Vayikra 11:1-8

א וַיְדַבֵּר יְהוָה אֶל-מֹשֶׁה וְאֶל-אַהֲרֹן, לֵאמֹר אֲלֵהֶם. ב דַּבְּרוּ אֶל-בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל, לֵאמֹר: זֹאת הַחַיָּה אֲשֶׁר תֹּאכְלוּ, מִכָּל-הַבְּהֵמָה אֲשֶׁר עַל-הָאָרֶץ. ג כֹּל מַפְרֶסֶת פַּרְסָה, וְשֹׁסַעַת שֶׁסַע פְּרָסֹת, מַעֲלַת גֵּרָה, בַּבְּהֵמָה--אֹתָהּ, תֹּאכֵלוּ. ד אַךְ אֶת-זֶה, לֹא תֹאכְלוּ, מִמַּעֲלֵי הַגֵּרָה, וּמִמַּפְרִסֵי הַפַּרְסָה: אֶת-הַגָּמָל כִּי-מַעֲלֵה גֵרָה הוּא, וּפַרְסָה אֵינֶנּוּ מַפְרִיס--טָמֵא הוּא, לָכֶם. ה וְאֶת-הַשָּׁפָן, כִּי-מַעֲלֵה גֵרָה הוּא, וּפַרְסָה, לֹא יַפְרִיס; טָמֵא הוּא, לָכֶם. ו וְאֶת-הָאַרְנֶבֶת, כִּי-מַעֲלַת גֵּרָה הִוא, וּפַרְסָה, לֹא הִפְרִיסָה; טְמֵאָה הִוא, לָכֶם. ז וְאֶת-הַחֲזִיר כִּי-מַפְרִיס פַּרְסָה הוּא, וְשֹׁסַע שֶׁסַע פַּרְסָה, וְהוּא, גֵּרָה לֹא-יִגָּר; טָמֵא הוּא, לָכֶם. ח מִבְּשָׂרָם לֹא תֹאכֵלוּ, וּבְנִבְלָתָם לֹא תִגָּעוּ; טְמֵאִים הֵם, לָכֶם.

The Ramban writes on Vayikra 11:3:

טעם הכתוב הזה שכל בהמה שהיו בה שני הסימנים הללו תאכלו, אבל לא תאכלו באחד מהם. והיה ראוי שיאמר כן בדרך כלל, אלא שפרט הגמל, והשפן והארנבת בגרה והחזיר בפרסה, מפני שאין אחרים בעולם בסימן האחד לבדו

The reason why the Torah writes this is to teach us that any animal with the two simanim [chews the cud and split hooves], those you shall eat, but you shall not eat those with only one. The Torah could have written this as a general rule, however, it detailed the camel, shafan, arnevet with regards to the their chewing of the cud [but not having split hooves] and the pig with regards to its [split] hooves [but not chewing the cud]; since there are no others like these, in the world, with [only] one siman.

Rashi on Vayikra 11:2 cites the gemara (Chullin 42a), commenting on the words ‘zot hachaya’ and says that “this teaches us that Moshe held an animal and showed Israel what we can and cannot eat”, including land animals, birds, insects and even sea creatures. This could mean that Moshe did indeed show the Bnei Yisrael all of the animals, including the ones mentioned above. However, not all animals are mentioned in the Torah, probably because listing all kosher and non-kosher animals would occupy an unnecessarily large part of the Torah.

The gemara in Chullin 42a says:

מלמד שתפס הקב"ה מכל מין ומין והראה לו למשה ואמר לו זאת אכול וזאת לא תיכל

Did Moshe hold up all animals in world or just those relevant or mentioned in the Torah (I'm not sure if it is clear from the Gemara and Rashi)?

It seems that the Torah mentions animals that are found only in and around Israel to make this passage relevant to the readers of the Torah. However it seems like the Ramban quoted above extends this to 'בעולם'. I am unaware that בעולם is ever used to only mean Israel.

In light of this, how do we understand the Ramban given that there are indeed many other animals, outside Israel and the region, that posses only one kosher siman?

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    source for last sentence would be nice – Baby Seal Sep 14 '14 at 5:51
  • @BabySeal you can check online. These animals are incorporated in wider taxonomic family groups which include animals e.g. alpacas, llama, vicunia, peccary, babirusa, etc. which all contain one siman – bondonk Sep 14 '14 at 6:19
  • source that the larger taxonomic groups aren't meant by the words in verse? – Baby Seal Sep 14 '14 at 11:25
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    Because what you've listed thus far are clearly gamals and chaszirs as far as I can tell. – Baby Seal Sep 14 '14 at 11:27
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    @BabySeal what do you mean 'clearly gamals and chazirs'? You mean animals that may look like one another? Many of these animals are not in the vicinity of Israel and do look physically different. I would imagine that if you showed an ancient world human a llama they wouldn't think that it is a camel. Even animals that look similar have different names in hebrew (donkey/horse, and different birds, etc.). Its hard to group many animals into one category e.g. 'the camel category' – bondonk Sep 14 '14 at 12:14

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