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The Torah says that an animal is only kosher if it has split hooves and also chews its cud. Then the Torah lists four animals that aren't kosher because they don't have split hooves and also chew their cud. Why does the Torah list those animals? We know they aren't kosher because they don't have split hooves and also chew their cud.

Leviticus 11 (JPS)

1 And the LORD spoke unto Moses and to Aaron, saying unto them: 2 Speak unto the children of Israel, saying: These are the living things which ye may eat among all the beasts that are on the earth. 3 Whatsoever parteth the hoof, and is wholly cloven-footed, and cheweth the cud, among the beasts, that may ye eat. 4 Nevertheless these shall ye not eat of them that only chew the cud, or of them that only part the hoof: the camel, because he cheweth the cud but parteth not the hoof, he is unclean unto you. 5 And the rock-badger, because he cheweth the cud but parteth not the hoof, he is unclean unto you. 6 And the hare, because she cheweth the cud but parteth not the hoof, she is unclean unto you. 7 And the swine, because he parteth the hoof, and is cloven-footed, but cheweth not the cud, he is unclean unto you. 8 Of their flesh ye shall not eat, and their carcasses ye shall not touch; they are unclean unto you.

Deuteronomy 14 (JPS)

6 And every beast that parteth the hoof, and hath the hoof wholly cloven in two, and cheweth the cud, among the beasts, that ye may eat. 7 Nevertheless these ye shall not eat of them that only chew the cud, or of them that only have the hoof cloven: the camel, and the hare, and the rock-badger, because they chew the cud but part not the hoof, they are unclean unto you; 8 and the swine, because he parteth the hoof but cheweth not the cud, he is unclean unto you; of their flesh ye shall not eat, and their carcasses ye shall not touch.

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    These are animals that only have one of these two. It's to clarify that you need both and not either. – DonielF Jun 4 '17 at 2:15
  • The Torah makes it clear that any animal that does not have a split hoof and chews the cud is not kosher. Then, I was under the opinion that the Torah brings certain animals as examples of animals that are not kosher, so you get a good idea of what's kosher and what's not. – ezra Jun 4 '17 at 6:35
  • I'm working on an answer. In the meantime, some of the commentaries here may be of interest. (Not all of those commentaries have English translations yet.) – Shokhet Jun 7 '17 at 3:06
  • Daf yomi question..? – Dr. Shmuel Jan 29 at 2:10
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Ibn Ezra (commentary to 11:4) writes that the reason for the Torah mentioning it is that they have one sign. Bechor Shor (commentary to 11:4) takes this a step further and says that the Torah is saying that they are forbidden even though they have one sign. Chizkuni (commentary to 11:4) takes this another step further and says that even the non-Jews consider animals with neither sign disgusting, so the Torah only needed to warn us about the ones with one sign.

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