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26

Rabbi Dr. Natan Slifkin, director of The Biblical Museum of Natural History in Beit Shemesh has an article on this in his Rationalist Judaism blog, here. The paragraph that probably answers your question is: A system of classification has no independent reality. It is simply a means by which we measure and describes the animal kingdom, depending upon our ...


25

No. No matter how they would be classified: Fish: Scales could not be removed without ripping skin. Reptile, insect, animal (Behema/Chaya): Neither a grasshopper, nor split hooves. See picture below. Bird:* No mesora for Ashkenazim. For Sefardim, it would need characteristics (simanim): Extant crop: Subject to observation of specimen. Peelable inner lining ...


22

The Midrash Tanchuma (Vayikra 1:8) asks your question: ולמה קריבין קרבן מן העוף ומן הכבשים ומן הצאן ומן העזים ולא מן הדגים, שנאמר, [ו] אם מן העוף עולה קרבנו, אלא בשביל שהם בשר ודם כמו האדם ויוצאין מבטן אמן כמו האדם, מכפרים על האדם. אבל הדגים, ביצים הם ויוצאין מהן וחיין. And why do we offer up sacrifices from birds, sheep and goats but not from fish? Because ...


22

No. Prof. Eliezer Segal, in an essay entitled "Monkey Business," discussing the unfortunate contemporary phenomenon of "Islamicist clerics" preaching that Jews, generally, are descended from apes and pigs, says that there is no Jewish source to be found for this story: Unfortunately, in all the vast stores of ancient rabbinic literature, no text has yet ...


20

The Passuk (Vayikra 11,13) uses the phrase ואת אלה תשקצו מן העוף לא יאכלו when describing all birds bats and insects The word עוף essentially means "a being that flies" This is proven from Tehilim where Dovid Hamelech says: ואמר מי יתן לי אבר כיונה אעופה ואשכנה And I said If only I would be given wings like a dove I would fly... So if one classifies ...


18

Yes. The Jerusalem Talmud (Tractate Megillah) quotes Rav Imi telling his assistant that if a scholar should visit and need to sleep in the Synagogue, he should let him, and allow him to bring his donkey and other objects in as well. This opinion is codified in the Ran in Tractate Megillah. Rav Moshe Feinstein in his Responsa writes, ...


17

The Maharal (Gur Aryeh ibid) explains that the Gemara which says that a person will surely die in a pit full of snakes and scorpions is only when it is full of snakes and scorpions, but this pit just had a few. The Ohr HaChaim explains that the brothers felt Yosef was deserving of death because he had testified falsely about them to their father in matters ...


14

A colleague of mine reminded me that there is actually a Gemara in Berachos 44b that describes a young healthy goat as a 'bar zuza', meaning it costs one zuz. He explained that although Chad Gadya states that the goat was bought for 2 zuz, there are major commentators (see Haggados of the Vlna Gaon and Chasam Sofer) that explain that the repetition of "Chad ...


14

Rashi to Shmuel Aleph 15:3 explains that the Amalekites were sorcerers and were capable of disguising themselves as animals - and for this reason Shaul was commanded to kill even the animals. In his commentary to Devarim 25:19 he brings another explanation: The eradication of the memory of Amaleik had to be absolute, and even if animals remained alive they ...


13

There are a few explanations, all of which (except one) can be found by looking at the following commentaries on the verse cited in the question, Deut. 23:19: Ibn Ezra thought that dogs were simply understood to be disgraceful animals and not to be associated with the purity of sacrifice Ramban writes that dogs are used for hunting and are therefore ...


13

Excrement and urine of a live animal (and in fact anything except an entire limb from a live animal) are not ritually impure, and thus don't affect your hat. (Rambam Avot HaTumah 2:3) As an aside, excrement and urine of a deceased animal (as opposed to its flesh) also are not ritually impure. (ibid. 1:15)


13

R Moshe Feinstein (Even HaEzer IV:92:2) is against raising veal in inhumane ways. He doesn't say the meat is not kosher (see e.g., this answer on MY). Nevertheless, some (e.g., R Moshe Dovid Tendler, the son-in-law of RMF) do not eat veal for ethical reasons. The questions you raise are nevertheless important and I have also become increasingly sensitive to ...


12

Despite this being an old question, it recently came up in conversation, so I'll take a stab at it. Three of these sources (the exception being the Chizkuni, which I found myself) come from a footnote to Eliezer Brodt's article on ברכות הראייה printed in Yeshurun vol. 26 There are indeed a few commentaries that mention werewolves: Rashi, in his commentary ...


12

I would think not, because they probably wouldn't be kosher animals. The basic requirements for being a kosher animal are laid out in Deuteronomy 14:6: וְכָל בְּהֵמָה מַפְרֶסֶת פַּרְסָה וְשֹׁסַעַת שֶׁסַע שְׁתֵּי פְרָסוֹת מַעֲלַת גֵּרָה בַּבְּהֵמָה אֹתָהּ תֹּאכֵלוּ And every animal that has a split hoof and has a hoof cloven into two hoof ...


11

Kosher mammals (cows, sheep, goats, deer, etc.) and birds (pigeons, chickens, etc.) must be killed by kosher slaughter. So if your pet pigeon dies of natural causes, it’s not kosher. (In fact, if you kosher-slaughtered it but then found it had a massive tumor that would have caused it to die soon anyhow of natural causes, it’s still not kosher!) Kosher fish ...


11

I sent this question a couple of years ago to the OU. They sent me back: Thank you for contacting the OU. This has differing opinions among poskim. Some view it as yotzai min ha'tamei because the non-kosher animal digests the bean and this improves it. Others view it as pirsha b'alma [waste matter whose Importance has become Nullified] and permit ...


11

In otzros hatorah page 263 on "vayiftach hashem es pi haton" rabenu bechayeh is quoted asking that Bilam should have been amazed but he was not. He should have marveled at this wonder. However because of his cruelty and evil nature and desire to go curse the Jews, he answered the donkey's question. It continues that from here you can understand why people ...


11

Llamas are members of the Camelidae family, and as such do not have split hooves, only two large toenails, as well as a soft padding behind them. An essential element in an animal being kosher is having split hooves, and hence are not kosher. As members of the camelid family there are presumably included in the verse under the general category of camels, all ...


10

The only Rishon I saw who identifies the Dag Gadol in his commentary is [R Eliezer of Beaugency to Yonah 2:1][1], and he identifies it as a "בַלְיינְא וכיוצא בו", which is a baleine (etc.) in French (see also here) or a whale in English. Therefore, I find it very hard to believe that there is any issue with explaining it as such, and I would recommend that ...


10

Igros Moshe Orach Chaim 5:22 holds that pets are not Muktzah at all. This would mean that even if the pet is feeling fine you may pick up and cuddle your dog on Shabbos. Although there are those who disagree with this ruling, possibly in a case of hardship, pain or discomfort your rabbi will permit relying on it. Yabia Omer 5:26 says that one may move a ...


10

Per Maariv quoting Chadrei Chadarim quoting Rabbi Shteinman Shlita there is no problem answering Amein if one says Kaddish on his dog. "האם מותר לענות אחרי קדיש כזה (לכלב), אמן ואמן יהא שמיה רבא?", נשאל הגראי"ל על ידי תלמידיו, בעקבות פנייה של אדם שביקש להגיד קדיש על כלבו שנפטר - כך על פי אתר האינטרנט החרדי בחדרי חרדים. הגראי"ל חייך והשיב: "הרי ...


10

It's one of the stipulations of Rabbi Yehuda Hachassids ethical will: לא יגדל אדם תורים ובני יונה בתוך ביתו (ע' סי' תתרל"ח). לפי שהבית אשר יגדלו בה או ימותו בניו או לא יהיה לו זרע. One should not grow pigeons or doves in his house, since a house where [one grows pigeons or doves] will not have children or his sons will die. Source Although there is a ...


9

This folktale is quite popular throughout European and Asian cultures, and predates Jewish oral accounts. In Folktales of the Jews, Volume 1: Tales from the Sephardic Dispersion, folklorist Dov Noy links this Jewish folktale to its European precursors. In the 19th century, the French folklorist Emmanuel Georges Cosquin conducted a wide survey on the story'...


9

One answer I learned, heavily steeped in aggadah, was that there was no intent to build a calf. One of the things thrown into the molten gold was something that had the words "aleh shor" written on it, which was previously used to raise Joseph's bones from the Nile (as Joseph was referred to as an ox, or compared to, I forget) so a cow form arose. That is ...


9

Yad Efraim Yoreh Deah 36:14 discusses the trauma of chickens seeing other chickens slaughtered. He says that this causes the chickens much distress and they become treifos from their lungs drying out from fear. He also says that in slaughter houses, animals should not be slaughtered in plain view of other animals because it is Tzaar Baalei Chaim. He ...


9

Iyov (27:18) discusses the ephemeral nature of a wicked person's success: בָּנָה כָעָשׁ בֵּיתוֹ וּכְסֻכָּה עָשָׂה נֹצֵר Translation (Mechon-Mamre): He buildeth his house as a moth,1 and as a booth which the keeper maketh. The Malbim (Iyov, ibid.) interprets the verse as referring to the ephemeral nature of a Lepidoptera chrysalis: כמו שהעש בעת ...


9

It's pretty hard to ask any questions from the first two chapters of Genesis, considering both the esoteric nature of both the topic and the fact that the world seems to have rather different back then in a way that may be inherently incomprehensible for us now that we've been evicted from Eden. That being said, there are several approaches to this ...


9

We learn in Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim 328:33 סימן שכח - דין חולה בשבת: לג גּוֹנֵחַ, מֻתָּר לִינֹק חָלָב מֵהַבְּהֵמָה, דְּבִמְקוֹם צַעְרָא לֹא גָּזְרוּ רַבָּנָן. וְיֵשׁ אוֹמְרִים שֶׁאִם אֵין לוֹ אֶלָּא צַעַר שֶׁל רָעָב, אָסוּר לִינֹק מֵהַבְּהֵמָה בְּשַׁבָּת ‏ Somebody with [some kind of] heart issues may suckle directly from an animal on Shabbat [...


9

The Talmud gets it from Tehillim 104:26: שָׁם, אֳנִיּוֹת יְהַלֵּכוּן; לִוְיָתָן, זֶה-יָצַרְתָּ לְשַׂחֶק-בּוֹ. "There go the ships; there is leviathan, whom Thou hast formed to sport therein." In Canaanite myth, the Leviathan (Lotan) is a dangerous creature whom Baal must slay. Thus: he name of a mythological sea serpent or dragon, personifying the ...


9

IIRC, the Maharal, in Beer Hagoleh ch. 4, explains that the Leviathan is a symbol for the world's great materialism (as it's an enormous mass of flesh-life), and 'playing' is something that may be a source of enjoyment without fulfilling a need. Thus, God is described as playing with earthly materialism, because He doesn't need anything from His creations. ...


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