Are only cows and bulls included? Or perhaps other related species as well? Is this subject to disagreement? And does context make a difference?

  • 4
    All the instances of which I can think refer to bovine livestock, i.e. collective domesticated Bos. What species did you have in mind? Something like the aurochs (re'em) isn't referred to as bakar; the Torah's list of kosher mammals include some other wild ones but they're not called bakar. The Talmud Brachos 33a talks about a "black ox" in ways that are most likely a water buffalo, but the word bakar isn't used.
    – Shalom
    Jun 1, 2021 at 13:44
  • Thank you! I don't really anything about animals so was just curious when learning last week's parsha. This was super helpful but when I looked up bovine it did make me more confused. Do you know of any simple (online) resources that explain and categorize the various species of animals (ideally with pictures) so I can get a better sense of what's included in בקר and the differences between the species?
    – Yehuda
    Jun 2, 2021 at 20:08
  • IIRC, specification is subject to rabbinic tradition. As long as rabbis (different rabbis in different places) call something "a cow" it is "a cow" de jure.
    – Al Berko
    Jun 6, 2021 at 12:02


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