Dvar Torah Parshat Shemini 5773 2013

Towards the end of this week’s Portion we read the distinguishing features of the kosher animals. They must have split hoofs and must bring up their cud. Certain animals are mentioned that have one of these features but lack the other one. These animals are not kosher.

The Torah names three animals that bring up their cud but do not have a split hoof and one that has a split hoof but does not bring up its cud. These four animals are not kosher. Theגָּמָל, the camel, the שָּׁפָן, the hyrax (an animal found in the Middle-East), and the אַרְנֶבֶת, the hare or rabbit bring up their cud but do not have a split hoof. The חֲזִיר, the pig has a split hoof but does not bring up its cud. (Lev. 11,4-7)

It is amazing that in all of nature no other animal has ever been found that has only one of these features. The Rabbis of the Talmud tell us that only the Ruler of the Universe knows that there is no other animal with only one of these characteristics. Moshe himself could not have known this information on his own. It had to have been transmitted to him only through the Almighty.
This is one of the proofs that the Torah is a Divine revelation.

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