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Are locusts Kosher?

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OUKosher.org

  

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This is one of the issues where there is a difference in tradition between the Sephardic community and the Ashkenas community. The Sephardic tradition believes it has a long heritage of identifying which species are referred to in the Torah.1 There are Four Species mentioned in the Torah which, the Talmud says, means that there are eight species. They deduce this because after mentioning each insect the Torah adds ‘according to its species’ which implies there is at least one more in each species.


Unfortunately, we are not at all familiar with what family of species of locusts, grasshoppers, etc
Thus the Sephardim identify these as locusts, grasshopper, and cricket. Unfortunately, we are not at all familiar with what family of species of locusts, grasshoppers, etc. they identify as permissible to eat. We do know that they consider them to be ‘like fish’, and therefore Pareve.


The Ashkenazim, however, follow the dictum of Rashi, who is of the opinion that we have lost the tradition of what the species named in the Torah are. Therefore, Ashkenazim refrain from eating such delicacies.


See "Does Judaism have an opinion on bugs?" and "Could you tell me the blessing said on grasshoppers?"


Republished with permission from www.oukosher.org

Footnotes

  • 1. Leviticus 11:22

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Torah
Torah is G–d’s teaching to man. In general terms, we refer to the Five Books of Moses as “The Torah.” But in truth, all Jewish beliefs and laws are part of the Torah.
Talmud
Usually referring to the Babylonian edition, it is a compilation of Rabbinic law, commentary and analysis compiled over a 600 year period (200 BCE - 427 CE). Talmudic verse serves as the bedrock of all classic and modern-day Torah-Jewish literature.
Rashi
Acronym for Rabbi Shlomo Yitzchaki (1040-1105). Legendary French scholar who authored the fundemental and widely accepted "Rashi commentary" on the entire Bible and Talmud.
Ashkenazim
(pl.) Jews of Northern or Eastern European ancestry. (singular: Ashkenazi)
Sephardim
(Pl.: Sephardim) A Jew whose ancestors stem from Southern Italy, Spain, Portugal, North Africa or the Arabian countries.
Sephardic
(adj.) A Jew whose ancestors stem from Southern Italy, Spain, Portugal, North Africa or the Arabian countries.
Four Species
There is a Biblical command to take "Four Species" on the autumn holiday of Sukkot. These species are: palm branch, citron, myrtle and willow. It is customary to shake these species to all directions.