The שחף (Shaḥaf) is a bird forbidden by the Torah in both Sefer Wayiqra and Devarim.

Ḥizquni (חזקוני, Rabbi Ḥizqiyah ben Manoaḥ), writing in Old French, states (Wayiqra 11:16):

אשפמר"א ויש אומרים: מוייסו"ן מוליד שחפת

Based on an online Anglo-Norman dictionary, it appears moisson is sparrow in English.

Is that right? What about aspamra (if that is indeed the proper niqqud)?

  • 1
    Related: judaism.stackexchange.com/q/92488/2091
    – Lee
    Commented May 23, 2018 at 10:21
  • @DannySchoemann That was a typo on my part. Fixed. Why do you suspect it's espaigné?
    – Lee
    Commented May 23, 2018 at 11:30
  • @DannySchoemann The definition glosses the words ung egle espany as an eagle displayed. Espaigné is "displayed," not an eagle
    – b a
    Commented May 24, 2018 at 8:24
  • I wonder whether אשפמר״א may derive from Latin parra.
    – msh210
    Commented May 26, 2018 at 22:22
  • Perhaps the osprey?
    – Harel13
    Commented Dec 16, 2020 at 19:51

1 Answer 1


This edition of Chizkuni says it means אישפו"ט which means נקר, which is a woodpecker.

  • Thanks for the source! How do you know אישפו"ט means נקר?
    – Lee
    Commented Jan 18, 2021 at 8:46
  • @Lee That's what it says in the edition. You can click the link and see.
    – Harel13
    Commented Jan 18, 2021 at 8:55

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