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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The Torah's list of animals with one kosher sign

I have a question that has been troubling me for many years and I have never received a satisfactory response. On March 22, 2005 THE NY Times had an article entitled Religion and Natural History ...
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Telling your pet to do melacha on shabbas [duplicate]

If I own a dog and I train it to turn on and off lights is that considered like amirah l'nochri which is assur,or telling an animal is different and would be permitted?
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What prayer may be said upon the death of a beloved pet, specifically, a dog?

Our beloved Yorkshire Terrier has died, due to complications of old age. What prayer(s) may be said, and, is there any one prayer, in particular, that stands out as the most commonly cited prayer upon ...
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How did Hevel acquire his flock?

In Bereishit 4:2-4 we read that Hevel was a keeper of sheep and that he offered from the firstlings of his flock. How did he come to acquire the flock? Did he have to trap them and domesticate them or ...
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Is there a prohibition to say Kaddish after a pet (an animal)?

Is there a prohibition to say kaddish for a just died pet (yes, an animal)? This is not similar to this, which asks if there is a prayer for a dying pet, my question is if there is a prohibition to ...
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Answering Amen to kaddish for a dog

I once attended a synagogue regularly where a particular congregant was infatuated with his dog. Upon the passing of the dog the congregant began to say kaddish. He was unclear of his reasons for ...
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Do animals have a share in the world to come? [duplicate]

Is it stated anywhere what happens to animals when they die? I think it is stated somewhere they have no share in the world to come, so what happens to them after they die? This topic interests me ...
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What are the signs for Kosher Locusts?

I've been researching the simanim (signs) for kasher chagav (locusts/grasshoppers) and have found some information but I need some details. The Yemenites often describe the sign as a ח on the chest ...
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Why is the word “tzvi” ambiguous? [closed]

The word tsvi (צבי) is traditionally considered to mean "deer". For example, the Hebrew name "Tsvi" has the Yiddish equivalent "Hersh", and "Hirsch" means "deer" in German. On the other hand, in ...
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Why is eating meat from living animals wrong?

Why is it wrong to eat meat from a living animal? Is it because it is cruel? Is it because it is impure? Why is it?
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Does the Torah discuss aliens?

Does the Torah discuss extra-terrestrial life and/or civilizations? Do any Torah sources exist which discuss what these hypothetical beings would be like and their status/nature? (eg. Would they be ...
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How do we reconcile the order of creating animals betweeen Genesis and science?

https://skeptics.stackexchange.com/questions/6932/does-the-torah-encoded-age-of-the-universe-match-science#comment53788_6932 The Genesis 1 creation account conflicts with the order of events that ...
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Pets in Judaism

So I was wondering what Judaism has had to say about pets in the past. Is it ideal to have them? Is there any spiritual negativity in keeping dogs or such? Dogs are generally not representing good ...
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Does one need to worry about feeding his pet gebrokhts or kitniyot on Pesach? [duplicate]

I thought I had seen just about every unusual Pesach food item, but, it seems that each year, some other idea comes out. I just saw this in my neighborhood store. Ashkenazim don't eat kitniyot and ...
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Tzar balei Chaim mouse traps

There are many different types of mouse traps. (Example old fashioned snappers, new electrocution, confinement, sticky) my question is would some on these be assur because of tzar balei Chaim ( the ...
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Does halakha count primates as “almost human”?

I have read that the although the halakha requires koah gever (human strength/exertion) for pouring water over hands for n'ttilath yadhayim but it says explicitly in the Mishna that a qof (monkey) may ...
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Could Yonah's “whale” have been a whale?

Just prior to the start of Yom Kippur this year, a young child corrected me when I mentioned Yonah's whale and said that, "it wasn't a whale; it was a Dag Gadol." I had to admit, this was good ...
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Understanding Bereshit 1:30

Bereshit 1:30 says וּֽלְכָל־חַיַּ֣ת הָ֠אָרֶץ וּלְכָל־ע֨וֹף הַשָּׁמַ֜יִם וּלְכֹ֣ל ׀ רוֹמֵ֣שׂ עַל־הָאָ֗רֶץ אֲשֶׁר־בּוֹ֙ נֶ֣פֶשׁ חַיָּ֔ה אֶת־כָּל־יֶ֥רֶק עֵ֖שֶׂב לְאָכְלָ֑ה וַֽיְהִי־כֵֽן׃ And to all the ...
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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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Did the Torah Sages discuss evolution

Are there examples in chazal of the sages discussing the phenomena of micro-evolution (or macro), i.e. adaptive changes in creatures.
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Adam naming the land animals and fowl

In Genesis 2:19: And the Lord God formed from the earth every beast of the field and every fowl of the heavens, and He brought [it] to man to see what he would call it, and whatever the man ...
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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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Were some Jews transformed to monkeys for violating the sabbath?

Some historical Islamic sources quote that early Jews who violated the Sabbath were transformed into apes : O Jews! Remember that Allah sent His torment on the village that disobeyed Him and broke ...
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Did the brothers know about the snakes and scorpions in the pit?

Yosef's brothers took him and threw him into a pit (Bereishis 37:24). Chazal tell us that the pit had snakes and scorpions in it (see Rashi there). Reuvein seems to think he is saving Yosef by ...
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If shepherds are taboo to Egyptians, what do we make of them having sheep themselves?

Yosef tells his family to say they're shepherds because that's taboo to Egypt: you must say, 'We and our fathers have dealt in livestock all our lives'. You will then be able to settle in the ...
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Berachah at the zoo?

Should one say the Berachah of משנה הבריות when one goes to the zoo* and sees many animals one would never see outside the zoo? What if one actually sees animals that he has never seen before? Should ...
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5answers
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Does the colouring of animals depend on what the mother sees before conception?

What is the meaning of the strategies (hishtadlus) that Yaakov made with the conception of the animals starting at 30 (37)? Is it or was it a natural thing that the colouring of animals depends on ...
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Are there meforshim on perek shira?

Are there meforshim on perek shira? I'm looking for anything besides artscroll. If there are many, which would you recommend to start?
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1answer
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Training an animal to do malacha

Is one allowed to train an animal to do malacha on shabbas (e.g. turn on a light)? Is it comparable to amira l'nochri (telling a non-Jew to do so), or do we say its mutar altogether?
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Did Noah gather the animals, or did they come themselves

In Genesis (6:19) God commands Noah to gather the animals: וּמִכָּל־הָ֠חַי מִֽכָּל־בָּשָׂ֞ר שְׁנַ֧יִם מִכֹּ֛ל תָּבִ֥יא אֶל־הַתֵּבָ֖ה לְהַחֲיֹ֣ת אִתָּ֑ךְ Verse 20, however, concludes that the ...
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How many Kosher animals were in Noach's Ark?

How many animals total of each Kosher species were in the teivah during the flood?
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What is the significance of bears in Judaism? Why has Dov (or Dov Ber) been such a common Jewish name?

I understand, to some extent at least, why lions are an important symbol in Judaism. After all, in the beginning of the Shulchan Aruch we are told we should rise like a lion to serve our Creator, and ...
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2answers
770 views

How many giraffes were on the ark

How many giraffes were on the ark? Basically, some hold that the giraffe is kosher, so there should be 14 (or 7, depending on the explanation of the verses) giraffes. On the other hand, most of the "...
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1answer
52 views

Lions vs. dogs for defense?

I am looking for a statement in Gemara or Halacha that one may own a dog for defense but not a lion. Does any of you know the source?
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1answer
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Why say the rams are reddened?

Among the materials used for the mishkan were "reddened rams' hides" (T'ruma 25:5). There are two ways one can read that phrase: it can mean "reddened hides of rams", that the hides were reddened, or "...
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Is it acceptable under kashrut to eat tyrannosauridae meat?

Theoretically speaking, if tyrannosaurs were still present these days, or in some way or another brought back, would they be kosher? Let's assume that they are properly slaughtered and prepared.
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What is it about pigs that's so despised vs. other non-kosher animals?

We all hear about pigs being so much more reviled than other forms of non-kosher. This is true in general culture; I believe such a minhag was recorded with regards to using soap rendered from non-...
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Is an animal raised on basar bechalav feed permissible

Veal can be raised on formula that contains basar bechalav (a meat and milk mixture) which is asur behana'ah (forbidden to derive benefit from). Would this isur cause the meat from animals exclusively ...
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Is there an issue with ladies going to the zoo when they are pregnant?

Is there an issue with ladies going to the zoo when they are pregnant? If yes then why is it a problem?
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1answer
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Does tzar baalei chayim include mental anguish?

Does the prohibition on causing tzar baalei chayim (paining animals) preclude acts which only cause an animal mental anguish, such as scaring them, or it is limited to physical pain?
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Source that tzaar baalei chayyim only applies to kosher animals?

I remember learning that tzaar baalei chayyim only applies to kosher animals and being very surprised and disappointed, but I don't remember the source at all. Does anyone know where this idea comes ...
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Can you experiment on animals?

May a person perform or otherwise participate in experiments on live animals which will cause the animals pain? I would assume this is forbidden under tzaar baalei chayim. But perhaps there is a heter ...
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1answer
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Do animals have a connection with God?

According to Jewish sources, do animals have a connection with God? by connection I mean some kind of awareness of His existence or perhaps some sort of communion.
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Contradiction between Shemos 9:6 and 9:20-21?

In Shemos 9:6: "HASHEM carried out this word the next day, and all the livestock of Egypt died, and of the livestock of the Children of Israel not one died." (Artscroll English Tanach) This ...
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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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Eating Giraffe Meat

Why is it common practice not to eat Giraffe Meat?
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What's the difference between כשב and כבש?

What's the difference between כשב and כבש? Why does the Torah use both?
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1answer
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Sforno on the Nachash

The Sforno on Bereishis 3:1 explains that the Nachash, snake, is not an actual snake but is rather the Satan/Yetzer Harah. With that in mind, what does the Sforno do with the curse Hashem gives the ...
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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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1answer
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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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