I was recently reading something in Vayikra (in Chabad.org) and I found a parenthesis in 11:21. I've never seen something like this before.

אַךְ אֶת זֶה תֹּאכְלוּ מִכֹּל שֶׁרֶץ הָעוֹף הַהֹלֵךְ עַל אַרְבַּע אֲשֶׁר לוֹ (כתיב אשׁר לא) כְרָעַיִם מִמַּעַל לְרַגְלָיו לְנַתֵּר בָּהֵן עַל הָאָרֶץ:‏

It seems that in the Torah it is written אשׁר לא when it should actually be אֲשֶׁר לוֹ . I also checked this in this other website, and it also seems like there was a grammatical error.

Of course it's not an error, but why is it written like this? I haven't found an explanation for this.


1 Answer 1


There is a difference in meaning between לו , meaning that it (DOES) have (jointed legs) and לא meaning that it does not.

So, which is it? The answer that we follow is that it goes according to the kri meaning that it DOES have it. That would make these insects permissible.

The reason it is written לא is explained in Chullin 65a:

(ויקרא יא, כא) אשר לא כרעים אף על פי שאין לו עכשיו ועתיד לגדל לאחר זמן

"Even it doesn't have joints now, but these will grow later", (these insects are now permissible.)

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