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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4answers
325 views

Animal R'aim of the midrash

I saw in the book, "The midrash says" by Rabbi Moshe Weissman that the Midrash Socher Tov 22 explains that a creature called R'aim that David mistook as a hill, lifted David up into the sky and only ...
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3answers
355 views

Snakes talking?

I am wondering why snakes no longer talk. The Lord punished the serpent by making him crawl on his belly and eat dust, and be at odds with Eve's offspring, but it does not mention taking away the ...
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1answer
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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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Status of a human-mermaid offspring

This is NOT Purim Torah. Dolfinim can give birth from humans. What are dolfinim? Says Rav Yehudah, mermaids.1 Bechoros 8a. Translation follows Rashi. Whether there are actually mermaids is ...
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1answer
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Playing with non-kosher animals

I have often heard it said that there is a tradition amongst kabbalists not to own, play with or possibly even look at animals that are not kosher. Assuming that this is correct, my question is ...
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Can I defend my animals with lethal force?

We know that it is permitted, in self-defense, to kill one who is trying to kill you, and I have heard that this applies to other people too (I see someone trying to kill someone else and I intervene)....
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1answer
69 views

Blessing the Beasts

And…blessed them (Bereshis 1:22): Rash - Because [people] decimate them and hunt them and eat them, they required a blessing; and the beasts also required a blessing, but because the serpent was ...
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Why were cows so Important and preferred as sacrifice over other animals in Bani Israel?

I read a lot about cows used in sacrifice , what is the reason that cows were sacrificed and what was the importance of cows for Bani Israel
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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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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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1answer
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What is a תלא אילן that looks like the תחש?

Shabbat 28a discusses the תחש skin that was used as a covering for the Mishkan. One opinion there (R' Nechemya) says: רבי נחמיה אומר מכסה אחד היה ודומה כמין תלא אילן והא תלא אילן טמא הוא ה"ק ...
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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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Can a service dog enter a Temple during service?

At Rosh Hashanah service today, a congregant brought his service dog with him. He's not blind, the service dog vest said it was for hearing. Is the temple being kind, or are they required to permit ...
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1answer
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Why the Golden calf was a calf and not a bull?

If I recall correctly, the sources say the idol was created grown up and fully functioning. Even if it was still in infant stages, Bava Kamma 65b: אמר רבא שור בן יומו קרוי שור (DonielF) according ...
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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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What actually happened to Jacob's and Laban's sheeps and goats?

Genesis 30 (JPS): 34 And Laban said: 'Behold, would it might be according to thy word.' 35 And he removed that day the he-goats that were streaked and spotted, and all the she-goats that were ...
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Noah - Feeding the Animals

Chazal tell us that Noah worked hard to keep all of the animals in the ark well fed. Most (or at least many) animals are carnivores or insectivores. Does that mean Noah in fact brought in animals to ...
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Eating Meat: What Changed?

Adam wasn't allowed to eat meat. After the mabul (Flood) we were suddenly permitted to eat (Bereshit 9:3). What changed (ie what was the reason we weren't allowed to before, why are we allowed to now ...
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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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How did animals get their soul?

We know that in the process of the creation of Man, his body was shaped from the earth but his soul (נשמה) was blown by G-d. Animals, IIRC, appeared from the earth and from the water already with ...
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Remes - רֶמֶשׂ - in Genesis 9:3

In Genesis 9:3 Noah is told he can eat every moving thing that lives, but I have always had a problem with the translation of moving thing meaning every live animal. The word translated as moving ...
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Did Adam have intercourse with animals?

Yebamoth 63a states that Adam had intercourse with animals: א"ר אלעזר מאי דכתיב (בראשית ב, כג) זאת הפעם עצם מעצמי ובשר מבשרי מלמד שבא אדם על כל בהמה וחיה ולא נתקררה דעתו עד שבא על חוה And Rabbi ...
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1answer
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Agricultural events and the Jewish calendar

There are many dates in the Jewish calendar that are connected to agricultural events. They include: Shavuot is Chag Ha'Katzir, the Holiday of the Harvest - Shemot 23:16 Sukkot is Chag Ha'Assif, the ...
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Interfering with wild predator and prey animals

Would it be considered tzaar baalei chaim (animal cruelty) to assist a wild animal at the expense of another? Would it be acceptable to help a wild predator catch wild prey (causing distress to the ...
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1answer
221 views

Kosher New World Animals

When Jews first set foot on new-to-them continents (AKA: North America, South America, and Australia), they would have found many animals that were previously unknown to them. Some of these new ...
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1answer
108 views

Is it a problem to eat animal leftovers

Is it true that there is a Jewish custom not to eat after animals (even if not mius issue (ie the person eating does not know)) ie if a rat ate a piece of a fruit I can't just cut off that part and ...
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2answers
304 views

Can one lechatchila choose to behead a firstborn donkey?

A firstborn donkey must be redeemed by giving a lamb or goat kid to a kohen. If the owner of the donkey doesn't redeem it, the donkey must be decapitated with an ax and buried. Rashi says that this ...
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1answer
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Where did the “a cat will always be a cat” story about the Rambam come from?

I've seen and heard a story about the Rambam told multiple times along the lines of this particularly concise retelling: There is a beautiful story of a disagreement that Maimonides had with a ...
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1answer
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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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1answer
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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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Playing with a pet on Shabbos

Is there any opinion that holds one may play or touch a pet on Shabbos (even though animals are normally muktzeh on Shabbos.) Specifically one that is meant for this purpose (to play with.) I heard ...
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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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1answer
368 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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1answer
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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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Are sea sponges kosher?

The sea sponge is scientifically classified as an animal (kingdom Animalia), therefore maybe it would be considered unkosher, as seafood. On the other hand, its phylum Porifera is distinct and ...
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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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1answer
348 views

Why are castrated animals slaughtered as Kosher beef?

Castration and dehorning of cattle is the common practice in the cattle industry. This a violation a basic Noahide Law ref Tractate Sanhedrin 56a-b: שבע מצות נצטוו בני נח ...רבי חידקא אומר אף על ...
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Why does Torah consider Bats as birds?

It seems from Parashat Re'eh (Deut 14:18): וְהַחֲסִידָה וְהָאֲנָפָה לְמִינָהּ וְהַדּוּכִיפַת וְהָעֲטַלֵּף׃ the stork, any variety of heron, the hoopoe, and the bat. that Torah considers BATS as ...
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Why are there no fish korbanot?

Land animals, birds, wheat and fruit offerings all feature on the list of offerings that Bnei Israel bring for Hashem. Is there anyone that discusses why there are no fish korbanot?
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Does a dog know that it's a dog?

According to Jewish thought, do animals have the self-awareness to know that they exist? Do they know that they are animals? Does an animal differentiate itself from other animals?
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2answers
578 views

Hunting in Judaism

Hunting is generally frowned on in Judaism, and hunting for sport is especially frowned on. However, as hunting is not completely assur, I had the following question: how exactly would a Jew hunt? ...
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2answers
180 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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3answers
558 views

How could we learn behavior from animals?

The gemarah in Eruvin 100b says that had the Torah not been give we would have learned various behaviors from certain animals, such as modesty from the cat. To me this presupposes that had the Torah ...
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1answer
22 views

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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In Leviticus 1:2, the Torah specifies beheimah, shor, tzon for korbonos. What is beheimah?

The passuk in Leviticus 1:2 says: דַּבֵּר אֶל-בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל, וְאָמַרְתָּ אֲלֵהֶם, אָדָם כִּי-יַקְרִיב מִכֶּם קָרְבָּן, לַיהוָה--מִן-הַבְּהֵמָה, מִן-הַבָּקָר וּמִן-הַצֹּאן, תַּקְרִיבוּ, אֶת-...
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How much is 2 Zuz worth in current USD?

As mentioned in the Passover Hagaddah, how much is "2 Zuz" worth in March 2013 US Dollars? Please note there may be different types of Zuz: "זוזי פשיטי" and "זוזי ממש" (Ketuvot 67a). This may be the ...

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