Home Subscribe Services Support Us

Part II: Yoreh De'ah


The Torah permits us to eat certain types of animals (Lev.11:2-8; Deut.13:4-8), fish that have fins and scales (Lev.11:9-12; Deut.13:4-10), most types of birds (Lev.11:13-19; Deut.13:11-20), and some types of locusts (Lev.11:20-23).

The Torah gives two signs that distinguish the permissible (kosher) types of animals: they regurgitate and rechew their food and they have split hoofs; the oral Torah gives additional signs (79:1). These signs are used when the parentage of the animal is not known; any viable offspring born to a kosher animal is kosher and vice versa, no matter what it looks like (79:2).

The Torah lists 24 unkosher types of birds; all other birds are kosher (82:1). The oral Torah gives signs that distinguish the kosher and unkosher types of birds, but today we do not eat a bird unless we have a reliable tradition that it is kosher (82:2-5).

Fish that have visible, removable scales at some stage in their lives must also have fins and are therefore kosher (83:1-3). (On doubtful cases see 83:4-6,9.) All other creatures that live in unconfined bodies of water are unkosher; drinking water should therefore be strained to remove small creatures from it (see 84:1-3).

The oral Torah gives signs that distinguish the kosher types of locusts, but today we eat them only if we have a reliable tradition that they are kosher (85:1). All other flying creatures (except for kosher birds) and land creatures (except for kosher animals) are unkosher; see 84:4-7,15-16. Foods that are likely to be infested must therefore be inspected for the presence of small creatures or strained to remove them; see 84:8-14 and 100:4.

Shulchan Aruch, Copyright (c) 1999 Project Genesis, Inc.



View Complete List

The Dawn of a New Adventure
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5760

Adam Regrets His Gift to Dovid
- 5768

Addressing the Jews
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5763


A Final Solution
Rabbi Label Lam - 5760

Either You're With Us, Or...
Rabbi Dovid Green - 5762

Starting Over
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5760

Looking for a Chavrusah?

“Fonzie & the Happy Days of Rest”
Jon Erlbaum - 5769

Deja Vu All Over Again . . . Then Shabbat
Shlomo Katz - 5775

Reality Check
Rabbi Pinchas Avruch - 5763

> Where are You?
Rabbi Pinchas Avruch - 5762

A Superior Primary Education
Rabbi Label Lam - 5764

An Enlightening Insight Into The Meaning of Gadol and Katan
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5765

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

The Book of Mankind
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5762

Cherish the Memories
Rabbi Pinchas Avruch - 5764

Do Torah!
Shlomo Katz - 5756

Chaos From The Beginning
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5762

Project Genesis Home

Torah Portion

Jewish Law



Learn the Basics




Ask The Rabbi

Knowledge Base


About Us

Contact Us

Free Book on Geulah! Home Copyright Information