Re: Why isn't an ostrich kosher?

Gilad Gevaryahu (
Wed, 18 Dec 1996 18:04:30 -0400

Richard S. Sevrinsky writes (V2#95):
>The Torah does *not* state that the ostrich is not kosher as a bird of
>prey; it merely specifies that the ostrich is not kosher. While, as a
>general rule, it is true that non-kosher birds are predatory, this is by
>no means the reason they are treif. The Torah lists 24 species of treif
>birds; the rest are all kosher. Unfortunately, in the modern era, we no
>longer are familiar with the exact species that are treif, so we stick to
>traditionally accepted fowl: chickens, turkeys, geese, etc.

But turkeys were found in the new world (i.e., America) only after 1492!! and
we eat them because of a rabbinical "mix up", since we lacked tradition. That
is the reason why some people do not eat turkeys today. This bird had no
luck, even its name in English (i.e., turkey) was also a mix up. So, if I
want to carry it a step further, maybe we need an ostrich mix up :-)

>It is interesting to note that the name of the ostrich in Hebrew is
>"chassidah", or kind one. Commentators ask, why is a bird with such
>a beautiful name, reflecting good traits, treif? The ostrich is indeed
>kind, with regard to sharing food -- but only with its own kind. Its
>generosity does not extend beyond its own family.

Ostrich in Hebrew is YA'EN (m) and BAT YA'ANAH (f) not "chassidah"!

Gilad J. Gevaryahu