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Are Hummingbirds Kosher?

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Rabbi Elchanan Lewis

17 Elul 5765
Question
Are hummingbirds kosher, for the Kan Tzipor Mitzvah?
Answer
The Torah does not give us the signs for the kosher birds, rather a list of all those that we are not allowed to eat; All the rest are kosher. (Vayikra 11; 13-19) The rabbis in the Mishnah (Chulin 59a) give us signs to recognize a kosher bird. In any event we only eat those that we have a tradition to eat; the hummingbird is out of that list. The Mitzvah of Shiluach HaKen does not apply for the same reason. (Shulchan Aruch YD 292; 1)
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