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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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What defines a “בהמה” (also “חיה”) for the application of kosher-animal indicators?

As discussed in *Asher Bamayim* (אשר במים) in kashrus halacha, *Tzomeach* (צוֹמֵחַ) in kashrus halacha, and *Of* (עוֹף) in kashrus halacha, there are different rules used to determine the kashrus ...
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What does a porcupine have to do with a berit milah?

R' Natan Slifkin, in this recent blog post, presents the above-embedded picture of a porcupine from the Rothschild Miscellany (Italy, 15th Century CE), which adorns a yotzer (seasonal additional ...
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Badikas Chamatz in courtyards of cities today

Shulchan Aruch HaRav says: קרקעית החצר אין צריך בדיקה לפי שעורבין ושאר עופות מצויין שם והם אוכלים כל חמץ שנופל ואפילו אם ידוע לו שיש שם בחצר ודאי חמץ אין צריך ליטלו משם בשעת בדיקת ליל י"ד ואפילו ...
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Is it Tzaar Baalei Chayyim to feed a live animal to another animal?

There are many pets available today that experts recommended feeding (infrequently or at times solely) on live animals. Many reptiles (snakes, chameleons, geckos, monitors, etc.) and many fish are ...
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Can a horse owned by a Jewish owner run in any of the Triple Crown races?

All of the "Triple Crown" horse races (Kentucky Derby, Preakness, and Belmont) occur on Shabbat. If the horse's owner is Jewish, (I just learned that American Pharaoh's owner is Jewish; I didn't know ...
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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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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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Can you get an animal high?

The gemarah (Bava Metziah 32b, based on Shemot 32:5) explains that a person is not allowed to give an animal undo pain, this is know as צער בעל חי. I would like to know if a person is allowed to give ...
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Can one ask a trained animal to do Sabbath work

Is there a prohibition to use a trained animal to do Sabbath work such as turning on a light. (assuming the animal belongs to one's non-Jewish neighbor).
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*Tzomeach* (צוֹמֵחַ) in kashrus halacha

To find the kashrus status of an organism, we first need to correctly classify it as tzomeach, animal, bird, or fish, as each group has its own distinct requirements. E.g., animals need to chew cud ...
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Were semi-marine animals on Noah's Ark?

Otters, alligators, salamanders, frogs, penguins, seals, polar bears, sea lions, platypuses, beavers, sea snakes, sea turtles, etc. These animals to varying degrees need to be able to be both on land ...
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Animal in excruciating pain on Shabbos: What lenient opinions exist?

Are there any respected poskim who would permit killing (with a shinui) a bug or other small creature who is clearly suffering terribly on Shabbos? If not Shabbos, what about Yom Tov? If not killing,...
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What’s the reason behind having to use specifically animal skin for klaf?

What’s the reasoning behind the need to use animals per se as opposed to any other paperlike material for klaf (to write on)? Is there significance in the need to take the life of an animal for the ...
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Maimonides on the purpose of animals?

In the intro to his commentary to Mishnayot the Rambam writes אך על דרך כלל יש לדעת, שכל הנמצאים שתחת גלגל הירח נמצאו בשביל האדם לבדו. וכל מיני החיות, יש מהם למאכלו, כצאן ובקר וזולתם, ויש ...
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Why is there a 'monkey' drawn in this old script of Tefillat Ha'Geshem?

I found this photo printed in a Russian/Hebrew booklet about the Days of Awe. The caption says that this is part of Tefilat HaGeshem, but non specifically says that it is 'ancient' and handwritten. ...
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Fitting for an animal to eat besides a dog

In many halachos about food (Kashrus, owning Chametz on Pesach, etc.), a standard for determining if something retains its status as food is if it is "fitting for a dog to eat." What about other ...
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Throwing out bagged bread vs. feeding to ducks?

There is a prohibition of throwing out bread in larger quantities than a k'zayit (olive-size) if it is still fit for human consumption (see Orach Chayim 180:3; Regarding if it is no longer fit for ...
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Penalty for eating meat prior to it being permitted

Prior to the flood, mankind was not allowed to eat meat (Sanhedrin 59b, various other sources and interpretations here). During this time, was there a penalty for killing and eating an animal, just as ...
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What should you do if your cat brings Chametz into your house?

Your cat plays outside during the day on Pesach. You see your cat rolling around in the dirt that has Chametz that was deposited by Gentiles walking on the street. The cat also decides to carry a bag ...
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Is it permissible to bring back extinct species?

Is it allowed according to halacha to bring back extinct species? The technology is on its way, and i have seen some discussion in non-Jewish contexts about the ethics of it, and how we might be "...
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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 כמין ...
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Meaning of dreams with some kinds of animals

The gemara in berachot says: "All kinds of beasts are a good sign in a dream, except the elephant, the monkey and the long-tailed ape" (57b). Why is a dream with an elephant, a monkey or a long-tailed ...
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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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What are domestic animals that are kosher to raise and quiet?

I want to get an animal to raise and want to be sure to comply with halacha. So I would like to know which animals are kosher to raise in a Jewish home? I am particularly interested in animals which ...
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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 name all the breeds of the same type of animal?

Breishit (Gen.) 2:20 indicates that Adam named all the animals. Did he give each class of animals just general names, or was Adam specific to name each breed of animal as well? E.g. - Did he name ...
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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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Is it permitted to share a plate or bowl with a pet (such as a cat or dog)?

Is it permitted to use the same plates and bowls to feed a pet cat or dog which are also used for eating? Assuming the pet is fed kosher (for humans) food is this permitted? Are there any issues ...
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Why were birds considered to be flieishig (meat) but not fish?

I am basing this on what I had heard in yeshiva a while ago, so I don't know the exact source of the reasoning. My understanding is that according to the Torah, birds (poultry) were considered parve ...
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Which Animals Have Only One Kosher Sign?

Vayikra 11:4-7 mentions four animals that either chew their cud or have split hooves, but do not posses both kosher signs and are therefore not kosher. At the present time, is this a complete list or ...
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7+7 clean animals(Noach 7:2)

Why is the clean animals mentioned only once and the rest of animals(a pair) is mentioned numerous times with the omission of the clean .
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Doggie “Kisses” on Tisha b'Av when Rechitza (Washing) is Forbidden

Several authorities forbid washing on the Ninth of Av, and many of those same authorities often require one to sit on the floor or a low stool during that evening and morning. However, I own a dog and ...
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Why the sexes are not mentioned with animals?

In the creation of animals the Torah does not mention that they were created male and female: וַיַּעַשׂ אֱלֹהִים אֶת־חַיַּת הָאָרֶץ לְמִינָהּ וְאֶת־הַבְּהֵמָה לְמִינָהּ וְאֵת כָּל־רֶמֶשׂ הָאֲדָמָה ...
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Naming animals - different names for males, females and offspring?

My last question "Adam's about naming taxonomy" wasn't so popular, but it presented my view on the logic of naming the animals. Acc. to Bereishit_Rabbah.17.4 naming the animals represents the ...
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Were the domesticated animals created domesticated or wild?

"וַיִּצֶר ה"א מִן־הָאֲדָמָה כָּל־חַיַּת הַשָּׂדֶה וְאֵת כָּל־עוֹף הַשָּׁמַיִם" "And the LORD God formed out of the earth all the wild beasts and all the birds of the sky..." Bereishis 2,19: ...
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What do our sources say about the principle of plenitude?

In the book Nature's Destiny, Michael Denton discusses the principle of plenitude, where he claims that all possible viable life forms on a planet like earth appear to have been actualized (as a sort ...
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In what sense is the nesher connected to geulah?

Parshas shemini lists the nesher (vulture?) as non-kosher animal. But Ieshaiahu describes the future geulah connecting the tzadikim with neshirim (ישעיה מ:לא). Also, Sforno in parshas haazinu alludes ...