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12

R. Yosef Albo, Sefer ha-Ikkarim 3:1, writes: Coral is intermediate between inanimate matter and plants. We also find the sea sponge, which only has the sense of touch, and is an intermediate between plant and animal stages. We also find the monkey to be intermediate between animals and man. This idea is repeated, for example by R. Moshe Isserles (...


9

Shabbat 107b: אמר ליה אביי וכינה אין פרה ורבה והאמר מר יושב הקדוש ברוך הוא וזן מקרני ראמים ועד ביצי כינים מינא הוא דמיקרי ביצי כינים Abaye said to him: And lice do not procreate? Didn’t the Master say: The Holy One, Blessed be He, sits and sustains from the horns of wild oxen to the eggs of lice? [He answered him:] There is a species that is called ...


5

Niddah 9a תניא נמי הכי דם נעכר ונעשה חלב דברי ר"מ רבי יוסי אומר אבריה מתפרקין ואין נפשה חוזרת עליה עד עשרים וארבע חדש א"ר אלעאי מאי טעמא דר"מ דכתיב מי יתן טהור מטמא לא אחד So it was also taught: The menstrual blood is decomposed and turns into milk; so R. Meir. R. Jose stated: Her limbs are disjointed and her natural strength does not return before ...


5

The Snoek fish loses its scales when you take it out of the water. Many kosher consumers in South Africa eat Snoek. Discussion of South African fishermen regarding Snoek: http://www.sealine.co.za/view_topic.php?id=11666&forum_id=1 Bes Din of South Africa listing Snoek as a popular Kosher fish: http://www.uos.co.za/kashrut/fish.asp More about Snoek: ...


3

I didn't find pictures unfortunately, but sharp heads are just that - like in sharks, while kosher fish have a more rounded head, as their mouths are in the front. The spine means actual bones, as opposed to no bones, or cartilage. Kosher fish will always be from the bony fish family. Some more here and here. But the main point I think, as mentioned in the ...


3

From http://parsha.blogspot.com/2010/07/what-is-tzirah.html: Onkelos translates it as ערעיתא, hornet. Ibn Ezra understands it as a type of sickness of the body, along the lines of צרעת. So does Ibn Janach, that it is כליון ודבר


2

Chizkuni (Bereishis 25:25), quoting Rabi Yosi, says that that Esav was conceived by the last drop, and Yaakov by the first drop, and first in is last out. Thus, according to them, they were clearly dizygotic twins, as both eggs must have been fertilized seperately. Ibn Ezra there (same link) says that there were two שליות (amniotic sacs or placenta?) that ...


2

The story you are remembering in your comment about a Jewish adviser to a non-Jewish king is about a type of Swordfish. The Jewish adviser was Rabbi Moshe Benvenisti, most famous as the grandfather of Rabbi Chaim Benvenisti, author of the Knesset haGedolah. The non-Jew is not actually the king, but one of the King's high officers. I don't think we know an ...


2

The Medrash in Lech Lecha said that even if all the learned get together they won't be able to breath life into a gnat. This doesn't object to being able manipulate, or perhaps even create, body parts. But it does state that humans can't produce real, functioning life.


2

Rav Heinemann said that if the DNA of something does not affect the taste (or smell, sound, appearance) of it, then the fact that the DNA is present does not make a difference. He explained this as a function of the same principle that allows us to eat bacteria - halacha deals with what you can detect (even though we could use a microscope to see it. The ...


2

Torah and religion teach of the world as it is (assuming that we know to understand the teaching correctly) while science deals with the world as we see it. There cannot be any religious problem to speak of the world as God has shown it to us, as long as we recognize that our perception of the world should not be taken as the ultimate true description of the ...


1

In the Talmud (Sanhedrin 91b) we find: Antoninus said to Rebbe At what point is the soul given to a human? Is it from the moment of decree [that such a child will exist], or from the moment of formation? He responded: "from the moment of formation." He replied, "is it possible that a piece of meat can last for three days without salt, and yet not become ...


1

The Rambam describes the nature of the soul and its faculties in Shemoneh Peraqim. There's a fair, not good, but fair scan of the English available online, but the Touger edition is particularly good and fairly inexpensive. It's short enough to not make sense to cite to, especially because the explanation spans all eight of the chapters, but I'll briefly ...


1

Maimonides states (Mishnah Torah, Yesodei HaTorah 2:1): והיאך היא הדרך לאהבתו, ויראתו: בשעה שיתבונן האדם במעשיו וברואיו הנפלאים הגדולים, ויראה מהם חכמתו שאין לה ערך ולא קץ--מיד הוא אוהב ומשבח ומפאר ומתאווה תאווה גדולה לידע השם הגדול Translation: How does a person come to love God and fear Him? When a person looks at God's actions and His creations ...


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