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astro
10-29-2005, 03:49 PM
Re this thread on Peccaries (http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=338086), they are apparently a few evolutionary stages and millions of years removed from domesticated swine. Since they're not "real" pigs would they be kosher to eat?

Colibri
10-29-2005, 03:55 PM
Re this thread on Peccaries (http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=338086), they are apparently a few evolutionary stages and millions of years removed from domesticated swine. Since they're not "real" pigs would they be kosher to eat?

The dietary laws prohibit consuming animals that 1) do not have cloven hooves; and 2) do not chew the cud. Although peccaries have cloven hooves, they, like true pigs, do not chew the cud, and thus would be prohibited.

Colibri
10-29-2005, 03:57 PM
In more detail:

And the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, "Say to the people of Israel, These are the living things which you may eat among all the beasts that are on the earth. Whatever parts the hoof and is cloven-footed and chews the cud among the animals, you may eat. Nevertheless among those that chew the cud or part the hoof, you shall not eat these: the camel, because it chews the cud but does not part the hoof, is unclean to you. And the rock badger, because it chews the cud but does not part the hoof, is unclean to you. And the hare, because it chews the cud but does not part the hoof, is unclean to you. And the swine, because it parts the hoof and is cloven-footed but does not chew the cud, is unclean to you. Of their flesh you shall not eat, and their carcasses you shall not touch; they are unclean to you.

Ike Witt
10-29-2005, 03:59 PM
Of the "beasts of the earth" (which basically refers to land mammals with the exception of swarming rodents), you may eat any animal that has cloven hooves and chews its cud. Lev. 11:3; Deut. 14:6. Any land mammal that does not have both of these qualities is forbidden. The Torah specifies that the camel, the rock badger, the hare and the pig are not kosher because each lacks one of these two qualifications. Sheep, cattle, goats and deer are kosher.

And from this site (http://www.americazoo.com/goto/index/mammals/artiodactyla.htm) Pigs, peccaries, and hippos have a two or three chambered stomach and are not ruminating (cud chewing) animals, which gave them the classification of "unclean" in the Old Testament of the Bible. So, no. They are not kosher.

Ike Witt
10-29-2005, 04:00 PM
Curse you, Colibri.

lissener
10-29-2005, 04:05 PM
The dietary laws prohibit consuming animals that 1) do not have cloven hooves; and 2) do not chew the cud. Although peccaries have cloven hooves, they, like true pigs, do not chew the cud, and thus would be prohibited.To be fair, it's my understanding that such criteria were laid out specifically in order to exclude swine. Their non-ruminance was not objectionable of itself, IOW; it was just a convenient distinguishing trait.

Like the milk/cheese thing: this rule was meant to avoid the possibility of stewing a kid (read: juvie goat) in its own mother's milk. In order to exclude any such possibility, the rabbis that be outlawed putting ANY meat in ANY milk. (Also, my theory, because a little bit of kowtowing to arbitrary rules is an age-old device for maintaining power over others.) Thus, even though it wasn't the original intention of the proscription, you can't even eat chicken parmesan.

Of course you're correct, Col; don't mean to suggest otherwise. I just find it interesting how the letter of Talmudic law has come to differ, in some cases, from its spirit.

Colibri
10-29-2005, 04:06 PM
Curse you, Colibri.

:p

I am also amused that this OP fits the "Questions about Judaism may only be asked between sundown Friday and sundown Saturday" Rule.

elmwood
10-29-2005, 04:24 PM
OT: I can't help but point out Zev's 614th Mitzvah (http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=338742):

Questions about Judaism, particularly Orthodox rituals, customs and beliefs, will be posted between sundown Friday and sundown Saturday.

Anyhow, all Kosher animals are in the ruminanta suborder of the artiodactyla order. Peccaries are in the suina suborder, and thus not Kosher. Especially with bacon and extra cheese, served on a Saturday afternoon.

Jonathan Chance
10-29-2005, 04:27 PM
And I'm the trifecta.

I came in this thread with the 'why always on Saturday?' question in my mind.

Colibri
10-29-2005, 04:48 PM
Anyhow, all Kosher animals are in the ruminanta suborder of the artiodactyla order.

However, not all ruminants are kosher, in particular camels. Interestingly, the Koran, while keeping most of the Judaic dietary laws, permits camels to be eaten.

Polycarp
10-29-2005, 05:16 PM
And the always helpful Google ads offer a selection of pig meat orderable online! ;)

The substantive reason I posted to this is two questions that come to mind:

Tylopods -- camels and llamas -- do chew their cud and have cloven hooves, but are not true ruminants. Are they considered kosher? (I'm visualizing a kosher llama knackery in Lima.)

There was a bunch of stuff in the news a few years ago about the babirusa, the Sulawesi pig that apparently independently developed cud-chewing characteristics, or something of the sort, relative to whether it's kosher or traife. (Seems to me it was ruled unclean.) Does anyone have any info on that?

Chronos
10-29-2005, 05:17 PM
What's not kosher about camels? They are, as you note, ruminants, and I'm quite certain that they have cloven hooves.

jayjay
10-29-2005, 05:27 PM
What's not kosher about camels? They are, as you note, ruminants, and I'm quite certain that they have cloven hooves.

They are, however, mentioned specifically in the passage someone quoted. Whether they're ruminants or not doesn't matter if the Big Guy has specifically said, "No can do."

jayjay
10-29-2005, 05:28 PM
Although I have to admit, camels certainly do seem to part the hoof. Looks like another "bats are birds" thing...

Colibri
10-29-2005, 05:34 PM
Tylopods -- camels and llamas -- do chew their cud and have cloven hooves, but are not true ruminants. Are they considered kosher? (I'm visualizing a kosher llama knackery in Lima.)

Moses was not a taxonomist. Camels have cloven feet, not hooves. The bottom of the foot is composed of a leathery pad, rather than a horny hoof. This is rather different than cattle and sheep, in which it appears that the hoof itself is divided - the animal walks on the horny bottoms of the hooves. So although camels are cloven-footed, and chew the cud, they are excluded because the foot is not composed of an apparently "split" hoof. See my second post.

Given that the underside of a llama's foot is also composed of this kind of pad (although not as obvious as it is in camels) I would guess that llamas also might not be kosher.

Colibri
10-29-2005, 05:35 PM
Camel foot (http://www.silvertoncamels.com/images/camel%20foot%201.jpg). (Note: do not try to search on "camel toe." ;) )

Colibri
10-29-2005, 05:38 PM
Cow hooves (http://hometown.aol.com/cattletrim/images/img_0019.jpg).

lissener
10-29-2005, 05:44 PM
Moses was not a taxonomist. Camels have cloven feet, not hooves. The bottom of the foot is composed of a leathery pad, rather than a horny hoof. This is rather different than cattle and sheep, in which it appears that the hoof itself is divided - the animal walks on the horny bottoms of the hooves. So although camels are cloven-footed, and chew the cud, they are excluded because the foot is not composed of an apparently "split" hoof. See my second post.

Given that the underside of a llama's foot is also composed of this kind of pad (although not as obvious as it is in camels) I would guess that llamas also might not be kosher.
And again, yes, true; but kosher laws are not about feet. That is, OK, technically, they're about feet. But that's a technicality, arrived at after the fact. It's basically eqivalent to "Because I'm the mom."

Colibri
10-29-2005, 05:49 PM
And again, yes, true; but kosher laws are not about feet. That is, OK, technically, they're about feet. But that's a technicality, arrived at after the fact. It's basically eqivalent to "Because I'm the mom."

Yes, of course the Mosaic dietary laws were formulated in order to include or exclude certain animals of the Middle East well-known to the Jews. But of course today, having been "written in stone," so to speak, they could be, and no doubt have been, used to classify animals that Moses had no knowledge of. And that's what we are talking about here.

bizzwire
10-29-2005, 05:53 PM
Goody; now I can ask the question that's been bothering me (but not so much that I bothered to actually find the answer):
Someone told me that technically, Giraffes are kosher (assuming, of course, that they are slaughtered properly). Yea or nay?

Colibri
10-29-2005, 06:00 PM
Goody; now I can ask the question that's been bothering me (but not so much that I bothered to actually find the answer):
Someone told me that technically, Giraffes are kosher (assuming, of course, that they are slaughtered properly). Yea or nay?

They should be, since they are cud-chewing ruminants, and have divided hooves (http://www.dillonzone.com/archives/zoo_ghoof-thumb.jpg). That also goes for antelope and deer.

Horses are not kosher because they have an undivided hoof and do not chew the cud.

John Mace
10-29-2005, 06:14 PM
Moses was not a taxonomist.

Sure he was. He just wasn't a very good one! :)

Larry Borgia
10-29-2005, 06:16 PM
In more detail:


Quote:
And the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, "Say to the people of Israel, These are the living things which you may eat among all the beasts that are on the earth. Whatever parts the hoof and is cloven-footed and chews the cud among the animals, you may eat. Nevertheless among those that chew the cud or part the hoof, you shall not eat these: the camel, because it chews the cud but does not part the hoof, is unclean to you. And the rock badger, because it chews the cud but does not part the hoof, is unclean to you. And the hare, because it chews the cud but does not part the hoof, is unclean to you. And the swine, because it parts the hoof and is cloven-footed but does not chew the cud, is unclean to you. Of their flesh you shall not eat, and their carcasses you shall not touch; they are unclean to you.



No wonder my Jewish friends won't eat my delicious barbequed rock-badger!

mmmm....rock-badger... ::drools::

Colibri
10-29-2005, 06:33 PM
No wonder my Jewish friends won't eat my delicious barbequed rock-badger!

mmmm....rock-badger... ::drools::

Actually, the "rock-badger" of the bible is thought to be the Rock Hyrax (http://www.snunit.k12.il/sachlav/zoo/english/upload/month/rockhyrax1.jpg) Procavia capensis (or P. syriaca), also sometimes called "coney." Hyraxes are thought to be more closely related to elephants and manatees than anything else.

Sure he was. He just wasn't a very good one!

Let's just say Moses wasn't a cladist. :)

jayjay
10-29-2005, 07:10 PM
I remember a Harry Turtledove story "The R Strain", about what happens when researchers genetically engineer a pig to chew the cud (in order to make pigs a more efficient eater and therefore cheaper to raise). They ask a rabbi whether the modification would make a pig kosher. It's an interesting story, though I don't remember the details or the ending. (I read it over a decade ago, after all)

astro
10-29-2005, 07:22 PM
Actually, the "rock-badger" of the bible is thought to be the Rock Hyrax (http://www.snunit.k12.il/sachlav/zoo/english/upload/month/rockhyrax1.jpg) Procavia capensis (or P. syriaca), also sometimes called "coney." Hyraxes are thought to be more closely related to elephants and manatees than anything else.



Interesting , so hyraxes (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyrax) are responsible for why Spain is called "Spain". Who knew?

Characteristics
Hyraxes are short-legged, well-furred, rotund creatures with a mere stump for a tail. They are about the size of a domestic cat; most measure between 30 and about 70 cm long and weigh between 2 and 5 kg. From a distance and with a little imagination, a hyrax could be mistaken for a very well-fed rabbit—indeed, early Phoenician navigators mistook the rabbits of the Iberian Peninsula for hyraxes (Hebrew Shapan); hence they named it I-Shapan-im, meaning "land of the hyraxes", which became to the Latin word "Hispania", the root of Spains modern Spanish name España and the English name Spain. Also, most of the rabbits mentioned in English Bible translations were actually hyraxes, as early translators could not come up with a specific word for these animals, which were unknown in Europe at that time.

clairobscur
10-29-2005, 07:43 PM
Like the milk/cheese thing: this rule was meant to avoid the possibility of stewing a kid (read: juvie goat) in its own mother's milk. In order to exclude any such possibility, the rabbis that be outlawed putting ANY meat in ANY milk.


It reminds me of a joke where YHWH is giving his rules to Moses, who most respectfully ask for what appears to be clarifications, actually adding each time all sort of extrapolations and rules all by himself, while YHWH, more and more irritated, keeps on stating :"No, I only meant "thou shall not stew the *goat* in its *mother*'s *milk*"" until he eventually gives up (when Moses begins to wonder about the disposal of supposedly unclean kitchenware or somesuch) saying in a tired voice "Ok, Moses, do as you see fit"

Guinastasia
10-29-2005, 07:43 PM
I hope this isn't too much of a hijack, but I was reading the book Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman wrote about their motorcycle trip around the world, and at one point, in Mongolia, they were served soup with animal testicles-bulls, pigs, sheep, cows, etc.

That got me wondering-would testicles, provided them came from a kosher animal, still be allowed? Even if the animal is still alive after castration?

Colibri
10-29-2005, 08:19 PM
I hope this isn't too much of a hijack, but I was reading the book Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman wrote about their motorcycle trip around the world, and at one point, in Mongolia, they were served soup with animal testicles-bulls, pigs, sheep, cows, etc.

That got me wondering-would testicles, provided them came from a kosher animal, still be allowed? Even if the animal is still alive after castration?


According to this site (http://www.mechon-mamre.org/jewfaq/kashrut.htm), the only parts of kosher animals that are not kosher are the sciatic nerve and one kind of fat. Presumably everything else is kosher.

Since it is now after sundown, perhaps we may get some more expert answers soon. ;j

Nanoda
10-29-2005, 08:25 PM
"thou shall not stew the *goat* in its *mother*'s *milk*""

This may be a bit of a hijack, but this is the third time I've seen this particular admonishment this week, and I'm just wondering: Why not?

KRC
10-29-2005, 08:32 PM
Regarding the babirusa question, one of my friends told me that a group of Jewish soldiers in SE Asia captured a babirusa and wanted to eat it but decided to ask a rabbi if it would be kosher. The rabbi said no, presumably because it was a type of pig. (I doubt, unless he studied zoology extensively, the rabbi would have known whether or not these animals can chew their cuds.)

Colibri
10-29-2005, 08:45 PM
This may be a bit of a hijack, but this is the third time I've seen this particular admonishment this week, and I'm just wondering: Why not?

From here (http://heartofisrael.org/teachings/rabbi/Food.htm)



'The separation of milk and meat is the most prominent distinguishing mark of the Jewish home. Most of the laws connected with the consumption of food are the concern of the shohet, the butcher, and the grocer, all of whom are involved before the food reaches the home. With the separation of milk and meat, the family becomes directly involved and the kitchen receives its Jewish character.

'Neither the Bible nor the Talmud gives any rationale for these laws. Maimonides ascribes their origin to Jewish disgust at the fertility rites practiced by the pagan cults of Canaan(Guide 3:48). One of these rites was the cooking of a kid in its mother's milk. Dr. Nelson Glueck reports that this practice is still found among the Bedouins of today, not as a pagan rite but as an act of hospitality to a distinguished guest (see also Finkelstein, Pharisees 1:58-60, 2:831-32, n.; Encyclopedia Miqra'it, 1:89; Baron, Social and Religious History, 1:328, n. 22).

'To us this regulation reflects reverence for life and the teaching of compassion. To seethe a kid in its mother's milk is callous. Professor Abraham Joshua Heschel expresses it thus: The goat–in our case, more commonly the cow–generously and steadfastly provides man with the single most perfect food that he possesses, milk. It is the only food which, by reason of its proper composition of fat, carbohydrates, and protein, can by itself sustain the human body. How ungrateful and callous we would be to take the child of an animal to whom we are thus indebted and cook it in the very milk which nourishes us and is given us so freely by its mother (see Ibn Ezra on Exod. 23:19; Dresner and Siegel, Jewish Dietary Laws, p. 70).

C K Dexter Haven
10-29-2005, 08:47 PM
To be fair, it's my understanding that such criteria were laid out specifically in order to exclude swine.Your understanding is wrong. The two criteria are laid out (cloven hoofs and chew the cud) and examples are given of animals who fits one criteria but not the other and are therefore not permitted. (There's no need to give examples of an animal who fits neither criteria.)

The actual OP should also be directed at Islam. For Islam, the criteria is simple that pigs are unclean, there's no categorization or classification. See Straight Dope Staff Report: Do Jewish and Islamic dietary laws have anything in common? (http://www.straightdope.com/mailbag/mjewishislamdiet.html)

Colibri
10-29-2005, 09:00 PM
The actual OP should also be directed at Islam. For Islam, the criteria is simple that pigs are unclean, there's no categorization or classification. See Straight Dope Staff Report: Do Jewish and Islamic dietary laws have anything in common? (http://www.straightdope.com/mailbag/mjewishislamdiet.html)

Since peccaries technically are not pigs, then in theory they could be halal. But I would guess that in prectice, because of the close resemblance, peccaries would also be considered unclean. I suspect that Mohammed wasn't a cladist either.

Polycarp
10-29-2005, 09:36 PM
This may be a bit of a hijack, but this is the third time I've seen this particular admonishment this week, and I'm just wondering: Why not?

Not to be a smartalec, but in this case the proper and accurate answer would be, "Because God said so."

We are after all talking about the kosher food classifications germane to Orthodox Judaism, based in Talmudic exposition of the Torah. And according to Orthodox Jews, the Torah is supposed to have been given to Moses by God Himself.

Ergo, while there may be hygienic, folkloric, or other underpinnings for the custom-made-into-law, within the context of the discussion, it needs to be taken as a divine commandment.

;j <-- First time I've ever had the opportunity to use him appropriately!

Ike Witt
10-29-2005, 10:07 PM
The two criteria are laid out (cloven hoofs and chew the cud) and examples are given of animals who fits one criteria but not the other and are therefore not permitted.
I wonder if Satan chews his cud, if he does, I guess that would make him kosher.

lissener
10-29-2005, 11:07 PM
Your understanding is wrong. The two criteria are laid out (cloven hoofs and chew the cud) and examples are given of animals who fits one criteria but not the other and are therefore not permitted. (There's no need to give examples of an animal who fits neither criteria.) . . . Of course; I didn't mean to suggest that it was only a swine that the letter of the law was meant to exclude. I just meant that "clovenness" and "ruminant" are not of themselves "good"; that the arbitrary-sounding criteria were arrived at to include the specific animals that were allowed (cows, goats) and exclude the specific animals that were not (horses, pigs). And thus, as we've seen, animals outside of the contemporary knowledge of the scholars who created those criteria might be excluded "on a technicality."

I mean, it seems likely to me that they wanted to say that cows were OK, goats were OK, and (I assume) sheep were OK to eat, but they wanted it to sound mysterious and arbitrary. Rather than specifically naming the approved animals, they invented more technical-sounding rules. No?

cmkeller
10-30-2005, 02:00 AM
lissener:

Rather than specifically naming the approved animals, they invented more technical-sounding rules. No?

Except that this flies in the face of the dietary laws of birds and locusts, where the Torah does list specific species (in the case of birds, the forbidden ones, in the case of locusts, the permitted ones) rather than a technical-sounding rule.

There is a practical difference: Bottom line is that the technical-sounding rule allows Jews to determine the permissibility of eating unfamiliar species (bison, anyone?). The listing of species as in the case of the birds does not allow for such determination.

DocCathode
10-30-2005, 02:31 AM
I hope this isn't too much of a hijack, but I was reading the book Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman wrote about their motorcycle trip around the world, and at one point, in Mongolia, they were served soup with animal testicles-bulls, pigs, sheep, cows, etc.

That got me wondering-would testicles, provided them came from a kosher animal, still be allowed? Even if the animal is still alive after castration?

No part cut from a living animal is kosher. This goes way back to Noah being told (among a few other things) not to eat a limb torn from a living animal. If the testicles are from a bull slaughtered in the proper manner, they are kosher. The Whole Jewish Catalog has a series of helpful photos showing extra steps that must be taken when cooking a heart. It's things like this that give Jewish Cuisine such subtleties.

Telemark
10-30-2005, 07:45 PM
I remember a Harry Turtledove story "The R Strain", about what happens when researchers genetically engineer a pig to chew the cud (in order to make pigs a more efficient eater and therefore cheaper to raise). They ask a rabbi whether the modification would make a pig kosher. It's an interesting story, though I don't remember the details or the ending. (I read it over a decade ago, after all)
The piece of information that allows the Rabbi to decide was the fact that the new pigs couldn't interbreed with old pigs. Therefore they were different species, and no longer pigs. He ate some of the new pork at the end.

Chronos
10-30-2005, 09:15 PM
It's my understanding that although, strictly speaking, the sciatic nerve is the only non-kosher part of a kosher animal, but that the religiously-accepted butchering techniques for removing that nerve are mostly lost to history, with the result that the entire hindquarters of the animal are generally considered forbidden by Jews. This would presumably include the testicles, even if the animal were properly slaughtered.

cmkeller
10-30-2005, 11:50 PM
It's my understanding that although, strictly speaking, the sciatic nerve is the only non-kosher part of a kosher animal,

Not true - the fats around the kidneys and other organs are forbidden as well. (at least in cattle, goats and sheep - though not in deer and other wild ruminants)

the religiously-accepted butchering techniques for removing that nerve are mostly lost to history,

In the Ashkenazic world. I believe the Sephardim consider themselves to have a reliable tradition on how to do it.

with the result that the entire hindquarters of the animal are generally considered forbidden by Jews. This would presumably include the testicles, even if the animal were properly slaughtered.

While this part is true, I think that if anyone wanted to specifically save and eat the testicles, they would not find anyone who would dispute their kashrus based on the sciatic nerve. The main issue that leads to the disregarding (by kosher butchers) of the back half of the animal is the removal of the nerve from muscle tissue, not from that isolated organ. I suppose it's a moot point unless kosher slaughterhouses discover a major market for Kosher Rocky Mountain Oysters.

Guinastasia
10-31-2005, 10:14 AM
No part cut from a living animal is kosher. This goes way back to Noah being told (among a few other things) not to eat a limb torn from a living animal. If the testicles are from a bull slaughtered in the proper manner, they are kosher. The Whole Jewish Catalog has a series of helpful photos showing extra steps that must be taken when cooking a heart. It's things like this that give Jewish Cuisine such subtleties.

Ah, that's what I thought. Good to know, if I'm ever in that situation, I can just claim to keep kosher.

CalMeacham
10-31-2005, 01:26 PM
Properly, things are kosher or not as determined by the rules set down, as interpreted by whichever body you trust for interpreting them. The ultimate decision comes from The Big Guy, the Authority for the Rules -- They're becvause He said so.


As I've noted before, anthropologist Marvin Harris (who didn't believe in this himself) sought to explain dietary laws on the basis of his "Cultural Materialism" theories, and claimed that the non-kosher animals were determined first, by other criteria (which werer probably not consciously chosen -- they were practical choices), and the reasoning behind the "kosher" laws came afterwards, withy results not entirely satisfactory to modern classifiers. See his books, especially Good to Eat/The Sacred Cow and the Abominable Pig for details.

Colibri
10-31-2005, 01:37 PM
As I've noted before, anthropologist Marvin Harris (who didn't believe in this himself) sought to explain dietary laws on the basis of his "Cultural Materialism" theories, and claimed that the non-kosher animals were determined first, by other criteria (which werer probably not consciously chosen -- they were practical choices), and the reasoning behind the "kosher" laws came afterwards, withy results not entirely satisfactory to modern classifiers. See his books, especially Good to Eat/The Sacred Cow and the Abominable Pig for details.

In terms of practicality, what I find most remarkable about the laws is that a desert tribe, in a region where food must often have been in short supply, would exclude so many of the available food animals, both domestic and wild.

For mammals, the only ones really permitted are domestic cattle, goats, and sheep. Many perfectly edible domestic animals are excluded, including not just pigs but also camels, horses, donkeys, and rabbits. And although deer and antelope are technically included, as a practical matter they would not be available as food. Since they could usually only be obtained by hunting, this would make them non-kosher since they would not have been slaughtered in the prescribed way.

Anne Neville
10-31-2005, 02:39 PM
It's my understanding that although, strictly speaking, the sciatic nerve is the only non-kosher part of a kosher animal, but that the religiously-accepted butchering techniques for removing that nerve are mostly lost to history, with the result that the entire hindquarters of the animal are generally considered forbidden by Jews.

Not true- there is a process called porging (http://www.myjewishlearning.com/daily_life/Kashrut/Overview_Kosher_Food/Kosher_Meat.htm) that removes the sciatic nerve from the hindquarter cuts of meat. It's difficult and expensive to do, so it's usually more economical in a country with a large market for non-kosher meat to sell the hindquarter meat as non-kosher meat.

There is a practical difference: Bottom line is that the technical-sounding rule allows Jews to determine the permissibility of eating unfamiliar species (bison, anyone?). The listing of species as in the case of the birds does not allow for such determination.

It's been done, though. Turkeys are native to the New World, so obviously they wouldn't be mentioned in the Torah. But the rabbis did rule that turkeys can be kosher.

cmkeller
10-31-2005, 02:57 PM
It's been done, though. Turkeys are native to the New World, so obviously they wouldn't be mentioned in the Torah. But the rabbis did rule that turkeys can be kosher.

As a matter of fact, that ruling was extremely controversial, and to this day, there are groups of Jews who won't eat turkey.

But it is true that most Rabbis ruled that it was similar enough to known kosher fowl that it can be permitted on that basis. Nonetheless, if a species of bird so divergent from traditionally known species were to be discovered, there's no Rabbi that would permit it (kiwi, maybe. penguin? hornbill? toucan? I wonder what other birds are out there that no reasonable analog could have been known to the Jews of Biblical or Talmudic times).

CalMeacham
10-31-2005, 03:10 PM
But it is true that most Rabbis ruled that it was similar enough to known kosher fowl that it can be permitted on that basis. Nonetheless, if a species of bird so divergent from traditionally known species were to be discovered, there's no Rabbi that would permit it (kiwi, maybe. penguin? hornbill? toucan? I wonder what other birds are out there that no reasonable analog could have been known to the Jews of Biblical or Talmudic times).





What's the ruling on Ostrich, which I can buy in my local supermarket?

cmkeller
10-31-2005, 03:15 PM
Ostrich is not Kosher. I believe that the bird referred to in Hebrew as "Bas Yaanah" (one of those listed in Leviticus as non-Kosher) is an ostrich.

No doubt other ratites would fall into the same category.

Captain Amazing
10-31-2005, 03:19 PM
Nonetheless, if a species of bird so divergent from traditionally known species were to be discovered, there's no Rabbi that would permit it (kiwi, maybe. penguin? hornbill? toucan? I wonder what other birds are out there that no reasonable analog could have been known to the Jews of Biblical or Talmudic times).

Except, don't the rules on bird eating just talk about the birds you're not allowed to eat (owls, storks, ravens, hawks, etc.)? So wouldn't any bird not listed be ok?

Anne Neville
10-31-2005, 03:29 PM
Except, don't the rules on bird eating just talk about the birds you're not allowed to eat (owls, storks, ravens, hawks, etc.)? So wouldn't any bird not listed be ok?

Here's probably more than you want to know on this subject (http://www.kashrut.com/articles/turk_part1/). The bottom line is that we're no longer sure what species the birds the Torah refers to are. The later Rabbis came up with identifying features of kosher birds (http://www.kashrut.com/articles/turk_part2/).

cmkeller
10-31-2005, 03:39 PM
Captain Amazing:

Except, don't the rules on bird eating just talk about the birds you're not allowed to eat (owls, storks, ravens, hawks, etc.)? So wouldn't any bird not listed be ok?

In theory, yes. In practice, it's a lot harder, not just because of translation questions as Anne Neville mentions (example: "Nesher" is popularly translated as "eagle", but there's some evidence that in Biblical/Talmudic Hebrew it really refers to the gryphon vulture) but also because the Torah tends to think of animals in categories/families rather than species in the modern taxonomic sense, and whether or not a bird belongs to the category of one of the forbidden species could be difficult to determine.

The Talmud does list some general features of kosher vs non-kosher birds that can be useful for travelers in isolated situations (where there are no familiar birds to eat, how to determine whether some of the unfamiliar choices are better than others), but given the above-mentioned issues, a kosher-observant Jew is well-advised to not experiment with non-traditional bird meat.

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