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Mouse-deer do chew cud (they has four stomachs), but have not two, but four hoofed toes.

Are they kosher?

  • Interesting question, +1. I would assume not, but I can't prove it. – MTL Dec 11 '14 at 19:31
  • Can you find a picture of the feet? I can't really tell what it's like from your description. – Double AA Dec 11 '14 at 19:46
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    zootorah.com/RationalistJudaism/HyraxSample.pdf - see page 10 – Gershon Gold Dec 11 '14 at 19:48
  • @GershonGold I didn't find much of interest there, however, footnote 28: Rabbi Yaakov Yechezkel HaLevi (...) proposes that the arneves is the greater mouse deer. A similar suggestion is proposed by Tzvi Weinberger, “Identifying the Biblical Arneveth with the Musk-Deer and the Shafan with the Mouse-Deer: A Hypothesis” (...) The author rejects the mouse-deer as shafan, because it was remote, and does not live on rocks. but could it not be the arneves? – Adám Dec 11 '14 at 20:38
  • @DoubleAA I have searched for years, but this is the best I have found. – Adám Dec 11 '14 at 20:51
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According to Bikkores HaTalmud (Vienna, 1863, pp. 387-9), by Rabbi Yaakov Yechezkel HaLevi (cited by R Natan Slifkin here, page 10, and footnote 28), the "java mouse deer" is the shafan, which is classified as a non-kosher animal (Devarim 14:7). The same source posits that the "greater mouse deer" may be the arneves, which is also forbidden in the same verse.

However, R Slifkin finds this opinion to be problematic for a number of reasons, see op cit., ibid; see also the other articles cited by R Slifkin in that footnote there (28).

Thank you @GershonGold for posting this link ;-)

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    I realize that the OP didn't like this answer when it was submitted as a comment; however, the fact remains that according to Bikkores HaTalmud, you have an answer to the question, no matter how problematic it may be. – MTL Dec 11 '14 at 21:58
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According to the various kashrus books that I have seen, Rav Hirsch, Rabbi Art Scroll, and others, a "split hoof" is a single covering of the bottom of the foot split completely in half (from front to back). Thus, the fact that the picture of the mouse deer shows four toes and not a single completely split hoof would mean that it is not kosher.

  • Are we to say that roe deer (the classic European deer) are not kosher either? – Adám Dec 14 '14 at 15:45

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