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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53 views

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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The science behind making liver kosher

It seems that salting and soaking liver is insufficient to release the blood sufficiently to make it kosher. It needs to be broiled (or is there some other method that also works?) What's the science ...
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370 views

Source for the lion as a symbol for divine judgement?

I recall hearing that the lion symbolically represents Middat haDin, the attribute of divine justice, but I don't know of a source for this idea. Is there a source which states that the lion is a ...
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Why did the two tribes have significantly more livestock than others?

The sizes of Gad and Reuben tribes were pretty average, however, Torah states that their livestock was disproportionally big (Num 32): וּמִקְנֶה רַב הָיָה לִבְנֵי רְאוּבֵן וְלִבְנֵי־גָד עָצוּם מְאֹד׃ ...
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Practicalities of the "graze until they become defected" strategy

Mishnayot Zevachim 8:1-3 repeatedly prescribe the strategy of "יִרְעוּ עַד שֶׁיִּסְתָּאֲבוּ" - "they graze until they become defected" for dealing with animals that are stuck in situations of doubt ...
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Is there a way to find out where a Pidyon Peter Chamor will be performed?

I am planning on being in Israel later this summer, IY"H. I'd like to do a few "unusual" things (call it my "mitzvah bucket list") that I may not do otherwise. I've never been to a pidyon peter ...
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Can a genetically modified pig be kosher, if gestated in a kosher animal? [duplicate]

This answer says that a pig that was genetically modified to chew it's cud would not be kosher if gestated in a pig. For clarification, would it be kosher if it was gestated in a cow or other kosher ...
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255 views

What is Chulda and Bardelas

The gemara in Pesachim 9b states: שהטילה נפל לבור ….. חכמים וטיהרוהו מפני שחולדה וברדלס מצויין שם (translation from Sefaria) who threw a stillborn baby into a pit, ... and a priest ...
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Why would one who redeems someone else's firstborn donkey be able to keep it, if he's effectively forcing the owner into a sale?

Bechoros 11a rules that one may redeem someone else's firstborn donkey on their behalf. The Gemara asks: If someone were to do this, who gets to keep the donkey? Now, there's a dispute between R' ...
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Can a pregnant woman go to aquariums?

Some have the custom that pregnant women do not go to zoos. (See here) Does this custom extend to aquariums too?
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Found animals in Y'rushalayim going straight to the Mikdash without waiting for the owner?

If one finds an animal (of certain species) in or around Y'rushalayim [when the Beis Hamikdash is up and running] one can assume it was destined to be brought as a karban and give it to the custodians ...
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202 views

Petting an unredeemed firstborn donkey ("Peter Chamor")

The Talmud (Bekhoroth 9b) cites the opinion of Rabbi Yehuda that it is forbidden to derive benefit from a firstborn donkey before it is redeemed. This view is codified by the Rambam (Bikkurim 12:4) ...
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What's the halachik classification as to why Dolphins aren't kosher? [duplicate]

What's the halachik classification as to why Dolphins aren't kosher? Is it because: Dolphins are like a fish they live in the ocean and thus the Torah considers them a fish and they don't have fins ...
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Is there a tradition not to mention the pink animal?

My family always say "pink animal" in reference to, well, the pink animal. But now we find nobody remembers the reasons for this. It seems to me I've seen the Hebrew writers say "davar acher," or "...

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