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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1answer
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Can 'cruelty to animals' render an animal not kosher?

The problem of cruelty to animals is rife in the food production industry. This article brings the reasoning of two Rabbanim to forbid foie gras and veal on these grounds: Some of the greatest ...
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Ten plagues of Egypt: hail and pestilence

According to Moses, the fifth plague of Egypt killed all livestock except that of Israel. If all were killed, then why did Moses warn the Pharaoh to bring his cattle to shelter before the hail? The ...
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Why do/did Jews sacrifice animals?

What's the purpose of sacrificing animals in Jewish tradition/law?
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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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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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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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How animals populated different continents after the flood?

What are some understandings as to how animals populated different continents after the flood? Did some species of animals survive the flood? Or are we to understand that the flood only affected the ...
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*Asher Bamayim* (אשר במים) in kashrus halacha

To find the kashrus status of an organism, we first need to correctly classify it as plant, animal, bird, or asher bamayim*, as each group has its own distinct requirements. E.g., animals need to chew ...
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635 views

Spaying of female dogs

Is it acceptable to spay a pet female dog, or is there a prohibition against neutering a female dog like that of a male dog?
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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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316 views

*Of* (עוֹף) in kashrus halacha

To find the kashrus status of an organism, we first need to correctly classify it as plant, animal, of, or fish, as each group has its own distinct requirements. E.g., animals need to chew cud and ...
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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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Eating Giraffe Meat

Why is it common practice not to eat Giraffe Meat?
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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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Why was King Shaul commanded to kill all the animals of Amalek?

In the Haftorah for parshas Zochor we read that Hashem commanded King Shaul not only to destroy all the Amalekites, but also all their animals. Why was there a need to destroy also the animals?
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Animals sixth sense

It seems that there is evidence that animals possess a sixth sense, such as in their fleeing from the area struck by the huge tsunami of 2005 well before the earthquake which triggered it occurred. Is ...
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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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752 views

Viewing copulating animals

As a child at the zoo I was taught that one is not allowed to view animals while they are copulating. However as a pet owner I have learned that the exposed genitals of animals do not prohibit a ...
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369 views

What is better: checking vegetables yourself, or buying them pre-checked?

Nowadays you can purchase pre checked fresh lettuce, and frozen checked veggies. What is more preferable - to check yourself or to purchase pre checked?
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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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636 views

Gift of a Teddy Bear to New Born Baby

Can I give a new born jewish baby a furry Teddy Bear? I was told that a handmade teddy bear especially made as a gift and given to a new born baby of a religious family was returned? A doll would be ...
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Status of an elderly pet on Shabbos/Yom Tov

My dog passed away just short of her 19th birthday, which is very geriatric in dog terms. I believe she would have been the equivalent age of a human in their 100s. She was blind, deaf and arthritic, ...
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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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What is it with the donkeys all over Parashat Mikeitz?

So, we got Bereshit 42, psukim 26, 27 כו וַיִּשְׂאוּ אֶת-שִׁבְרָם, עַל-חֲמֹרֵיהֶם; וַיֵּלְכוּ, מִשָּׁם. כז וַיִּפְתַּח הָאֶחָד אֶת-שַׂקּוֹ, לָתֵת מִסְפּוֹא לַחֲמֹרוֹ--בַּמָּלוֹן; וַיַּרְא, אֶת-...
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Why do we burn chametz instead of other ways of destroying it?

Before Pesach we burn whatever chametz we have not sold or otherwise removed from our ownership. Why specifically do we burn it instead of finding another way to dispose of it? Perhaps a lest wasteful ...
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Can you benefit from a lost animal while waiting to find the owner?

If we find a lost animal we must return it to its owner (seen most recently on Bava Metzia 30, but I know this is codified elsewhere and said directly in D'varim). I also understand that we must care ...
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Can I free a trapped wild animal on shabbat?

If I find an animal trapped under a box on shabbat, is there anything wrong with letting it out?
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Proliferation of species after the flood

I am curious as to how many species didn't go extinct immediately after the flood. There were 2 of each non-kosher animal that came off of the ark. I assume that the foxes and lions got hungry ...
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The difference between שור and פר

In Mishpatim (and perhaps elsewhere), the Tora refers to an animal incurring or causing damage, and calls it a shor, שור, commonly translated ox. In Pin'chas (and Achare and perhaps elsewhere), the ...
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Animal rights vs other considerations in halacha and hashkafa

On a boat, Reuven owns five ostriches and one of them eats a diamond off of Shimon's hat which is on his head. Though we are not sure which one ate it we know with certainty that one of them did. ...
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Why all the talk about colored sheep and goats?

In the VaYetze weekly reading (Parasha) there is a long description of the colors of the sheep and goat: Akudim, Nekutim... What is the reason behind all of this descriptions? If the text wanted to ...
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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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Horse back riding for women

Is it permissible for an Orthodox woman to do horseback riding in an ordinary saddle, or does she have to use a sidesaddle? Furthermore, would she be able to use women's trousers made for horseback ...
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why create non kosher animals?

why did hashem create non kosher animals, was it to tempt us and see if we would control ourselves?
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Check cashmere for Shatnez?

Is one required to check cashmere clothing for shatnez? Cashmere is a kind of wool that does not come from sheep.
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According to Kabbalah is it okay to have a pet dove?

I want to buy a dove but my parents say that they heard that according to Kabbalah you cannot own a bird as a pet. I want to know what Kabbalah says about this.
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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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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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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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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 the metamorphosis of a caterpillar into a butterfly mentioned anywhere in Rabbinic literature?

My late great grandfather was a torah scholar, but with all his learning, he never knew that a caterpillar metamorphoses into a butterfly. He was amazed when someone told him about the common ...
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Shechting non-Kosher animals

The question was asked: If someone for example is sick and must eat from a non-kosher animal. Must it be shechted (slaughtered) first like a kosher animal? I don't see any reason why it should, since ...
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363 views

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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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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Elisha, the children, and the bears: what is really going on here?

After Eliyahu goes up to heaven, Elisha solves a water problem in Jericho and then heads to Bethel. On the way, some young children accost him, he curses them in the name of God, and two she-bears ...
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Why can't Hashem chase the people out of Canaan quickly?

Exodus 23:29 says that Hashem promised not to drive out the indigenous peoples of Canaan too quickly lest the wild animals become too plentiful. This is repeated in Deuteronomy 7:22. However the ...
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Why did the Israelites build a golden calf in the desert?

Why did the Israelites build a golden calf in the desert? The question is, why a calf? Why not a golden cat, a golden eagle, a golden lion, golden parachutes or a gold bar? Of all the images they ...
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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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Can Jews raise pets (cats, dogs, swine)?

The Muslims do not have swine but they do have cats and dogs. Something to do with not touching haram animals. I know that Jews also consider pigs unclean, as well as cats and dogs. Is this ...
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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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