6

As discussed in *Asher Bamayim* (אשר במים) in kashrus halacha, *Tzomeach* (צוֹמֵחַ) in kashrus halacha, and *Of* (עוֹף) in kashrus halacha, there are different rules used to determine the kashrus status of different animals, notably split hooves and chewing cud for animals (Devarim 14:6), fins and scales for fish (Devarim 14:9), special wings, feet, and antennae for grasshoppers (Mishna Chullin 3:7; note also that it must be called "grasshopper").

How is a given species determined to be an animal (בהמה or חיה; which I'm pretty sure have the same rules of identification as a kosher species), as opposed to fish or locust, so that we know that we should identify them as a kosher species by the rules of בהמה\חיה, as opposed to any other set of kosher rules (fish, locust, etc.)?

  • Rambam MA 2:5,6,12 are interesting. – Double AA May 8 '17 at 20:04
  • There are 3 kosher behaimos and 7 kosher hayos. So if it is one of them then it them and not something else, (DOUBLEAA was referring to 5,6 and 12 here chabad.org/968258 ) – hazoriz May 9 '17 at 16:04
  • @hazoriz I'll have to see the Rambam, but I don't think we limit ourselves only to animals with mesorah. I'm pretty sure that the only thing that matters is the simanim. – Shokhet May 9 '17 at 17:01
  • are you asking how do we know that a certain animal is not a fish or an insect? In Sefer Hachinuch Mitzvah 154 - sefaria.org/Sefer_HaChinukh.154?lang=bi - he discusses how we know if an animal is a behema or chaya. Basically, unless an animal has the 3 distinguishing characteristics of a chaya, it is a behema. Similarly, Devarim 14:9 tells us what a fish is, it is found in the waters. If it is not, then it does not fall under the category of fish. Vayikra 11:21 describes which flying insects you can eat, if it is not a flying insect, it doesn't fall under that category – Menachem May 11 '17 at 0:10
  • @DoubleAA, more interesting perhaps is that he did not say "ואיזהו כו׳" for בהמה and חיה and עוף. Surely some אחרונים on the רמב״ם must note the discrepancy! – msh210 May 11 '17 at 1:15
-2

I have learned that the word דג means any "animal that lives exclusively in the ocean. As an example, we can see All About Kosher Fish

Seafood

Any sea creature that does not have fins or scales is not kosher, regardless of whether it is scientifically classified as a fish or whether it actually resembles a fish.19 This means that whales, prawns, shellfish, crabs, octopus, lobster, and shrimp are all not kosher.

19.

Aruch HaShulchan, Yoreh De'ah 83:5, but see there 6-11 that according to Maimonides, any creature that doesn't resemble a fish is not kosher even if it has fins and scales.

Similarly @DoubleAA has pointed out that Kelim Chapter 17 Mishna 13 also uses this definition for tumah and taharah (ritual purity/impurity).

MISHNAH 13. ALL THAT LIVE IN THE SEA ARE82 CLEAN,83 EXCEPT THE SEA-DOG BECAUSE IT SEEKS REFUGE84 ON DRY LAND; SO R. AKIBA. IF ONE MADE VESSELS FROM WHAT GROWS IN THE SEA AND JOINED TO THEM ANYTHING THAT GROWS ON LAND, EVEN IF ONLY A THREAD OR A CORD, PROVIDED IT IS SUSCEPTIBLE TO UNCLEANNESS, THEY ARE UNCLEAN.

(82) Unlike animals on land.
(83) Even when dead. Hence vessels made of their skins are insusceptible to uncleanness.

Similarly, an עוף is defined as a flying animal (unlike a "flying squirrel" which is a land animal that glides) since it has wings instead of fore-legs. We see that in the Torah as one of the types of non-kosher עוף is translated as bat.

A chaya or beheima would be defined as any animal that primarily lives on the land and moves using its limbs (legs) and could be examined to determine if it has the signs of kashrus.

Note that reptiles, or snails (as examples) would then be a category of their own that would never be kosher. As a result, the Torah does not refer to them specifically as one of the kinds of being that could have kosher representatives. This would be the class of animals that are referred to as וְכֹל אֲשֶׁר רֹמֵשׂ עַל הָאֲדָמָה: in Noach 7:8. or in Bereishis 1:25. However, since none of them are kosher, they would not be referred to in the halachos of kashrus.

Alternatively, one can treat all land animals that are not beheimah (domesticated animals with four legs), or עוף, or insects as part of the class of חיה just as one treats all sea creatures as דג (see below).

In that case one could say that a snake would have had limbs except for the curse that caused it to lose its limbs. Thus, it is also a land animal.

  • What about a snake? It has no limbs – Double AA May 5 '17 at 15:06
  • @DoubleAA It would be a chaya that was cursed to crawl on its belly, so it lost the limbs that it previously had. I will add it to the post. – sabbahillel May 5 '17 at 15:10
  • So you're defining chaya as everything that isn't an of or a dag? I'd prefer a more direct definition, if there's one available. – Shokhet May 5 '17 at 15:12
  • You may want to use this info to answer some of the questions I linked to in the question: judaism.stackexchange.com/q/50304/5323 and judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/50310 in particular. – Shokhet May 5 '17 at 15:15
  • @Shokhet Did the expansion to explain that help? – sabbahillel May 5 '17 at 15:24

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .