[Avodah] Book review: The Torah encyclopedia of the animal kingdom

via Avodah avodah at lists.aishdas.org
Wed Sep 9 17:23:44 PDT 2015

Re: Book review: The Torah encyclopedia of the animal kingdom - Rabbi Natan 
From: Ben Rothke via Areivim <_areivim at lists.aishdas.org_ 
(mailto:areivim at lists.aishdas.org) >

>>   "The Torah encyclopedia of the animal kingdom" is the latest book by  
Natan Slifkin.  I found it to be a fascinating work.  My  review is here:


Let  me know what you think. <<
--Ben Rothke


I think the book is magnificent.  I've seen the first volume and read  a 
good chunk of it (the projected second volume is not out yet).  It  is a 
fascinating work based on tremendous research, and also  aesthetically beautiful. 
 The first volume is about wild animals mentioned  in the Torah.  The 
projected second volume I believe is about domestic  and kosher animals.
The book definitively answers, at least to my satisfaction, a question I've 
 wondered about for a long time:  What is a re'em?  
According to wiki, Re'em is mentioned nine times in the Hebrew Bible (Job  
39:9-10, Deuteronomy 33:17, Numbers 23:22 and 24:8; Psalms 22:21, 29:6 and  
92:10; and Isaiah 34:7).

In Moshe's brachos to the shevatim he says Yoseph has "the horns of a  
re'em" (Dev. 33:17). Bil'am says when Hashem took the Jews out of  Egypt He had 
"like the strength  of a re'em"  (Bamidbar  23:22).
R' Slifkin demonstrates that it is an aurochs, a huge and  powerful horned 
animal, a wild ox, nearly the size of an elephant,  that lived in Europe, 
Asia and North Africa.  It went extinct only about  400 years ago.  The last 
recorded aurochs died in Poland in 1627.
BTW a description and drawing of the aurochs can be seen on pages 17 -  18 
of a lovely 28-page monograph that is particularly appropriate for this  
season. See *Exotic Shofars: Halachic Considerations* by R' Natan Slifkin. 

--Toby Katz
t613k at aol.com


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