Why did Hashem make animals like the pig, camel, etc. that have one exact character trait of kosher animals and then write in the Torah that they aren't kosher? If He's trying to trick us, shouldn't He have not written about them in the Torah?

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    Personally, I think questions of "Why did God do X instead of Y" are sorta pointless. By definition, people cannot understand God. See The Book of Job. And, as a final note, (to paraphrase the Jewish philosopher Sidney Morgenbesser) "And if it was the other way around, you'd still be complaining!"
    – Shmuel
    Oct 17, 2011 at 19:57

3 Answers 3


Sometimes a camel is perhaps just a camel? The trait that matches a kosher animal might be just the trait that allows the beast to live and thrive in the environment to which it is adapted. Sure, there's the midrash of the pig trying to disguise its non-kosher status, but that's metaphor, not theology. There are many animals in creation that live in places wildly inaccessible to humans. Should we think that they were designed specifically to trick, teach, or otherwise entertain us?

Quotation of the whirlwind from Job seems apposite here: who are we to assume that we can figure out why nature is as it is?

  • bimargulies, Welcome to mi.yodeya, and thanks very much for sharing your insight! I look forward to seeing you around.
    – Isaac Moses
    Apr 26, 2010 at 1:38

Vayikra Rabbah 13:5 mentions that each of the 4 non kosher animals that have 1 of the Simanim, are similar to one of the nations that has enslaved us. Babylonia, Persia/Media, the Greeks and the Romans I do not remember which one relates to which Galus, however I will try to add it in after Yom Tov, unless someone beats me to it.

Regarding the question of tricking us, that is the exact reason it is written in the Torah, this way we will not make a mistake and know that they are not Kosher even though they exhibit one of the Simanim.

  • Vayikra Rabbah 13:5. It lists several points of similarity between each of the four animals and the four kingdoms. (Mitzrayim isn't on the list, though, and indeed it's not usually counted as one of the four; they are Babylonia, Persia/Media, the Greeks and the Romans.)
    – Alex
    Oct 18, 2011 at 12:43

I guess in A mussar type approach of answer, we as Humans are like that we do Miotzvos and we have certain sins ,The Medrash uses theses animals as a comparison to nations like Edom being a pig in that it shows off its Kosher symbol but is really Unkosher, I guess what I am saying Hashem might be reflecting our Nature in Nature for us to reflect upon and illustrating how little sense it makes

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