Friday, June 06, 2008

Giraffes Are Kosher

From JTA (link):

Israeli rabbis have declared giraffe's milk kosher.

Ahead of Shavuot, the festival when dairy foods traditionally are eaten, a team of rabbis and Bar-Ilan University scientists have deemed giraffe's milk fit to join the kosher menu, Yediot Acharonot reported Friday.
That's great although totally impractical because who has access to giraffe's milk? But then JTA adds the following:
Click here to read more
Giraffes chew their cud and have cloven hooves, which qualifies them as kosher under biblical law. But attempts to breed them for meat were abandoned long ago -- according to Jewish law, because no one knew for sure where on the animal's long neck the butcher's knife should land.
NO!!! If you can't find the right place on a giraffe's neck to slaughter it then you must have your eyes closed. Here is what R. Dr. Ari Zivotofsky once wrote on the subject (link):
Misconception: Although the giraffe is a kosher animal, it is not slaughtered because it is not known where on the neck to perform the shechitah (ritual slaughter).

Fact: The makom shechitah (region of the neck in which ritual slaughter is valid) on a giraffe is precisely defined by halachah, just as it is for all animals, and the only impediments to shechting giraffe are cost and practical considerations. (They are among the most difficult animals to restrain.)...

But there is no need to equivocate; the specific anatomic boundaries (cited in Chullin 45a; Shulchan Aruch, Yoreh Deah 20:1-2) for the ritual slaughter of all animals apply to the giraffe as well. For a pigeon, the valid region is a few inches long; for a cow, over 12 inches; and for a giraffe, close to six feet. A kashrut expert once quipped that "anyone who does not know where to shecht a giraffe either knows nothing about the laws of shechitah or could not hit the side of a barn with a baseball."

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