Every animal that has hooves that are fully split and brings up the cud, you shall eat. However, this you shall not eat... the camel, the hare, and the hyrax, for they bring up the cud, but they do not have split hooves; therefore they are unclean to you. (Deuteronomy 14:6-7) For more than a century, the Torah's list of animals with only one kosher sign has been a source of controversy. This obscure topic is used both by those striving to demonstrate the Torah s scientific wisdom and also by those seeking to challenge it. Do we know the correct identities of these animals? Do they indeed chew the cud and lack split hooves? Does the Torah claim them to be the only such animals? And are there any others? This groundbreaking work draws upon a wealth of Torah literature and the latest zoological research to present a detailed and comprehensive study of this difficult topic. In doing so, many aspects of the laws of kosher animals, birds and fish are thereby clarified, and several general principles for addressing conflicts between Torah and science are illustrated. Rambam wrote that difficult and deep passages of the Talmud cannot be addressed by enthusiasm alone. We do a great injustice to the Torah and the Sages by providing explanations that don t really hold water. Sensitive areas of the Torah must be approached with hard work, thorough research, rigorous analysis, and intellectual honesty. In this authoritative book, Rabbi Slifkin once again applies these qualities, and this is why it succeeds. - Rabbi Yitzchok Adlerstein Author, Maharal: Be er HaGolah
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