פרשת ראה פרק יד

כָּל־צִפּ֥וֹר טְהֹרָ֖ה תֹּאכֵֽלוּ׃...כָּל־ע֥וֹף טָה֖וֹר תֹּאכֵֽלוּ׃

Parash Re'e p14

You may eat any clean bird...You may eat only clean winged insects...

Sefria translates creatures. they are wrong, as those two texts obviously parallel.

Unlike the end of @sabbaHillel answer, it's clear that עוף in this context is insects only.

  • 1
    Iben Ezra (14:20) says: like arbe (locust).
    – Mordechai
    Sep 1, 2019 at 20:59

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