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26 votes

Why does Torah consider Bats as birds?

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 ...
Danny Schoemann's user avatar
20 votes

Why does Torah consider Bats as birds?

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 ...
user15464's user avatar
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14 votes
Accepted

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

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, ...
mbloch's user avatar
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10 votes
Accepted

Where did the "a cat will always be a cat" story about the Rambam come from?

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 ...
Aryeh's user avatar
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10 votes

Could Yonah's "whale" have been a whale?

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 (...
רבות מחשבות's user avatar
10 votes

Did Adam have intercourse with animals?

There is disagreement about this among the commentators. Here is a quote from the Artscroll Rashi Chumash Bereishis 2:23 footnote 4: Divrei Dovid...says that this prohibition [to have relations ...
Jay's user avatar
  • 6,507
10 votes

According to Kabbalah is it okay to have a pet dove?

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 ...
ertert3terte's user avatar
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9 votes

Source that tzaar baalei chayyim only applies to kosher animals?

This is incorrect. Examples given include loading and unloading a donkey as we see in Tzaar Baalei Chayim Thus, the halacha applies to all animals In Shemot, we are told to help him unload: “If you ...
sabbahillel's user avatar
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8 votes

What did the Jews' animals in the desert eat?

The Yalqut Reubeni (here, s.v. מה) addresses this question and quotes from a collection ‘Sode Raza’ (attributed to student(s) of R. Yehudah HaChasid) that the layer of dew would bring forth vegetables ...
Oliver's user avatar
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8 votes
Accepted

Regurgitating Living Forbidden Species

At the end of perek Gid Hanashe (103 IIRC) in Chullin, the gemara cites a question concerning what is considered eating. Do we say its the benefit of the throat or the digestion of the stomach? The ...
sam's user avatar
  • 42k
8 votes

Castrated pet ownership

Rambam Hilchot Issurei Biah 16:13 אָסוּר לוֹמַר לְעַכּוּ''ם לְסָרֵס בְּהֵמָה שֶׁלָּנוּ. וְאִם לְקָחָהּ הוּא מֵעַצְמוֹ וְסֵרְסָהּ מֻתָּר. וְאִם הֶעֱרִים יִשְׂרָאֵל בְּדָבָר זֶה קוֹנְסִין אוֹתוֹ ...
Joel K's user avatar
  • 43.6k
8 votes

Can one lechatchila choose to behead a firstborn donkey?

Mishna Bekhorot 1:7 מצות פדייה קודמת למצות עריפה, שנאמר "אם לא תפדה וערפתו"‏ The Mitzva of redeeming precedes the Mitzva of [killing], as it says "And if you don't redeem is, [kill] it". So ...
Double AA's user avatar
  • 99.5k
8 votes
Accepted

Can one lechatchila choose to behead a firstborn donkey?

The Rambam (Hil. Bikkurim 12:1) writes: מצות עשה לפדות כל אדם מישראל פטר חמור בשה ואם לא רצה לפדותו מצות עשה לעורפו שנאמר ופטר חמור תפדה בשה ואם לא תפדה וערפתו ושתי מצות אלו נוהגות בכל מקום ובכל זמן ...
wfb's user avatar
  • 14.5k
8 votes

Neta Revai is achzareyos?

My understanding is that Chizkuni's focus when bringing neta' reva’i into the discussion is ra'avtanut i.e. voracity or gluttony. He is saying that a reason behind forbidding eating very immature ...
Joel K's user avatar
  • 43.6k
8 votes

Is it still prohibited to raise sheep/goats in Eretz Yisrael?

Welcome to Mi Yodeya! This very broad article deals with the issue well. The main source he quotes is Shulchan Aruch Choshen Mishpat, 409:1. אין מגדלים בהמה דקה בארץ ישראל מפני שדרכם לרעות בשדות של ...
talmidforlife's user avatar
8 votes

Animal Sentience in Judaism

In Guide for the Perplexed 3:48 Rambam writes: There is no difference in this case between the pain of man and the pain of other living beings, since the love and tenderness of the mother for her ...
Alex's user avatar
  • 49.5k
7 votes
Accepted

Can you benefit from a lost animal while waiting to find the owner?

Babba Metziah 28b - 29a discusses the issue of reimbursing the finder for his expenses in caring for the lost animal. The idea is based on Devarim 22:2. The Mishnah points out that the verse tells ...
David Kenner's user avatar
  • 10.8k
7 votes

Jewish Pets in Halacha

Because God is compassionate on all his creatures, we have a number of laws that make keeping domestic animals complicated. By acquiring an animal, one acquires a master, for instance one should feed ...
mbloch's user avatar
  • 52.7k
7 votes
Accepted

Is is possible to use Chayos as Korbanos

Rambam Mishneh Torah, Hilchot Ma'aseh HaKorbanot 1:1: כָּל הַקָּרְבָּנוֹת שֶׁל מִינֵי נֶפֶשׁ חַיָּה בָּאִין מֵחֲמִשָּׁה מִינִין בִּלְבַד. מִן הַבָּקָר וּמִן הַכְּבָשִׂים וּמִן הָעִזִּים וּמִן ...
Joel K's user avatar
  • 43.6k
7 votes
Accepted

Does one have to feed his dog, parrot, or goldfish before eating according to this Gemara?

Rav Yaakov Emden -Shilas Yaavetz 1:17 writes that a pet needs to be fed first and fish are included. It is important to note that if the animal has a feeding schedule and your pet wouldn't be hungry ...
sam's user avatar
  • 42k
7 votes

Source for the lion as a symbol for divine judgement?

Deuteronomy 33:22: וּלְדָ֣ן אָמַ֔ר דָּ֖ן גּ֣וּר אַרְיֵ֑ה יְזַנֵּ֖ק מִן־הַבָּשָֽׁן׃ And of Dan he said: Dan is a lion’s whelp That leaps forth from Bashan. Rabbeinu Bachya writes in his ...
alicht's user avatar
  • 12.1k
6 votes
Accepted

Training an animal to do malacha

Exodus (23:12) states: לְמַ֣עַן יָנ֗וּחַ שֽׁוֹרְךָ֙ וַחֲמֹרֶ֔ךָ This teaches (cf. Yerushalmi Betsah 5:2, Rambam's Hilhkot Shabbat 6:16) that animals may not be used for melakha on Shabbat. This ...
mevaqesh's user avatar
  • 35.7k
6 votes

Eating Meat: What Changed?

Ralbag in his commentary to Genesis 1:29 explains that nothing changed, and man was in fact allowed to eat meat all along. He quotes the Talmudic statement that there was in fact a change, and says ...
Alex's user avatar
  • 49.5k
6 votes

sefer Yetzirah ox goring,or Golem damages

If a golem or an ox is intentionally made from scratch by a man via Sefer Yetzira, then for damages incurred he would be Chayav (liable) on par with one that makes a fire which causes damage. The ...
user15464's user avatar
  • 11.5k
6 votes

Did Adam have intercourse with animals?

The vast majority of classical Jewish sources, including all the Geonim, and most Rishonim, state that the Midrashim (exegetical rabbinic literature) reflect the views of individual rabbis; not the ...
mevaqesh's user avatar
  • 35.7k
6 votes

Why are castrated animals slaughtered as Kosher beef?

Castration of an animal is forbidden to Gentiles (according to most opinions) so a Jew cannot tell him to do so. If he does he is forbidden to eat that animal. But if the gentile has already castrated ...
user15464's user avatar
  • 11.5k
6 votes
Accepted

Origin of pigs as a species

Maybe you heard of a story reported in "Legends of Old Testament Characters, from the Talmud and other sources" by a Rev. S. Baring-Gould, chapter 14 There left the ark two sorts of animals which ...
mbloch's user avatar
  • 52.7k
6 votes
Accepted

Dog licks - kashrut status of dog saliva?

We find that dough (or bread) into which a dog bit remains tahor, unless there are grounds for assuming that the dog had touched the food with tamei liquids in its mouth. Its saliva getting on the ...
Meir's user avatar
  • 9,718
5 votes

Playing with a pet on Shabbos

I had thought the answer was "absolutely yes" (i.e., you cannot pet even your own dog on Shabbos), but I checked two of my Shabbos seforim and the Internet and found a bit of nuance. Volume 2, Part V ...
SAH's user avatar
  • 19.9k
5 votes

Why is the word "tzvi" ambiguous?

R. Natan Slifkin discusses this in a number of places. In one such place he writes: This is no different from how the Rishonim in Ashkenaz mistakenly thought that the tzvi is the deer, and were ...
Alex's user avatar
  • 49.5k

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