THOUGHTS ON THE DAILY DAF
brought to you by Kollel Iyun Hadaf of Har Nof
Rosh Kollel: Rav Mordecai Kornfeld
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1) AGADAH: THE FOUR SIGNS OF A KOSHER BIRD
The Mishnah teaches that there are four signs of a Kosher bird. A bird is
Kosher only if it is not "Dores" (see following Insight), it has an extra
toe, it has a crop (Zefek), and the inner membrane of its gizzard (Kurkevan)
can be peeled.
2) A BIRD THAT IS "DORES"
The Gemara later (139b) says that the Torah uses the word "Tzipor" (Devarim
22:6) specifically to denote a Kosher bird. The AVNEI NEZER points out that
the second letters of the four signs of a Kosher bird spell the word
"Tzipor": E*tz*ba Yeseirah, Ze*f*ek, D*o*res, Ku*r*kevano Niklaf.
Moreover, the word "Tzipor" there is written with the letter "Vav," but the
"Vav" is not pronounced ("Kesiv v'Lo Kri"). The "Vav" corresponds to the
sign of "Dores." That is the only sign that requires that something be
*absent* from the bird in order for it to be Kosher; it must *not* be a bird
that is Dores. Accordingly, since it is a sign that must be absent, rather
than present, for the bird to be considered Kosher, it is written but is not
OPINIONS: The Mishnah teaches that there are four signs of a Kosher bird. A
bird is Kosher only if it is not "Dores," it has an extra toe, it has a crop
(Zefek), and the inner membrane of its gizzard (Kurkevan) can be peeled.
3) A BIRD WITH AN EXTRA TOE
What does the Mishnah mean when it says that a Kosher bird must not be
(a) RASHI (DH ha'Dores) explains that this refers to a bird that holds its
food in its claws and lifts what it eats to its mouth.
TOSFOS (61a, DH ha'Dores) argues with Rashi's explanation, because we find
that even a chicken -- which certainly is Kosher -- eats in such a manner.
The BACH (YD 82) explains that Tosfos understands Rashi to be saying that
the bird lifts up its food with its beak, and therefore he asks that
chickens do the same. However, Rashi actually means that the bird lifts its
food with its claws, which a chicken does not do.
(b) RASHI later (62a, DH v'Hani Mili) writes that the bird uses its claws to
pin its prey to the ground in order that it not move while the bird eats it
bit by bit.
(See RASHASH and ARUCH HA'SHULCHAN, who explains that the question of Tosfos
is on Rashi's second explanation. This is also implied by the words of the
ROSH and MORDECHAI, as the SICHAS CHULIN points out.)
(b) Tosfos cites RABEINU TAM who explains that "Dores" means that the bird
eats its prey while it is still alive and does not wait for its prey to die.
(See also RASHI to Bava Kama 16b, DH Daras, who explains that this is the
meaning of "Dores" when used in reference to wild animals, such as the
(c) The RAMBAN explains that "Dores" refers to a bird that kills its prey by
striking it with it claws (what we refer to as a bird of prey).
The RAMBAM (Hilchos Ma'achalos Asuros 1:20, based on the words of Rebbi
Shimon ben Elazar on 65a) adds that a bird that catches its prey in flight
and eats it while in flight is called "Dores." (Z. Wainstein, Y. Shaw)
OPINIONS: The Mishnah teaches that there are four signs of a Kosher bird. A
bird is Kosher only if it not "Dores" (see previous Insight), it has an
extra toe ("Etzba Yeseirah"), it has a crop (Zefek), and the inner membrane
of its gizzard (Kurkevan) can be peeled.
4) ANIMALS THAT CHEW THEIR CUD BUT DO NOT HAVE SPLIT HOOVES
What does the Mishnah mean when it says that a Kosher bird must have "an
(a) RASHI (DH Etzba Yeseirah) explains that this refers to an additional toe
that is located at the back of the foot, higher up on the leg than the other
(b) The RAN points out Rashi's explanation is problematic, because the
Gemara says that a Nesher (eagle) -- which is not a Kosher bird -- has no
Etzba Yeseirah, and yet it has an extra back toe. The Ran explains instead
that "Etzba Yeseirah" means that one of its front toes is larger than the
(TOSFOS (63a, DH Netz) quotes those who maintain that a Nesher is an eagle,
but he argues and says that a Nesher must be some other bird, because the
Gemara says that a Nesher has *none* of the signs of a Kosher bird, while an
eagle has an Etzba Yeseirah. The PRI CHADASH explains that TOSFOS
understands that "Etzba Yeseirah" means an extra toe at the back of the
foot, as Rashi explains.) (Z. Wainstein)
QUESTION: The Gemara infers from the verses in the Torah that list the
animals that have only one sign of a Kosher animal (Vayikra 11:4-7) that
these are the *only* animals that possess one sign.
5) THE IDENTITY OF THE "SHAFAN" AND "ARNEVES"
However, we find that the llama also possesses one sign, as it chews the cud
but lacks true split hooves! Why does the Torah not mention the llama?
(a) Perhaps the llama can be classified as a type of camel, and the Torah
includes it when it mentions the camel. This approach, however, is not
satisfactory, because the llama and camel are considerably dissimilar.
Furthermore, we find that there are other animals -- such as kangaroos and
capybaras -- that have only one characteristic but that cannot be subsumed
into the Torah's categories.
(b) Perhaps the Gemara is referring only to the animals in the region of
Asia. The llama, kangaroo, and capybara all live in South America and
Australia, and not in Asia.
(For an extensive and comprehensive discussion of the animals that have only
one sign of Kashrus, see the research of Rabbi Nosson Slifkin
(www.zootorah.com) in his new, illustrated book, THE CAMEL, THE HARE, AND
THE HYRAX, Targum Press 2004.)
QUESTION: The Beraisa says that any animal that brings up the cud surely has
no upper teeth, and is Tahor. The Gemara asks that the Shafan and Arneves,
which are Tamei (Vayikra 11:5-6) bring up their cud, and yet they have upper
(a) What is the "Shafan"?
(b) What is the "Arneves"?
(a) We find a number of defining characteristics for the Shafan in the
Torah. The verse says, "The high hills are for the ibex, the rocks are a
refuge for the Shefanim" (Tehilim 104:18). This clearly implies that the
Shafan lives among rocks.
Another verse says, "The Shefanim are not a strong nation, and so they place
their home in the rock" (Mishlei 30:26). This verse not only says that the
Shafan lives among rocks, but that it is a relatively small and weak animal
that is vulnerable to attack by larger or stronger animals.
The overwhelming majority of opinions explain that the Shafan is the hyrax
(see Graphic #1:1a). Indeed, the "rock hyrax" is indigenous to Israel and
always lives in rocky areas (the members of Kollel Iyun Hadaf have observed
(and photographed) hyraxes in the rocky crag on the coast as far north as
Rosh Hanikrah, and as far south as Ein Gedi in the Dead Sea region; see
Graphic #1:1b). It has a multitude of tunnels and hiding places among the
rocks, and can be seen to dart into hiding when it senses danger. It has
large, upper incisor teeth, as the Gemara here says. Its feet have toes that
look like stubby outgrowths. The thick nails on the toes do not encase the
feet, and thus are not considered hooves by the Torah.
However, the Torah says that the Shafan brings up its cud. Does the hyrax
indeed bring up its cud?
There are differing reports in the scientific (and lay) literature with
regard to rumination in hyraxes. According to most modern zoological
research, hyraxes do not ruminate according to the normal understanding of
the term, "Ma'aleh Gerah." Because of the lack of this characteristic, some
commentators suggest that the hyrax is not the proper identification of the
Shafan, but rather the Shafan is some other animal that is unknown to us
(see commentary of RAV SAMSON RAFAEL HIRSCH to Vayikra 11:5). However,
determining whether there is or was another possible candidate for the
Shafan would require extensive research into the zoological and
archaeological record. In his recently-published book, THE CAMEL, HYRAX, AND
THE HARE (Targum Press, 2004), Rabbi Nosson Slifkin reviews the research and
concludes that no other viable candidate for the Shafan exists (see
However, some suggest that the Torah's definition of rumination is not the
same as the strict zoological definition. Although a hyrax does not
regularly regurgitate its food in order to digest it as a cow does, some
claim that it has been observed to regurgitate small quantities and reingest
it. However, the claim that it regurgitates small quantities of food for
further chewing is disputed. Perhaps the Torah's definition of rumination is
even broader, and may include even acts that *appear* to the observer to be
rumination, whether or not they involve the regurgitation of food, such as
the hyrax's habit of moving its jaws even when it is not grazing. (See THE
CAMEL, THE HARE, AND THE HYRAX, chapter 6.)
(b) The Gemara in Megilah (9b) writes that the Chachamim who were forced to
translate the Torah for Ptolemy wrote in place of the Arneves (which they
did not write, because it was the name of Ptolemy's wife), "The animal with
short feet." RASHI there writes, "Short feet, because its arms (front legs)
are shorter and smaller than its legs (hind legs)." The Gemara in Shabbos
(27a) mentions that it has soft fur. All authorities identify the Arneves as
With regard to being "Ma'aleh Gerah," hares do not ruminate according to the
normal understanding of the term. However, they do possess other biological
peculiarities which can be described as "bringing up the cud." Hares excrete
special pellets that they reingest for further nutrition. The hare, like the
hyrax, has the habit of working its jaws even when it is not grazing,
similar to a ruminant.
The SICHAS CHULIN writes that the fact that the hyrax and hare do not
ruminate like normal ruminants may answer a question on the Gemara here. How
can the Gemara say that there is no animal that brings up the cud and lacks
split hooves except for the camel, when the Torah itself says that the
Shafan and Arneves possess these characteristics? (See RASHI and TOSFOS who
answer that the Gemara's mention of the camel is a shorthand reference to
all these animals. The TIFERES YAKOV answers that the Gemara is referring
only to animals that lack upper teeth, and the camel is the only such animal
that brings up its cud and lacks split hooves.) The Sichas Chulin suggests
that the Gemara is alluding to the fact that when the Torah says that the
Shafan and Arneves are "Ma'aleh Gerah," it does not ruminate like a cow or
camel in the normal sense of the word, but rather they possess other forms
of digestive peculiarities that can be referred to as "Ma'aleh Gerah."
(For an extensive and comprehensive discussion of the identity of the Shafan
and Arneves, see the research of Rabbi Nosson Slifkin
(www.zootorah.com/hyrax) in his new, illustrated book, THE CAMEL, THE HARE,
AND THE HYRAX, Targum Press 2004.)
6) THE NEED FOR A "MESORAH" WITH REGARD TO A "CHAYAH" OR "BEHEMAH"
OPINIONS: The Gemara quotes a Beraisa that says, "These are the signs of a
[Kosher] Chayah." The Gemara asks why the Beraisa needs to specify the signs
of a Kosher Chayah, when those signs are identical to the signs of a Kosher
Behemah, as the verse (Vayikra 11:2-3) explicitly mentions Chayah with
regard to the signs of a Kosher animal! The Gemara explains that the Beraisa
is teaching that there are signs that distinguish a Chayah from a Behemah,
so that we know that the animal is a Chayah and thus its Chelev is
permitted. The Beraisa says that a Chayah has horns and hooves. The Gemara
explains that the horns must have certain qualities in order to be a sign of
a Chayah (see following Insights).
7) THE IDENTITY OF THE "TZVI"
Does it suffice to identify a Chayah as a Kosher animal by its anatomical
signs, or is it also necessary to have a tradition that this particular
animal is a Kosher Chayah? The Gemara later (63b; see Insights there)
teaches that it is necessary to have a tradition ("Mesorah") that a
particular type of bird is Kosher in order for it to be permitted (in
addition to having the signs of a Kosher bird enumerated in the Mishnah
here). Does this requirement for a Mesorah apply only to fowl, or also to
(a) The SHULCHAN ARUCH (YD 82:2) mentions the requirement for a Mesorah only
with regard to fowl and makes no mention of it with regard to the Halachos
of a Chayah (YD 80). The REMA (YD 82:3) writes that we should not rely on
the signs of a Kosher bird, and we may eat only a bird for which we have a
clear Mesorah that it is permitted.
HALACHAH: The dispute whether a newly-discovered species of Chayah or
Behemah is permitted to eat without a Mesorah is relevant in practice with
regard to a number of species cattle. The Poskim discuss at length the
status of the buffalo, as well as other species. One famous discussion
involves the "Indian ox," also known as the "zebu" (it is known in America,
into which it was imported in the middle of the nineteenth century, as
"Brahman cattle"). The zebu (Bos indicus) is a domestic animal of the cattle
family, which characteristically has a fatty hump on its back behind its
neck (see Graphic #1:4). The zebu is used in Central and South America where
it is interbred with domestic cattle to produce an animal that has greater
resistance to heat and illness, and that has better meat (with less fat)
than ordinary cows. The incidence of Sirchos in the lungs of such animals is
also much less frequent (see Insights to Chulin 49:1).
(b) The SHACH (YD 80:1) writes that he does not discuss at length the
Simanim of a Chayah because "we must rely only on what we know [to be a
Kosher Chayah] through Mesorah." The PRI MEGADIM and KAF HA'CHAYIM (YD 80:5)
understand that the Shach means that we must have a Mesorah to differentiate
a Chayah from a Behemah in order to permit its Chelev, but we may rely on
the Simanim of a Kosher animal in order to eat the animal itself, without
having a Mesorah that this animal is permitted.
(c) However, the CHOCHMAS ADAM (36:1) understands that the Shach means that
there must be a Mesorah that the animal is a permitted Chayah even with
regard to eating its meat, and not just with regard to permitting its
Chelev, and that what the Rema writes with regard to fowl (see (a) above)
applies to Chayos as well.
Moreover, the CHAZON ISH (end of YD 11) understands that the Shach's
requirement for a Mesorah applies not only to fowl and to Chayos, but also
to Behemos as well. Accordingly, the Chazon Ish writes that we should not
permit a newly-discovered species of animal to be eaten (see below).
Sixty years ago, the meat industry in Israel wanted to import zebu meat. The
Chief Rabbi, Rav Yisrael Herzog zt'l, saw no reason to prohibit it, as it is
a Behemah with all of the signs of a Kosher animal, and a Mesorah is not
needed for a Behemah. In practice, however, the rabbinate did not permit the
meat to be imported in deference to the view of the Chazon Ish, as mentioned
above. The Chazon Ish, in a letter to Rav Herzog (recorded in IGROS CHAZON
ISH 2:83) wrote, "Even though the animal is certainly Tahor as evidenced by
its Simanim (its hooves are split, it has no upper teeth, and it
ruminates)... nevertheless according to our Hanhagah, that our sages
established for us, we are careful not to accept a new species. This is
clear from the Shach; the Pri Megadim's interpretation is not consistent
with the words of the Shach, and the Chochmas Adam records the Shach's words
in their straightforward sense. I now saw that the Aruch ha'Shulchan also
rules in accordance with the simple meaning of the Shach's words.... This is
the truth -- that since the days of the Shach and onwards, we have had an
established Minhag not to accept any new species, to bring it upon the table
of Yisrael, because of a safeguard against eating forbidden foods, which
have breached the purity of Yisrael, and we should not breach this
safeguard. I have no intention, Chas v'Shalom, to forbid that which is
permitted, but my heart is pained with this Heter [of the newly-discovered
species] because every breach causes more breaches. I am sure that [those
who argue with me] will change their mind and agree that this cow should not
be permitted -- not because there is a doubt about its status as a Kosher
animal, but because of the Minhag that was established for us by great
sages, the Shach, Chochmas Adam, Aruch ha'Shulchan.... The end of the matter
is that in our times, when there is a strong urge to reform, it is not
possible to do things that appear to be permitted when there has been a
Minhag to prohibit them."
In most recent days this issue has resurfaced in Israel. As noted in the
religious media (on 21 Adar 5764 - March 14, 2004), it has reportedly been
discovered that most of the cows being slaughtered in the meat factories in
South America (from which 90% of the meat in Israel is imported) are
actually zebus, or crossbreeds with zebus. A committee has been appointed by
the Gedolim to research whether or not the very animal whose meat the Chazon
Ish prohibited to be imported into Israel has been the primary source of
meat for Israel for the past few decades, and whether or not the major
Kashrus supervisory organizations have been aware of this. One of these
Kashrus organizations (the one that follows the stringencies of the Chazon
Ish) has stated publicly that all meat from South America should not be
eaten, while the other Kashrus organizations permit the meat in accordance
with the views that maintain that no Mesorah is necessary to permit a
Behemah or Chayah.
OPINIONS: The Beraisa teaches that a sign that an animal is a Kosher Chayah
(and its Chelev is permitted) is that it has horns and hooves. The Gemara
explains that the horns must have certain qualities in order to be a sign of
a Chayah. The Gemara says that the horns must be "Mefutzalos" (they branch
out (RASHI), or they are bent at the end (RABEINU TAM); see below). The
Gemara asks that a Tzvi does not have such horns and yet its Chelev is
permitted. The Gemara concludes (see next Insight) that if the horns are
"Mefutzalos," then the animal is certainly a Chayah. If its horns are not
"Mefutzalos," then they must be "Keruchos" (grow in layers), they must be
"Charukos" (grooved), and they must be "Chaduros" (pointed; see, however,
SHULCHAN ARUCH 80:1, and see Background to the Daf). The horns of a Tzvi
have these three qualities.
8) THE IDENTITY OF THE "KERESH"
What exactly is a Tzvi?
(a) RASHI (DH v'Harei Tzvi) writes that he does not know what animal the
Gemara refers to as a Tzvi, because the animal that we commonly call a Tzvi
*does* have branched horns. Rashi seems to be referring to the deer, which
has small, branched horns that split off from a central horn.
Rashi concludes that what we commonly call a Tzvi is different from what the
Gemara calls a Tzvi. The Gemara is referring to the "steinbuck" ("estainboc"
in Old French, or "steenbok" in formal English), which has horns that do not
split into branches. While this word today refers to a small antelope common
to the plains of southern and eastern Africa, the ME'IRI and others seem to
understand that Rashi is referring to the ibex (a type of wild goat that
lives in mountain areas), which has two large horns that curl directly back
from its head towards its back in a semi-circle shape. This seems apparent
from Rashi himself in Rosh Hashanah (26b, DH Ya'el) who says that a Ya'el is
a "steinbuck." Similarly, Rashi in Devarim (14:5) says that the "Ya'alei
Sela," which apparently refers to a wild goat, is a "steinbuck."
TOSFOS (DH v'Harei Tzvi) quotes RABEINU TAM who asks that when the Gemara
mentions a Tzvi, it must be talking about the deer, because the Gemara
elsewhere mentions identifying features of a Tzvi that clearly refer to the
features of a deer. The Gemara in Kesuvos (112a) says that a Tzvi's skin is
very tight and would not be able to contain its body if not for the fact
that its skin stretches so much. This is a characteristic of a deer's skin.
In addition, the Midrash (Shir ha'Shirim Rabah, end of chapter 8) says that
the reason why the verse (Shir ha'Shirim 2:9) compares Hashem to a Tzvi
("Domeh Dodi l'Tzvi") is because just as a Tzvi sleeps with one eye open,
so, too, during our Galus (when Hashem's immediate providence seems to have
been removed from us), Hashem continues to keep His eye on us, as it were,
and protect us. We find that this, too, is a characteristic of a deer, which
sleeps with one eye open.
(b) RABEINU TAM therefore concludes that the text in the Gemara should read
"Mevutzalos," which means that the horns of a Chayah are mostly straight,
and at the top they are bent. The Gemara asks that the Chelev of a Tzvi,
deer, is permitted, and yet it does not have such horns, but rather its
horns branch out.
The SICHAS CHULIN answers Rabeinu Tam's questions on Rashi's explanation by
proposing that Rashi is not referring to the ibex, but rather to an animal
known in Hebrew as the "Tzvi Eretz-Yisraeli" -- the gazelle, which has two
horns without branches that shift directions as they curl outward (away from
the center of the head). It has all of the characteristics that Tosfos
mentions with regard to a deer. It is also very swift, fitting the
description of the Mishnah in Avos (5:20) that says that one should "be as
swift as a Tzvi to do the will of Hashem." He points out that the Midrash
(Shir ha'Shirim Rabah 2:21) gives an additional description of a Tzvi: "It
skips and jumps from mountain to mountain, from valley to valley, from tree
to tree, from shelter to shelter, from fence to fence... it appears and
hides, appears and hides." This description fits the gazelle. (The "Tzvi
Eretz-Yisraeli" does *not* refer to the antelope as some incorrectly
suggest. Such an animal is not native to Eretz Yisrael and certainly is not
found in Europe, and thus Rashi would not be referring to such an animal.
See SICHAS CHULIN, pages 414-415.)
However, the gazelle was not indigenous to the region in which Rashi lived,
and it is unlikely he would be referring to it. Moreover, Rashi himself in
other places describes the "steinbuck" as an ibex. The Sichas Chulin
explains that perhaps Rashi means to say that the "steinbuck" is an animal
whose horns are similar to the animal which the Gemara calls a Tzvi. Rashi
himself was unsure of the exact identity of the animal which the Gemara
calls a Tzvi, as this animal is primarily found in the area of Eretz Yisrael
(hence the name "Tzvi Eretz-Yisraeli"), and he knew only of the "steinbuck"
(ibex) whose horns have similar properties to the horns of the Tzvi
mentioned by the Gemara.
We are left with an interesting question. According to Rashi, what *is* the
proper Torah name for what we know as a deer? The Sichas Chulin suggests
that Rashi must have understood that the term that the Torah and Gemara use
to refer to a deer is "Ayal" (or "Ayalah"). This is consistent with the
Gemara in Yoma (29a) that says that the horns of an Ayalah are "Maftzilos
l'Kan ul'Kan" -- they branch off to the sides, which indeed is a
characteristic of the horns of a deer. (Y. Montrose)
(c) RABEINU SA'ADYA GAON suggests that the Gemara is referring to the
gazelle. The gazelle has all of the characteristics that are used to
describe the Tzvi, and it does not possess branched horns. This animal
matches the Scriptural description of the Tzvi as an agile and beautiful
animal. It also matches the Gemara's statement that a Tzvi does not possess
branched horns. (See Graphic #1:2.)
Rabbi Nosson Slifkin suggests that the reason why Rashi and Tosfos did not
identify the Tzvi as the gazelle is because they never saw a gazelle. There
are no gazelles in Europe, where Rashi and Tosfos lived, and therefore in
Europe the name Tzvi was transposed to its closest equivalent -- the deer.
OPINIONS: The Beraisa teaches that a sign that an animal is a Kosher Chayah
(and its Chelev is permitted) is that it has horns and hooves. Rebbi Dosa
says that if it has horns, then one does not need to examine its hooves, but
if it has hooves, one still needs to examine its horns. The Beraisa adds
that the Chelev of the "Keresh" is permitted, even though it has only one
9) THE HORNS OF A "CHAYAH"
The Gemara quotes Rav Yehudah who says that the Keresh is the deer of Bei
Ila'i. Rav Yosef says that the length of the deer of Bei Ila'i is sixteen
Amos. It is possible that Bei Ila'i refers to the upper worlds ("Bei
Ila'i"), and the deer of Bei Ila'i is a spiritual creature, and not an
animal that exists in this world. However, it seems that there still is some
animal, the Keresh, that exists in this world, for which the Beraisa finds
it necessary to state that its Chelev is permitted.
What is this one-horned "Keresh"?
(a) The ARUCH HA'CHADASH writes that this one-horned animal is the
rhinoceros. However, the rhinoceros obviously is not a Kosher animal; it
does not ruminate, nor does it have split hooves. The PRI CHADASH also
understands the "Keresh" to be the rhinoceros and, consequently, he rules
against the opinion of Rebbi Dosa who says that the Keresh is a permitted
However, the BECHOR SHOR asserts that Rebbi Dosa is discussing only animals
that possess both signs of a Kosher animal, and he is not referring to the
rhinoceros. (See MYSTERIOUS CREATURES, page 80.)
(b) RASHI in Bava Basra (16b, DH Karna d'Keresh) says that the Keresh "is a
type of Chayah and its horns are black like dye." It is interesting to note
that Rashi writes "its *horns*," when the Gemara here states that it has
only one horn (see RASHASH there who changes the Girsa in Rashi to read
The MAHARAM SHIF asks a similar question on the Gemara later (60a). The
Gemara there quotes Rav Yehudah who says that "the bull that Adam ha'Rishon
offered as a Korban had one horn on its forehead." However, the Gemara
shortly afterwards quotes Rav Yehudah as saying that "Adam offered a bull
whose horns grew before its hooves," saying that the bull had "horns," in
The Maharam Shif suggests that perhaps the answer lies in the seemingly
superfluous words, "on its forehead." Rav Yehudah says that the bull that
Adam offered "had one horn *on its forehead*" to differentiate that horn
from the other, normal horns that it had. In addition to its normal horns,
it had one additional horn on its forehead.
The same approach answers why Rashi refers to the "horns" of the Keresh.
Rashi is referring to the two normal horns of the Keresh, while the Gemara
here is referring to the single horn that grows on its forehead.
Accordingly, the SICHAS CHULIN suggests that the Gemara's description of the
Keresh as a very large animal (sixteen Amos) that lives in the wild (Chayah)
and that has two horns on the top of its head and one horn on its forehead
matches the description of one known animal: the giraffe. While most
giraffes have only two horns, many have an additional bump on their
foreheads (see Graphic #1:3). In some subspecies, this bump develops into a
horn. The body of a giraffe certainly is long, and -- depending on the
various opinions of the Amah -- the giraffe can indeed reach sixteen Amos in
height. Moreover, giraffes live in the wild, and have split hooves and chew
(For an extensive and comprehensive discussion of the identity of the Keresh
and of other unusual creatures, see the research of Rabbi Nosson Slifkin
(www.zootorah.com) in his book, MYSTERIOUS CREATURES -- INTRIGUING TORAH
ENIGMAS OF NATURAL AND UNNATURAL HISTORY, Targum Press 2003.)
QUESTION: The Beraisa teaches that a sign that a Chayah is Kosher (and its
Chelev is permitted) is that it has horns and hooves. The Gemara explains
that the horns must have certain qualities in order to be a sign of a
Chayah. The Gemara concludes that if the horns are "Mefutzalos" (they branch
out (RASHI); they are bent at the end (RABEINU TAM)), then the animal is
certainly a Chayah. If its horns are not "Mefutzalos," then they must be
"Keruchos" (grow in layers), they must be "Charukos" (grooved), and they
must be "Chaduros" (pointed).
RASHI (DH Ba'inan) explains why an animal's horns must have all of the other
three qualities when it they are not "Mefutzalos." When its horns are
"Charukos," we know that it is not a bull. When its horns are "Chaduros," we
know that it is not a goat. When its horns are "Keruchos," we know that it
is not a "Karkuz" goat (which has horns that are "Chaduros" but not
TOSFOS (DH v'Harei Ez) asks an obvious question. Why do the horns of the
animal need to be "Chaduros" as well in order to determine that it is a
Chayah? There is no animal (other than a Chayah) whose horns have both
qualities of "Keruchos" and "Charukos," and thus it should suffice for the
horns of the animal to be only "Charukos" and "Keruchos" in order to know
that it is a Chayah! (Even an Ez Karkuz does not have horns that are
(a) Perhaps Rashi maintains that these two qualities indeed would suffice to
prove that the animal is a Chayah. He understands that the intention of the
Gemara is to say that "Chaduros" and "Keruchos" do not suffice to prove that
the animal is Chayah, since a bull's horns have those qualities, and nor
does a combination of "Chaduros" and "Charukos" suffice, since the horns of
an Ez Karkuz have those qualities. The combination of "Charukos" and
Keruchos," though, suffices.
(b) TOSFOS answers that there must be some other type of goat that has horns
that indeed are both "Charukos" and "Keruchos," and therefore an animal must
have all three qualities, including "Chaduros," in order to determine that
it is a Chayah.