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16

According to the Mishna (Sotah 9:12), the Shamir wasn't extinct until the destruction of the second Beis Hamikdash. ט:יב משמתו נביאים הראשונים, בטלו אורים ותומים. משחרב בית המקדש, בטל השמיר ונופת צופים;‏ Incidentally, there is no mention of the Shamir in Rambam. Ever the rationalist, Rambam doesn't believe in demons (which were associated with the ...


12

If one has a flea on his skin and is biting him, he may remove it, but should not kill it. There is no violation of the melacha of tzad because these items are not generally hunted and are prohibited only Rabbinically, which is waived since there is pain. (Mishne Berurah 316:36,37) A tick bite in addition to the above heter also involves potential personal ...


11

Great question! Apparently, 2 cockroaches were on the ark. Breishit (Gen.) 6:20 mentions "all that crawls on the land". I would include insects in that category. Apparently, they made it out of the ark alive, too as Breishit 8:17 implies. Miraculous that the elephants didn't squash them and the cats didn't eat them :-)


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

This is adressed in the Tiferes Yisroel on Avos, ch. 4 mishna 3, oisios 20 & 21. The mishna says ואל תהי מפליג מכל דבר, don't be seperated from anything. The T.Y. explains this to mean not to question any of Hashems creations and to assume there is a good reason for them, even if we don't know the reason. He singles out the fly the gnat and snakes and ...


8

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 gemara ends off seemingly holding that its the throat which determines eating. In fact the Rambam codifies this as halacha regarding eating food that was vomited ...


7

According to the current (updated February 7, 2014) version of the Star-K's "Insect Checking Quick Reference Guide for Mashgichim", corn doesn't need to be checked for infestation. It does say that the corn should be stored sealed and in a cool, dry area to prevent infestation. [And, of course, if the corn is obviously infested, don't eat it.] It doesn't ...


7

This issue is the one behind the famous New York City non-Kosher water scandal. Basically, the issue is that there are tiny crustaceans in NYC tap water. The Star-K gives a nice overview of the issue. In short, everybody agrees that if a micro-organism is too small to be seen without magnification, it does not cause any kashrut issue. On the other-hand, ...


6

Yishai left a comment with a link to an article, in which the Lubavitcher Rebbe remarks that the mosquito is a creature that only takes, and doesn't give.... The mosquito does serve somewhat as a giver, the Rebbe explained. Its contribution is the lesson it provides for us. The mosquito is the one who teaches us the very concept that to be a G-dly ...


6

You should CYLOR for a final ruling, but it seems (Shach and Taz to YD 84:13, Chochmat Adam 52:9, see also Rama OC 553:3 (however see Shu"t R Akiva Eiger 76)) there should be no problem blending the fruit as the intention is to prepare the food not to nullify the insects. Once the insects are cut up, they are nullified in the mixture (YD 101:6). ...


6

Mishlei 30:28: שְׂמָמִית בְּיָדַיִם תְּתַפֵּשׂ וְהִיא בְּהֵיכְלֵי מֶלֶךְ The spider grasps with [her] hands, and she is in a king's palaces. This is one of the four animals that are called חֲכָמִים מְחֻכָּמִים - exceedingly wise. Footnote: Spider is a common translation in a large number of traditional sources, and it is the one Rashi uses. There are, ...


6

There is a special rabbinic law which says a בריה, any living thing in it's entirety, cannot become nullified due to it's being special in a sense. You can see more about this in Shulchan Aruch Yoreh Deah siman 100.


6

The difference between the scenarios is not an abstract difference between nonkosher food and worms, but between cooked and uncooked food and food of the same type and food of different types. First, taste only transfers if cooking occurs with heat higher than Yad Soledet Bo or one of the substances is "sharp" like an onion (neither worms nor lettuce have "...


5

The Minchas Yitzchak 10:27 and Shevet Halevi 6:94(he brings the Minchas yitzchak as well) bring a similar case about flushing a fly down the toilet that was there already .If one wants to use the toilet then its mutar since we say its a misasek(with other reasons). However to have kavana to kill it and get rid of them is problematic. See the tshuvas inside ...


5

Unlike meat and milk, bugs don't "contaminate" the soup. We don't eat bugs but the soup itself doesn't get spoiled if the bug is removed. Therefore, if one is sure the bug is completely removed, the soup can be eaten. See detailed halachot of bugs in food here at dinonline For instance, if a gnat falls into a pot of potatoes and gets lost therein, the ...


5

According to Rashi (see Beresihis 3:17), the land/ground began to produce flies, fleas and ants only after Adam and Eve sinned, therefore insects didn't existed prior to that.


4

we used dryer sheets taped to the inside of the walls. we labeled them annanei ha'kavod and they seemed to do a pretty good job keeping out both mosquitos and bees. Here's some of the science behind it


4

I use mosquito barrier immediately prior to Sukkos and I have a mosquito free Sukkos.


4

According to the cRc of Chicago, iceberg lettuce that is prewashed may be used without hashgacha and without any further washing. But the cRc adds: "It ... still ... can (and must) be checked with a chazaka check."


4

According to Rabbi Moshe Vaye popcorn kernels should be checked. A. Strain, over a white surface, in a strainer with large holes and check whether any small insects are found among the debris that fell through. B. Spread out a handful of kernels at a time on the palm of your hand, and look for insects among the kernels or round holes in the kernels. Turn ...


4

I wrote to Dr. Ari Greenspan and R' Dr. Ari Zivotofky, who have hosted "Mesora Dinners," serving foods with interesting Halachic statuses, in various places. As far as they know, there are no kosher restaurants that include locusts on their menus. When they held the Mesora Dinners in the United States, the menu did not include actual locusts; they just got ...


4

SA YD 104, 3: דברים המאוסים שנפשו של אדם קצה בהם כנמלים וזבובים ויתושים שכל אדם בודל מהם למיאוסן אפילו נתערבו בתבשיל ונמחה גופן לתוכו אם ההיתר רבה עליו מותרים ומכל מקום כל שאפשר לבדוק ולהעביר במסננת בודק ומסנן.‏ ‏ (מיהו בחלא ושכרא יש לחוש כמו בעכבר) (ב"י לדעת הרשב"א):‏ There are disgusting things, as ants, flies and mosquitoes, things that are ...


4

The gemora chullin 60 a states that everything was created in its full form. "יב"ל כל מעשה בראשית בקומתן נבראו בדעתן נבראו בצביונם נבראו שנאמר (בראשית ב, א) ויכולו השמים והארץ וכל צבאם אל תקרי צבאם אלא צביונם" so we know everything existed. But we saw that before Adam and Chavah's sin, they and the snake coexisted just fine and that's even ...


3

The Sefer Nitei Gavriel Perek 20:5:note 12 writes that many people use wax for the shamash. The sources include the Hagaos Maharil,Minhagei Chabad pg 275 since the name wax in Hebrew has connotations to the Holy Names, and besides for the reason it produces a nice light there are kabbalistic reasons as well ,see Magen Avraham siman 288:3 also mentions the ...


3

Rabbi David Ribiat in his 39 Melachos page 863 says that since mosquitoes are too elusive to be captured easily, therefore they may not be trapped on Shabbos. However, Daily Halacha | Congregation IKLF | 235 N. Main Street | Spring Valley | NY | 10977 says it would be permitted to trap if a child or an adult would suffer an allergic reaction. Similarly, ...


3

FWIW, in Eretz Yisroel, there are vacuum packed bags of grains under Badatz supervision. They tend to be slightly more expensive but are "נקי מחשש תולעים". I saw some in stores near the Mir (in the Beit Yisrael neighborhood of Jerusalem), and would guess they're widely available in chareidi neighborhoods. If your concern is to prevent bugs being born in ...


3

שמירת שבת כהלכתה, יב:כ נמלים וחרקים אחרים הנמצאים על רצפת המטבח או בכיור ובכלים, יש להיזהר מלשוטפם באופן שיבוא לקטילתם. [Regarding] ants and other insects that are found on the kitchen floor, or in a sink or dishes, one should be careful not to pour [liquid] on them in a manner that will lead to killing them. (Translation mine.) This seems to ...


3

While it goes without saying that practical rulings need a more authoritative answer, It seems that lice are a problem and must be removed but once you have done due diligence that is sufficient. שלחן ערוך יורה דעה קצח:מז מין כנים שדבוקים בבשר ונושכים בעור במקום שיער ונדבוקים בחוזק בבשר צריך להסירן ע"י חמין ולגורדן בצפורן ואם אינו יכול להסירן אינו ...


3

See this list of "dried spices that are acceptable for kosher use without specific Kosher supervision" - Allspice is literally the first entry. Many spices are considered to not require supervision when by themselves. Blends require either supervision or a thorough spec sheet to ensure that the blend only contains spices (some blends use flavorants, sugars, ...


3

See this The Medrash ‘Alpha Beta Di’ Ben Sirah’ relates a story where King David asked Hashem why he created spiders for ‘they are such ugly and useless creatures’. Hashem responded ‘be patient, a day will come when you’ll want to kiss one’. Some time later David had to hide in a cave from King Saul who wanted to kill him. As Saul’s search party ...


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