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Mesorah of Kosher Animals


Rabbi Ari Shvat

Adar II 21, 5776
26 Adar 1 5776 BS”D In Parashot Emor, 22/23, the Torah precludes a bull or sheep from being used as a vow-offering if it has one leg longer than the other or a sheep with unsplit hooves (a naturally occuring mutation), but does allow it to be used as a donation. 1) Am I correct in assuming these animals, bulls or sheep in particular, may be eaten as kosher food since they are allowed as a donation? 2) If so, does this mean that similar to the mesorah over kosher birds (a tradition that the birds must already be known as kosher and continually prepared/eaten) and that likewise, the species of cattle or sheep in particular, must also already known, so that these "donated" sheep with non-splits hooves may be eaten? In other words, is the kashrute dependent on the species and not the individual sheep even if they don’t have split hooves? Otherwise, Re’eh, in Chapter 14, would have disallowed eating this donation. 3) Based on this idea that, if true, that the species or mesorah of the animal is an active principle even with a mammal, and based on the above logic in 2), then even if a naturally occurring mutation, such as a camel with an split hoof (which may be likely that out of millions of camels), would therefore not be allowed, due to the lack of a mesorah for the species, even though it would fully comply with the requirement of chewing it’s cud and having a split hoof as stated in Re’eh, Chapter 14?
Yes, a calf born to a cow, but by chance is without split hooves, is nevertheless kosher, like his mother. Conversely, as I answered previously, a camel born by chance with split hooves is not kosher.
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