46 votes
Accepted

Would a mermaid be kosher?

The Torah says that we may not eat anything without fins and scales if it is among the "sea-life" or of the "beasts of the sea" (Vaykira 11:10) which the Ramban thinks refers specifically to sea ...
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 ...
23 votes

Would a mermaid be kosher?

The gemara in Bechoros 8a, which discusses mermaids, says they can be impregnated by people. As such, they would be non-kosher due to the qualification found there (Bech. 7b) a kosher fish lays eggs ...
  • 32.4k
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 ...
  • 11.2k
16 votes

Are dik-diks kosher animals?

The animal is part of the antelope family and has split hooves and chewes the cud. I would always consult a rabbi, as this answer is not a halachic dictation. Based on the information in your link ...
  • 1,926
16 votes
Accepted

Why would muscovy duck be treif?

The kosher status of birds differs from that of animals and fish, in that there are no biblically based physical indicators and thus today the determination is made based on tradition (mesorah). Rabbi ...
13 votes

Is AquAdvantage salmon kosher?

Kosher speciation Generally speaking, we have a rule that "kol hayotzei min hatahor tahor, vichol hayotzei min hatamei tamei" ("that which comes from a kosher species is kosher, and that which comes ...
  • 17.3k
12 votes
Accepted

Is the leviathan kosher?

The medrash tanchuma on parshas Shmini #7 takes the opinion that at that great feast of Beheimos and Leviason, the mitzvos which until now were only to purify/smelt the people with will no longer ...
  • 32.4k
12 votes
Accepted

Would a space fish be kosher?

It says in Sanhedrin 59b כי הא דרבי שמעון בן חלפתא הוה קאזיל באורחא, פגעו בו הנך אריותא דהוו קא נהמי לאפיה, אמר: (תהלים ק"ד) הכפירים שאגים לטרף. נחיתו ליה תרתי אטמתא, חדא אכלוה וחדא שבקוה. איתיה ...
12 votes
Accepted

Are Llamas Kosher?

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 ...
  • 2,434
12 votes
Accepted

So where are these mermaids?

Dr. Leiman writes on the mouse that is 'half-mouse-half-earth" that, (p.452): "... it comes as no surprise that the rabbis discussed the status of a creature they had never seen, and one that ...
  • 8,084
12 votes

I'd love to but Hashem doesn't let

The Rambam in Shemoneh Perakim, ch. 6, discusses the preferable attitude towards avoiding aveiros, and references this midrash. After citing sentiments of the Nevi'im, such as (Mishlei 21:10) "נֶפֶשׁ ...
10 votes

Is AquAdvantage salmon kosher?

I'd asked Rabbi Hershel Welcher of Queens a similar question, about goats that were given a bit of spider genes so they would produce gossamer in their milk. He felt the concept of "zeh v'zeh gorem, ...
  • 127k
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 ...
  • 42.1k
8 votes

Is AquAdvantage salmon kosher?

The Chasam Sofer (Toras Moshe parshas Shemini) writes that the meaning of the Medrash (cited by many Rishonim) that the pig is called a חזיר because עתיד הקב"ה להחזירה לישראל - Hashem is going to "...
8 votes

Giving a ham as a present to a gentile

Most likely inadvisable; may actually depend on the terms and conditions of the company from which you're ordering. Thanks to NJM for pointing to an essay from Rabbi Moshe Dovid Lebovits of Kof-K ...
  • 127k
8 votes

Is it prohibited to have a painting \ sculpure of a pig or any other non kosher animal in one's home?

First, the permission to paint or sculpt is not related to whether we can eat the animal. Some animals are treated more strictly: humans ,eagle, lion and bull. There are differences between ...
  • 22.4k
8 votes

Punishment for Eating Non-Kosher

The prescribed punishment for intentionally eating meat of a non-kosher animal (e.g. pork) is lashes. Rambam writes in Hilchot Maachalot Assurot 2:2: כל האוכל מבשר בהמה וחיה טמאה כזית לוקה מן ...
  • 38.6k
8 votes
Accepted

Why don’t Sheretzs made into a Streimel convey tumah?

Once a hide is tanned, even a bit, it no longer conveys impurity (Chullin 9:2).
  • 95.7k
7 votes
Accepted

Is there a concern regarding the kashrut of microorganisms?

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 ...
  • 24.4k
7 votes

What's a better choice: Treif meat or human flesh?

To add to mevaqesh's answer: R/Dr Alan Brill (Edah Journal, "Worlds Destroyed, Worlds Rebuilt: The Religious Thought of Rabbi Yehudah Amital") retells "two stories of moral challenges ...
  • 8,985
6 votes
Accepted

Why does the use of horse manure as fertilizer not make produce non-kosher?

The manure is completely broken down and absorbed by the soil. An analogy can be made using the difference between honey and milk. Manure is actually that which is rejected by the non-kosher animal. ...
  • 42.1k
6 votes

Are Llamas Kosher?

Besides the answer from @Jewels we have the answer from impure animals: present, future, past which actually mentions the llama specifically. The comment is Interesting explanation from a comment ...
  • 42.1k
6 votes

What's a better choice: Treif meat or human flesh?

Rabbi Moshe Shemuel Glasner (1856-1924) writes in the introduction of his Dor HaRevi'i to Chullin Pesicha Kolleles § 2 s.v עוד משל אחת that if one has the option to consume human flesh or non-kosher ...
  • 34.9k
5 votes

What is a "tinshemet"?

From The Living Torah by Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan זצ"ל: In Leviticus 11:18, among the non-kosher birds: וְאֶת־הַתִּנְשֶׁ֥מֶת וְאֶת־הַקָּאָ֖ת וְאֶת־הָרָחָֽם׃‏ The swan, the pelican and the magpie. In ...
5 votes

What is a "tinshemet"?

Isaac Levy who translated his grandfather's chumash (Rav Shimshon Rafael Hirsch) from German to English deliberately leaves tinshemes (as did his grandfather) in 11:18 untranslated because all birds ...
  • 42.1k
5 votes

Is this squid with scales kosher?

Nachmanides (Commentary on the Torah, Leviticus 11:9), basing himself on the Talmud, Tosefta and Targumin, explains that the qasqeseth required by the Torah refers to a scale that is separate/...
  • 17.3k
4 votes
Accepted

In vitro meat -- further questions

According to the source in this answer to that question, Rabbi Menachem Genack of the OU had been quoted as saying The tissue samples would have to come from an animal that had been slaughtered ...
  • 18.7k
4 votes
Accepted

Why does Hashem allow Noah et al to eat *all* animals?

As we see farther on, the "clean" animals are the ones designated for the altar. While Noach and the others are allowed to eat any animal, the ones being given to Hashem as a sacrifice are restricted ...
  • 42.1k
4 votes

What's a better choice: Treif meat or human flesh?

So we will now analyze the order of which comes first human or treif animal Flesh . Rambam Hilchos maacholos asuros 2,3: האדם אע"פ שנאמר בו ויהי האדם לנפש חיה אינו מכלל מיני חיה בעלת פרסה לפיכך ...
  • 11.2k

Only top scored, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible