As is well-known to all who have read Hilchot Potter, Vol. 1-7, there are certain wizards who have managed to become animagi (singular: animagus), i.e., able to transform into animals (one animal per person).

I assume a Jew may not become a serpentine animagus (i.e., turn into a snake) because of לא תנחשו - Lo Tenachashu - You shall not become a snake. Does that mean that Jews may become other animals?

This question is Purim Torah and is not intended to be taken completely seriously. See the Purim Torah policy.

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    I'm thinking that anyone who wants to be a rebbi needs to become like one of the chayot hakodesh - holy chayos? As the gemara says Chagigah 15b, (Only) if the rebbi is similar to one of the malachim is one allowed to ask Torah from his lips. – MichoelR Feb 24 at 18:51
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    Surprised nobody mentioned judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/5687/werewolf-in-the-torah – Alex Feb 25 at 1:01
  • @Alex Was wondering whether someone would mention that. – Harel13 Feb 25 at 4:42

There is a special mitzvah to become an animagus who can turn into one of the following four animals:

  • Leopard
  • Griffon Vulture
  • Gazelle
  • Lion

See Avot 5:20.

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    I think you're mistranslating. It should be Dog, Rat, Stag and Werewolf. – Double AA Feb 24 at 16:25

I am not aware of any universal injunctions against becoming other animals, but there is a severe injunction against resting in animal form in Ex 22:18:

כָּל-שֹׁכֵב עִם-בְּהֵמָה, מוֹת יוּמָת.

Whosoever lieth down with their beast form shall surely be put to death.

It is therefore forbidden to become any animal if one subsequently intends to take so much as a cat nap.


The very first commandment in the Torah, according to the Chinuch, is פרו, be a bull/cow.

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    Is ורבו a commandment to become a rabbi? – Harel13 Feb 25 at 6:21
  • @Harel13: I think it translates better as "to master / to teach / to be a role model." If my translation is right, that suggests that a Jewish animagus should instruct other Jews in becoming animagi. – Codes with Hammer Feb 26 at 14:16
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    @Harel13 no, to fight. Hence bullfighting. – msh210 Feb 26 at 15:17

Sure. Assaf tells us clearly in Tehillim 73:22, בהמות הייתי עמך - I was an animal with You.


One must be very sirius in the morning, as the Code of Jewish law begins, and turn into a werewolf, to serve God.

  • isn't it a werelion? – Baby Seal Feb 24 at 18:52
  • @Baby Seal The point is that it is brought down, from the Shelah, that one should even get up at midnight to do this – Dr. Shmuel Feb 24 at 18:55
  • I suppose the next question is whether a were-animal is actually an animal... – Harel13 Feb 24 at 19:38
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    @Harel13: "Who knows the spirit of the man ascends to heaven, and the spirit of the beast descends to the earth?". A strange writing but it suggests a difference a mere form cannot overcome. – Joshua Feb 25 at 3:34
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    @Harel13: The answer to your question depends on the particular creature. Some lycanthropes (distinct from animagi) start out as people, while other start out as animals. This status does not change even as the creature's form changes. – Codes with Hammer Feb 26 at 14:19

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