The shoresh for the word Chazarah (return or repeat see here) is the same as that for the word Chazir (pig).

The Hebrew language is not just a convention to name objects; in Hebrew, the name of the object refers to the essence of the object, see here.

A possible meaning could have been if a pig chews its cud since that would be a cycle or review, but a chazir is the only animal the Torah davka says has split hooves but doesn't chew its cud.

Is there, then, a Torah message to be gained by the similarity of these two words?

  • revach.net/article.php?id=87
    – rosends
    Jul 9, 2017 at 3:21
  • The fact that chzzir has a name implying chaazara (a return of sorts) has been noted by homiletic kabbalism. See Orach chaim on the verse prohibiting chazzir. I think there is a question on this forum about that point. Although it should be noted one word is chazzir and one word is from chozer.
    – user6591
    Jul 9, 2017 at 17:17
  • Note that hazzara and hazzir are from two languages. The former Miahnaic Hebrew, the latter, biblical Hebrew
    – mevaqesh
    Jul 9, 2017 at 18:29
  • I'm not sure how this version is any better than the previous one; the question is still the same.
    – DonielF
    Jul 9, 2017 at 22:33
  • 1
    @DonielF I think the difference is that it is now a religious message as opposed to simple language anomaly. Although I'm not sure why this should be so technically. Most if not all Hebrew language question can be rephrased like this and pass through the loophole. And if that is so we shouldn't be making people jump through these loops and just accept language questions, assuming this logic as implicit. My 2 cents.
    – user6591
    Jul 10, 2017 at 0:06

2 Answers 2


The Ritva, R. Yom Tov Asivelli (13th century), seems to be quoting an earlier Aggadic teaching when he writes in his commentary to Kiddushin 49b:

ועליהם אמרו בהגדה למה נקרא שמו חזיר שעתיד הקב"ה להחזירו לישראל לעתיד לבוא

Why is it called Chazir? Because the Holy One will return it to Yisrael in the future.

The Shelah, R. Isaiah Horowitz (16th century), writes similarly in Chayei Sara, אות י:

עתיד חזיר לחזור ולהיטהר

See also a broader basis for such a futuristic change, in the Midrash Tehillim 146:

מהו מתיר אסורים, יש אומרים כל הבהמה שנטמאת בעולם הזה מטהר אותה הקדוש ברוך הוא לעתיד לבוא, וכן הוא אומר: "מה שהיה הוא שיהיה ומה שנעשה הוא שיעשה" (קהלת א ט), ומה שנעשה - טהורים היו מקודם לבני נח, וכן הוא אומר להן: "כירק עשב נתתי לכם את כל" (בראשית ט ג), מה ירק עשב נתתי לכל, אף החיה והבהמה לכל מתחלה, ולמה אסר אותה, לראות מי שמקבל דבריו, ומי אינו מקבל, ולעתיד לבוא הוא מתיר את כל מה שאסר.

Worthwhile reading includes R. Joseph Albo's Sefer HaIkarim 3:13-14, who argues that there is no theological issue with God adding, subtracting or changing Mitzvot as humanity develops.


With grateful thanks to @rosends, Revach.net provides an answer:

Parshas Shemini: Ohr HaChaim HaKadosh - The Pig Will Do Tshuva

The Pasuk says regarding the kashrus of a pig, "וְהוּא גֵּרָה לֹא יִגָּר ;

A pig may not be eaten because it does not chew its cud." 

The Or Hachaim Hakadosh explains, that these words are telling us that as long as the pig does not chew its cud it is prohibited; but when it starts chewing its cud it will be Mutar to eat.  This will take place LeAsid Lavo - in the time of Mashiach.  That is why the pig is called a Chazer.  Because it will return (Chozer) and become kosher in the future.

  • An interesting thought with a possible end in site. There is a great deal of work being done today trying to modify DNA of all kinds of things. It would seem logical that the DNA change from a single stomach to a ruminant digestive tract would not be a great leap. Is there some other benefit to the ruminant like more economical production/greater profit margin? If so, you might see this sooner than you think. Jul 9, 2017 at 22:08
  • @YaacovDeane Wow! I had not thought that it might come about in that way. Jul 10, 2017 at 8:08
  • I think even if pigs became kosher in the Ketz HaYamim, I probably would not eat them. They are disgusting. Shouldn't there be a prohibition of eating something which wallows in the muck all day?
    – ezra
    Jul 11, 2017 at 19:27
  • @ezra see Rashi Vayikra 20:26 citing Sifra who says don't say I don't eat pig because it's disgusting, rather say you want to but what can you do Hashem said not to.
    – robev
    Jul 11, 2017 at 22:23

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