The body of a sheretz conveys impurity. The translations of the animals that count as Sheratzim (listed in Parashat Shemini) often include weasels or ferrets as well as rats, insects, and lizards.

Streimels (and fur coats) are often made from furry weasel like animals (martens, ferrets, raccoons, muskrats).

Why don't the wearers of these furs and pelts become impure from handling the bodies of sheratzim? Does it matter if the hat still has the animals' head attached?

  • They don't have to be made with real animals
    – Dude
    Sep 27, 2018 at 3:08
  • 3
    Why do you think they don't become impure from that?
    – Double AA
    Sep 27, 2018 at 3:38
  • The original title almost got my close vote as being off-season PTIJ, and it didn’t seem to accurately reflect the question. Can you confirm that my edit is in line with your intention?
    – DonielF
    Sep 27, 2018 at 3:42

2 Answers 2


Once a hide is tanned, even a bit, it no longer conveys impurity (Chullin 9:2).

  • (The exception miderabanan is human skin.)
    – Double AA
    Sep 27, 2018 at 3:38
  • This addresses the question if shtreimlach are made of tanned hide. Are they?
    – msh210
    Sep 27, 2018 at 17:40
  • @msh I have no proof, but I suspect they are tanned at least "a bit".
    – Double AA
    Sep 27, 2018 at 21:46
  • Doesn't that mishna imply that even before tanning, weasel skin is not tameh?
    – Loewian
    Aug 9, 2021 at 18:34
  • @Loewian I'm not sure what a weasel is in biblical hebrew or what is actually used in these hats, but yes it is certainly possible that the hides of some species aren't impure to begin with. This answer suffices with the broader but weaker claim that all hides (except human) once tanned a bit are pure.
    – Double AA
    Aug 9, 2021 at 19:39

As per Chullin 9:1-9:2, the removed hides of these animals do not convey tumah. And, as noted by @doubleAA, even those species whose hides are impure are no longer impure once processed. This is codified by Maimonides Hilchoth Shaar Avoth Hatumoth 4:8:

וְעוֹר הַחלֶד וְהָעַכְבָּר וְהַצָּב וְהַתִּנְשֶׁמֶת טָהוֹר אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהוּא לַח וַעֲדַיִן לֹא עִבְּדוֹ וְלֹא הָלַךְ בּוֹ. אֲבָל עוֹר הָאֲנָקָה וְהַכֹּחַ וְהַלְּטָאָה וְהַחֹמֶט כִּבְשָׂרָן וּמְטַמֵּא בְּכַעֲדָשָׁה. וְאִם עִבְּדָן אוֹ שֶׁהִלֵּךְ בָּהֶן כְּדֵי עֲבוֹדָה טְהוֹרִין.

And the skin of the "choled" (rat, weasel, mole rat, or mongoose), of the mouse, of the "tzav" (toad or spiny-tailed lizard), and of the "tinshemeth" (mole rat, gecko, chameleon, or monitor) are pure even when still moist and not yet tanned nor trodden upon. However, the skin of the "anakah" (gecko, hedgehog, or glass lizard), of the "koach" (dragon lizard, monitor, or chameleon), of the "letaah" (wall lizard or gecko), and of the "chomet" (slug, snail, or skink) are like their flesh and a lentil-sized portion of it imparts impurity. And if they were tanned, or trodden upon till tanned, they are pure.

reptile skin hat


  • Isn't this specifically subject to dispute in that mishna? Tanna Kamma holds עוֹר הָאֲנָקָה וְהַכֹּחַ וְהַלְּטָאָה וְהַחֹמֶט is impure like its flesh
    – Double AA
    Aug 9, 2021 at 20:15
  • @DoubleAA I'm not aware of anyone who identifies any of those species with ones used for streimlach (sounds uncomfortable even in winter;) See eg he.wikipedia.org/wiki/…
    – Loewian
    Aug 10, 2021 at 2:09

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