46

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 creatures that have two legs like those of land-creatures. Assuming that he's talking about mermaids, he implies that they have two legs, instead of fins, and are ...


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 ...


23

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 and a non-kosher fish births a live creature. This is the simple understanding found in the pirushim on the Tosefta (1:5) there. Tosafos there complicates ...


19

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 ...


16

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 there seems to be little not-kosher about the dik-dik. In the wikipedia entry you cite: chewing the cud: Like all even-toed ungulates, they digest their food ...


16

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 Illoway, upon seeing the muscovy in New Orleans, determined it was a novel species for which he was unable to find a reliable tradition. With the support of ...


13

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 from a non-kosher species is non-kosher"; see Bekhoroth 1:2). Since this new species comes from kosher and non-kosher species, there would be several potential ...


12

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 apply. The proof is that the Beheimos will not have a proper slaughtering, but will rather be killed by the Liviason. The medrash goes on to prove that Liviason is ...


12

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 ואתא לבי מדרשא, בעי עלה: דבר טמא הוא זה או דבר טהור? - אמרו ליה: אין דבר טמא יורד מן השמים. בעי מיניה רבי זירא מרבי אבהו: ירדה לו דמות חמור מהו? - אמר ליה ...


12

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 modern scholarship would label as imaginary. The greatest scientists and historians of their day took its existence for granted. If so, its halakhic status needed to ...


12

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 רָשָׁע אִוְּתָה רָע" (the soul of a wicked person desires evil), and contrasting those with Chazal's statements such as "לפום צערא אגרא" (the reward is ...


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

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, mutar" applied -- as the spider genes would not have sufficed to produce an organism, such a goat is kosher. So the same should apply here.


9

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 see the ass of your enemy straining under his load, and you refrain from unloading it, go and unload with him” Shemot 23:5. This verse is one of the ...


8

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 "return" it to the Jewish people - is that the physiology of the pig will be altered to chew its cud (the Kosher sign that it currently does not have) and will ...


8

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 kosher; in turn citing Rabbi George Lintz, Journal of Halacha and Contemporary Society volume 24. Rambam, end of Chapter 8 of Laws of Prohibited Foods: ח,טז ...


8

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 representation in relief (3 dimensions) and flat (2 dimensions), and between whether there is a possibility that idolatry might be involved or not e.g. when the ...


8

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 התורה Anyone who eats an olive-sized piece of the meat of an impure [i.e. 'non-kosher'] domesticated or wild animal is biblically liable to receive lashes. ...


8

Once a hide is tanned, even a bit, it no longer conveys impurity (Chullin 9:2).


7

Beeswax itself does not pose any inherent kashrus problem. From the OU website: Beeswax is a substance secreted from glands in bees’ abdomen. Bees use this wax to create the honeycombs in which they store honey. Beeswax is used in foods as a coating to fruits to extend their shelf life, to give a shine to round candies such as chocolates, jelly beans and ...


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, ...


7

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 told in Yeshivat Har Etzion circles that contrast R. Amital with his co-Rosh Yeshiva R. [Aharon] Lichtenstein." The first story is also relevant to the ...


6

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. It is not created in the animal's body. As a result, it is considered as external chemical that have been separated from the food that the animal ate, broken ...


6

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 here: Gamal, Shafan, Arnevet are written in the Torah in the three tenses (past, present, future) and so refer to Bactrian camels (past, where Avraham came ...


6

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 meat, even though the former is at most prohibited by a positive commandment, while the latter is prohibited by a more stringent negative commandment, it is ...


5

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 his footnotes: 11:18 swan. Tinshemeth in Hebrew; kuknos in Greek; cycnus in Latin. Other sources identify it as a bat, chauve-souris in French (Rashi; ...


5

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 not named are kosher and the consequences of an error would be too great. He comments that his grandfather had deliberately not translated the name of the bird ...


5

The Shulchan Arukh rules (OC 451:4) that a vessels used on a fire like a skewer or grill need to be heated up until sparks come off of them in order to kasher them. My understanding is that this is about 1000 degrees Fahrenheit or when it glows red. If it is earthenware you'd have to refire it in a kiln (ibid. :1). I can't comment about the specifics of any ...


5

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/removable from the skin of the kosher sea creature: והם הקליפין העגולים שגלדן דומה לצפורן שהם נפשטין מעור הדג ביד או בסכין אבל כל שהוא קבוע ודבוק בעור הדג ואינו נפרד ...


4

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 according to kosher rules


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