Questions tagged [animals]

Questions pertaining to the identity or biology of animals mentioned in Jewish texts literature, or the status of animals in areas of Jewish law, such as diet or damages.

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How could the angels not know animals' names?

IIRC, the Torah was created before angels and they knew/learned it. The Torah mentions the names of many animals, but the Midrash, however, assumes that they didn't know that: " אָמְרוּ לוֹ ...
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Why didn't Adam name fish and insects? [duplicate]

When Adam named animals, the Torah mentions three categories: cattle, wild animals, and birds: "וַיִּקְרָא הָאָדָם שֵׁמוֹת לְכָל־הַבְּהֵמָה וּלְעוֹף הַשָּׁמַיִם וּלְכֹל חַיַּת הַשָּׂדֶה..." ...
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How did Adam know which animal is domestic and which is not?

When naming animals, the Torah mentions three categories: cattle, wild animals, and birds: "וַיִּקְרָא הָאָדָם שֵׁמוֹת לְכָל־הַבְּהֵמָה וּלְעוֹף הַשָּׁמַיִם וּלְכֹל חַיַּת הַשָּׂדֶה..." &...
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Why did animals deserve to perish in the mabul? [duplicate]

Because animals have such a limited intellectual capacity, how can they be held culpable for anything that warrants a punishment as severe as the mabul?
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How to tell when a קרבן is a שעיר (older goat) versus שעיר עזים (kid / younger goat)

The רמבם in מעשה הקרבנות א יד writes: כָּל מָקוֹם שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר בַּתּוֹרָה כֶּבֶשׂ אוֹ כַּבְשָׂה אוֹ כְּבָשִׂים הֲרֵי אֵלּוּ בְּנֵי שָׁנָה. וְכָל מָקוֹם שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר אַיִל אוֹ אֵילִים הֵם הַזְּכָרִים ...
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Who owns a foster animal?

In animal foster care, the shelter provides everything including food. You are required to take care of the animal (feed, walks, train…). Are you or the shelter considered the owner and by extension ...
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How many species of animals did God create in total?

In Rabbis' views, how many species of animals did God create in total? How did those views evolve with time and scientific understanding?
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Rambam's Mishneh Torah - Is a female pure after relations with a minor/gentile/animal?

In Rambam's Mishneh Torah, She'ar Avot haTum'ah, 5:19, it is written: "גְּדוֹלָה שֶׁשָּׁכַב אוֹתָהּ קָטָן פָּחוֹת מִבֶּן תֵּשַׁע [אוֹ עַכּוּ''ם אוֹ בְּהֵמָה] הֲרֵי זוֹ טְהוֹרָה שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר [(...
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Is it forbidden to boil an animal alive?

Is it forbidden to boil a living animal and then take its meat for consumption? Does the Torah or another source address the concept of boiling living animals?
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Does the law of returning lost objects apply to dangerous animals?

The law of returning lost objects (Deuteronomy 22:1-3) teaches that if you come across your brother's lost ox, sheep, donkey, cloak, etc., you must return it, even if you do not know the one who owns ...
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forbidden to play with kosher animals?

Looking for source that forbidden to play with kosher animals Lubavicher Rebbe says that it is forbidden to play with kosher animals (lekutai sichos 1 shmini 1 (the Hebrew version does not translate ...
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Does Deuteronomy 22:1-3 apply to stray pets (e.g., dogs)?

Deuteronomy 22:1-3 teaches that if you come across your brother's lost ox, sheep, donkey, cloak, etc., you must return it, even if you do not know the one who owns it. Does this mean that if I see a ...
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Where can I find the passuk / commentary about Animals instinctively doing their business without turning their back to the Beith Hamikdash

I've tried to look for it but couldn't find the reference, where it's said that Dogs & other animals instinctively position themselves in South/North (and other directions but not with their ...
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Why are the forefathers called רועי צאן and not רועי בקר?

In my poor townsman's understanding, confirmed by the scriptures, both sheep (צאן) and cattle (בקר) need shepherding, as it says (Exodus.34.3): "וְאִישׁ לֹא־יַעֲלֶה עִמָּךְ וְגַם־אִישׁ אַל־יֵרָא ...
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Farming with excrement or remains of unclean animals

What if any prohibitions are there on the intentional use of excrement from unclean animals as fertilizer for crops? Must it be buried, for example? Does the same apply to the intentional use of ...
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Can only animal sacrifices forgive sins?

Can only animal sacrifices forgive sins? In Exodus 12:27 it is written you shall say, ‘It is the passover sacrifice to the LORD, because He passed over the houses of the Israelites in Egypt when He ...
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Feeding animals as a mitzvah

Related Does one have to feed his dog, parrot, or goldfish before eating according to this Gemara? The gemara in Gittin 62A teaches that one should feed his animals before he, himself eats. I have ...
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Order of Creation: why the creation of man was grouped with animals and did not stand alone?

On the 6th day, God created both animals and humans, according to the main creation narrative (Gen 1). I would speculate that it would be more reasonable to dedicate each day to a specific niche: a ...
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Principal differences between animals created on the fifth and the sixth days

IIRC, the Jewish tradition divides between inanimated nature, plants, animal kingdom, and humans. I'm not aware of any principal differences within the animal kingdom. However, in the Creation ...
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How are humans that were formed "from dust" different from animals that were formed "from earth"?

"וַיִּיצֶר ה"א אֶת־הָאָדָם עָפָר מִן־הָאֲדָמָה" Genesis.2.7 "וַיִּצֶר ה"א מִן־הָאֲדָמָה כָּל־חַיַּת הַשָּׂדֶה..." ibid. 19 So according to Rashi and others, Adam was ...
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Where does "animal morality" come from?

The Gemmorah teaches us that we could learn basic morality from the animal kingdom (Eruvin.100b.29, see also 28): אָמַר רַבִּי יוֹחָנָן: אִילְמָלֵא לֹא נִיתְּנָה תּוֹרָה, הָיִינוּ לְמֵידִין צְנִיעוּת ...
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Leviticus 11:26 Divided Hoof vs Cloven Footed

Leviticus 11:26 even every living thing which divides the hoof, and is not cloven footed, and does not bring up the cud, they are unclean to you; anyone who touches them shall be unclean. What's the ...
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7 votes
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Animal Sentience in Judaism

Leaving aside related concepts that might stem from this conversation such as veganism or animal rights...The more I read Tanakh the more it seems to me that the Torah and Tanakh as a whole view ...
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If one steps on an insect on Shabbos and the insect is then mutilated to the point that it will surely die, then is one allowed to kill it?

If one steps on a cockroach on Shabbos and the cockroach is then mutilated to the point that it will surely die, is one then allowed to kill it? Is it allowed to kill the cockroach because essentially ...
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Which species does or do בקר refer to in the Torah?

Are only cows and bulls included? Or perhaps other related species as well? Is this subject to disagreement? And does context make a difference?
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Adam wiser than angels - meaning and implications

אָדָם הָרִאשׁוֹן מֶה הָיְתָה חָכְמָתוֹ? כְּשֶׁבִּקֵּשׁ הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא לִבְרֹאת אֶת הָאָדָם ... אָמַר לָהֶם אָדָם שֶׁאֲנִי רוֹצֶה לִבְרֹאת חָכְמָתוֹ מְרֻבָּה מִשֶּׁלָּכֶם, מֶה עָשָׂה כִּנֵּס ...
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(Why) Were animals expelled from Eden?

And the LORD God formed out of the earth all the wild beasts and all the birds of the sky, and brought them to the man (in Eden). Genesis.2.19 I'm confused about what happened to the animal: God ...
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What is the Yadua bone? Is it extinct?

I was learning Sefer Hamitzvot with my dad last night and, when we came across mitzvah #256, I was curious; do we have any idea what the yadua bone is? It is a bone of a bird which grows from a long ...
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3 votes
4 answers
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Could animals in Eden eat the forbidden fruit of knowledge and what would happen to them?

I don't see an objection to the fact that the animals of Eden have different diets prior to Adam's sin. And many animals eat fruits: mammals, birds, worms, etc, especially "the tree was good for ...
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Pets in Halacha

Are there any good books in English that address the basics of keeping pets in Halacha? Obviously one should talk to their rabbi for specifics but at least to know what the discussions are. I see pets ...
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Pesachim 97a cruel death by starvation for rejected chatas animals

Pesachim 97a calls for a very cruel death by starvation in a cage of certain chatas animals who don't qualify for sacrifice. Other unsuitable animals are left to graze and be sold. Is there any ...
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2 votes
2 answers
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Does the biblical prohibition against bestiality apply to an animal carcass

Vayikra 20 :15: ⁦ וְאִ֗ישׁ אֲשֶׁ֨ר יִתֵּ֧ן שְׁכָבְתּ֛וֹ בִּבְהֵמָ֖ה מ֣וֹת יוּמָ֑ת וְאֶת־הַבְּהֵמָ֖ה תַּהֲרֹֽגוּ And if a man lie with a beast, he shall surely be put to death: and you shall slay the ...
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4 votes
2 answers
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Kosher Pet Food

It is prohibited to benefit from basar b'chalav (meat cooked with dairy) even by feeding it to one's animals. (See e.g. Chullin 115b; Rambam Hilchoth Maachaloth Asuroth 9:1) Accordingly, are there ...
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What does Judaism think about predatory animals?

This dichotomy has always bothered me. (1) No predators are kosher. The Ramban went so far as to say that we may not eat them because they are cruel and we do not want to absorb their bad traits. In ...
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5 votes
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Mushrooms from the carcass of a non-kosher animal

Some Mushrooms can grow from decomposing animals. Would there be any (kashrus) problems with having mushrooms that grow from the carcasses of non-kosher animals?
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What is the ruling on selling dogs?

If I understand correctly as long as the breed of dog isn’t considered vicious then owning it would be okay but not ideal, But would one be allowed to sell a dog/puppy and benefit from its sale?
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Meaning of Ecclesiastes 3:21?

What is the meaning of Ecclesiastes 3:21: מִ֣י יוֹדֵ֗עַ ר֚וּחַ בְּנֵ֣י הָאָדָ֔ם הָעֹלָ֥ה הִ֖יא לְמָ֑עְלָה וְר֙וּחַ֙ הַבְּהֵמָ֔ה הַיֹּרֶ֥דֶת הִ֖יא לְמַ֥טָּה לָאָֽרֶץ׃ Who knows whether the spirit of ...
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2 votes
2 answers
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Is the partially generated animal dead?

Chulin, chapter 9, mishna 6, is discussing the ritual impurity imparted by a dead sheretz (animal of any of certain types). Note that the impurity is imparted only by a dead animal. The mishna says (...
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Is it still prohibited to raise sheep/goats in Eretz Yisrael?

The Mishnah (Bava Kama 7) explicitly prohibits Jews from raising sheep and goats in Israel. This is echoed in Rambam. However, in modern-day Israel, many frum Jews raise sheep and goats (especially in ...
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Which Animals Are Said to Have Spoken in the Torah

I'm aware that the Torah says the serpent spoke to Eve in the Garden (Genesis 3:1) and Balaam's ass spoke to him on his journey to see Balak (Numbers 22:28). Are there any other instances of animals ...
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Blessing the Beasts

And…blessed them (Bereshis 1:22): Rashi: ויברך אותם: לפי שמחסרים אותן וצדין מהם ואוכלין אותם הוצרכו לברכה. ואף החיות הוצרכו לברכה, אלא מפני הנחש שעתיד לקללה, לכך לא ברכן, שלא יהא הוא בכלל: And He ...
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Animal Suffering and The Cruelty of Nature

Whilst the world's ecosystem and natural phenomena are magnificently complex and awe-inspiring, it is undoubtedly a system that is brutal - 'red in tooth and claw'. The laws of nature we can observe ...
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Rashi's logic in understanding animal mating patterns

מָאתַיִם עִזִּים צְרִיכוֹת עֶשְׂרִים תְּיָשִׁים, וְכֵן כֻּלָּם, הַזְּכָרִים כְּדֵי צֹרֶךְ הַנְּקֵבוֹת; ... לְפִי שֶׁהֵם פְּנוּיִים מִמְּלָאכָה דַּרְכָּם לְהַרְבּוֹת תַּשְׁמִישׁ וּלְעַבֵּר עֶשֶׂר ...
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Inconsistency in Yaakov's presents for his brother Esau

עִזִּים מָאתַיִם וּתְיָשִׁים עֶשְׂרִים רְחֵלִים מָאתַיִם וְאֵילִים עֶשְׂרִים׃ גְּמַלִּים מֵינִיקוֹת וּבְנֵיהֶם שְׁלֹשִׁים פָּרוֹת אַרְבָּעִים וּפָרִים עֲשָׂרָה אֲתֹנֹת עֶשְׂרִים וַעְיָרִם ...
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Were asexual animals gathered into the ark?

Breishit 6:19 says (quoting Sefaria): וּמִכָּל־הָ֠חַי מִֽכָּל־בָּשָׂ֞ר שְׁנַ֧יִם מִכֹּ֛ל תָּבִ֥יא אֶל־הַתֵּבָ֖ה לְהַחֲיֹ֣ת אִתָּ֑ךְ זָכָ֥ר וּנְקֵבָ֖ה יִֽהְיֽוּ׃ And of all that lives, of all ...
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What is so special about Taninim to be mentioned separately?

וַיִּבְרָא אֱלֹהִים אֶת־הַתַּנִּינִם הַגְּדֹלִים וְאֵת כָּל־נֶפֶשׁ הַחַיָּה הָרֹמֶשֶׂת אֲשֶׁר שָׁרְצוּ הַמַּיִם לְמִינֵהֶם וְאֵת כָּל־עוֹף כָּנָף לְמִינֵהוּ וַיַּרְא אֱלֹהִים כִּי־טוֹב׃ God created ...
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Does animal soul (Nefesh) come from the divine or the material?

[I assume] it is wildly accepted in Judaism that animals have souls (hence "anima"). In Hebrew, it is called נפש (Nefesh) and the Torah is full of this kind of references: "וּֽלְכׇל־...
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7 votes
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Neta Revai is achzareyos?

The Chizkuni 22:6 explains that taking the mother bird with its young ones would be cruel. He also lists cooking a kid in the milk of its mother,and slaughtering a mother with its calf on the same day....
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2 votes
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Is there a connection between the serpent in Eden and the brass serpent in the wilderness?

Often unrelated stories are related to each other, (sometimes even despite non similar words). In this present case, one particular animal has a (some kind of) central role to its development. In the ...
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Rashi on Adam and on the Snake cunningness

The snake was able to speak from its creation (Likutei Sichos (10) p. 13) so why is man singled out as being capable of speech (דעה ודבור acc. to Rashi) if the snake already had it?
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