Friday, July 29, 2011

Natan Slifkin surprised by the disfavored hyrax

B”H

Natan Slifkin (NS) after acknowledging his surprise by the publication of the new letters supporting the identification of the biblical shafan as the rabbit and not the hyrax, he presents a few points.

You can see more details on this on a previous post: Hyrax out of favor

Let’s try B”H to analyze briefly some of his points.

An extensive elaboration appears in the book “The enigma of the Biblical shafan”.

1. NS acknowledges that many Spanish Rishonim identify the Biblical shafan as the rabbit.

2. NS claims that when Rav Saadiah Gaon translated shafan as the “wbr”, he intended the hyrax; but as written in the book, after our extensive research we can say that there is no conclusive evidence that this was Rab Saadia’s necessary opinion, because of the 4 points explained there.

3. NS wrote: “rabbits do not live anywhere near Eretz Yisrael…”

The relevance of his statement is questionable, but nevertheless it would be convenient if the facts are checked again.

4. NS wrote: “The only rabbits which hide under rocks are the African rock hares, which only live in Southern Africa, and are in any case so similar in appearance to the hares of Israel (the arneves) that it is hard to imagine that they would be rated as a separate min”.

Again, facts should be checked.

Regarding the “separate min” we explained it in the book with many Torah sources and many science sources why they are considered to different minim.

5. NS wrote: “…if one is going to consider the hyrax as a sheretz, then kal v’chomer that the rabbit, which is much smaller…”

In which page in NS’s book (first or second edition) did he write what is his definition of “sheretz” and the sources on what he based his definition?

6. NS: wrote: “…In fact, the hyrax appears to be more of a maaleh gerah than the hare.”

In which page in NS’s book (first or second edition) did he write what is his definition of “maaleh gerah” and the sources on what he based his definition?

As far as you do not define a category, you cannot include or exclude any animal.

Meanwhile, if you have not read the original letters, you can find them in the following links.

www.tovnet.org/shafan/ShafanHaskamaRavYisroelBelsky19Tamuz5771.jpg www.tovnet.org/shafan/ShafanHaskamaRavYisraelMeirLevinger18Tamuz5771.pdf www.tovnet.org/shafan/ShafanHaskamaRavAmitaiBenDavid16Tamuz5771.pdf

10 comments:

  1. LOL, classic Betech - a long post that doesn't actually say anything!

    ReplyDelete
  2. B"H
    Dear Yissacher
    I know you are very busy these days, so do not answer my six points, it would be enough if you answer the sixth, i.e.

    6. NS: wrote: “…In fact, the hyrax appears to be more of a maaleh gerah than the hare.”

    In which page in NS’s book (first or second edition) did he write what is his definition of “maaleh gerah” and the sources on what he based his definition?

    As far as you do not define a category, you cannot include or exclude any animal.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hyrax, rabbits (hares) are neither sheretz and most certainly not maaleh gerah.

    They are holech al-kapav, which makes them non kosher animals.

    Also, this elusive word that Mr. Slifkin seems to be struggling with (shafan? or is he refering to arnevet?) are all some kind of maaleh gerah. So it has to be an animal with hooves, though not with split ones. Thus the rabbit of hare or hyrax most certainly cannot be those animals.

    What do you think?

    ReplyDelete
  4. B"H
    Dear Aleksandr Sigalov:

    You wrote:
    So it has to be an animal with hooves, though not with split ones.

    IB:
    Could you please elaborate on this point?
    Thank you very much.

    ReplyDelete
  5. The shafan is always mentioned as a part of maale gerah laws. I.e Lev 11:1-8.

    And also, in say , Lev.11:5 it directly says that shafan is unclean because it chews cud but does not have split hoofs.

    It does not say there that it does not have hoofs at all, which seems to be the inference NS is basing his opinion upon.

    Sorry if it was unclear...

    ReplyDelete
  6. B"H
    Dear Aleksandr Sigalov:
    Thank you for your answer.
    Do you have any reason to say that the shafan must have hoofs (non-split), why if it does not have hoofs at all is it a problem?

    ReplyDelete
  7. Well.. because text says so.

    It says (lev 11:5) that shafan is unclean because even though it chews cud, it DOES NOT have SPLIT hoofs.

    If if someone says that shafan does not have hoofs at all, he contradicts what the original text says.

    Isn't it obvious?

    ReplyDelete
  8. B"H
    Dear Aleksandr Sigalov:
    I think it is not obvious, as even in Pesikta Zutrata on Shemini 29b it is written that the shafan and the arnebet have cat-like feet, and the cat has no hooves.
    Shabua Tov

    ReplyDelete
  9. Yissacher said...

    "LOL, classic Betech - a long post that doesn't actually say anything!"

    Well it sure is your style with this at least. Yissachar you attacked with an ad hominem which contributed nothing to the conversation and then you didn't answer the question. Your point was that his article didn't actually say anything? We'll have to take it on your authority. Was your point that he wrote a funny article? Call me dry. I saw nothing funny it. If the choice is so obvious, Rabbi Slifkin sure didn't need to get into any detail either.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I think it is not obvious, as even in Pesikta Zutrata on Shemini 29b it is written that the shafan and the arnebet have cat-like feet, and the cat has no hooves.

    Thanks for your response. But I have to respectfully disagree with you, for the reasons I have stated above.

    ReplyDelete