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11 (vi) Adonai said to Moshe and Aharon, “Tell the people of Isra’el, ‘These are the living creatures which you may eat among all the land animals: any that has a separate hoof which is completely divided and chews the cud — these animals you may eat. 4-6 But you are not to eat those that only chew the cud or only have a separate hoof. For example, the camel, the coney and the hare are unclean for you, because they chew the cud but don’t have a separate hoof; while the pig is unclean for you, because, although it has a separate and completely divided hoof, it doesn’t chew the cud. You are not to eat meat from these or touch their carcasses; they are unclean for you.

“‘Of all the things that live in the water, you may eat these: anything in the water that has fins and scales, whether in seas or in rivers — these you may eat. 10 But everything in the seas and rivers without both fins and scales, of all the small water-creatures and of all the living creatures in the water, is a detestable thing for you. 11 Yes, these will be detestable for you — you are not to eat their meat, and you are to detest their carcasses. 12 Whatever lacks fins and scales in the water is a detestable thing for you.

13 “‘The following creatures of the air are to be detestable for you — they are not to be eaten, they are a detestable thing: the eagle, the vulture, the osprey, 14 the kite, the various kinds of buzzards, 15 the various kinds of ravens, 16 the ostrich, the screech-owl, the seagull, the various kinds of hawks, 17 the little owl, the cormorant, the great owl, 18 the horned owl, the pelican, the barn owl, 19 the stork, the various kinds of herons, the hoopoe and the bat.

20 “‘All winged swarming creatures that go on all fours are a detestable thing for you; 21 except that of all winged swarming creatures that go on all fours, you may eat those that have jointed legs above their feet, enabling them to jump off the ground. 22 Specifically, of these you may eat the various kinds of locusts, grasshoppers, katydids and crickets. 23 But other than that, all winged swarming creatures having four feet are a detestable thing for you.

24 “‘The following will make you unclean; whoever touches the carcass of them will be unclean until evening, 25 and whoever picks up any part of their carcass is to wash his clothes and be unclean until evening: 26 every animal that has a separate but incompletely divided hoof or that doesn’t chew the cud is unclean for you; anyone who touches them will become unclean. 27 Whatever goes on its paws, among all animals that go on all fours, is unclean for you; whoever touches its carcass will be unclean until evening; 28 and whoever picks up its carcass is to wash his clothes and be unclean until evening — these are unclean for you.

29 “‘The following are unclean for you among the small creatures that swarm on the ground: the weasel, the mouse, the various kinds of lizards, 30 the gecko, the land crocodile, the skink, the sand-lizard and the chameleon. 31 They are unclean crawling creatures; whoever touches them when they are dead will be unclean until evening. 32 Anything on which one of them falls when dead will become unclean — wooden utensil, article of clothing, leather, sacking — any utensil used for work; it must be put in water, and it will be unclean until evening; then it will be clean. (vii) 33 If one of them falls into a clay pot, whatever is in it will become unclean, and you are to break the pot. 34 Any food permitted to be eaten that water from such a vessel gets on will become unclean, and any permitted liquid in such a vessel will become unclean. 35 Everything on which any carcass-part of theirs falls will become unclean, whether oven or stove; it is to be broken in pieces — they are unclean and will be unclean for you; 36 although a spring or cistern for collecting water remains clean. But anyone who touches one of their carcasses will become unclean. 37 If any carcass-part of theirs falls on any kind of seed to be sown, it is clean; 38 but if water is put on the seed and a carcass-part of theirs falls on it, it is unclean for you.

39 “‘If an animal of a kind that you are permitted to eat dies, whoever touches its carcass will be unclean until evening. 40 A person who eats meat from its carcass or carries its carcass is to wash his clothes; he will be unclean until evening.

41 “‘Any creature that swarms on the ground is a detestable thing; it is not to be eaten — 42 whatever moves on its stomach, goes on all fours, or has many legs — all creatures that swarm on the ground; you are not to eat them, because they are a detestable thing. 43 You are not to make yourselves detestable with any of these swarming, crawling creatures; do not make yourselves unclean with them, do not defile yourselves with them. 44 For I am Adonai your God; therefore, consecrate yourselves and be holy, for I am holy; and do not defile yourselves with any kind of swarming creature that moves along the ground. (Maftir) 45 For I am Adonai, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt to be your God. Therefore you are to be holy, because I am holy.

46 “‘Such, then, is the law concerning animals, flying creatures, all living creatures that move about in the water, and all creatures that swarm on the ground. 47 Its purpose is to distinguish between the unclean and the clean, and between the creatures that may be eaten and those that may not be eaten.’”

Haftarah Sh’mini: Sh’mu’el Bet (2 Samuel) 6:1–7:17 (A); 6:1–19 (S)

Suggested readings for Parashah Sh’mini from the B’rit Hadashah: Mark 7:1–23; Acts 5:1–11; 10:1–35; 2 Corinthians 6:14–7:1; Galatians 2:11–16; 1 Kefa (1 Peter) 1:14–16

Clean and Unclean Food(A)

11 The Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “Say to the Israelites: ‘Of all the animals that live on land, these are the ones you may eat:(B) You may eat any animal that has a divided hoof and that chews the cud.

“‘There are some that only chew the cud or only have a divided hoof, but you must not eat them.(C) The camel, though it chews the cud, does not have a divided hoof; it is ceremonially unclean for you. The hyrax, though it chews the cud, does not have a divided hoof; it is unclean for you. The rabbit, though it chews the cud, does not have a divided hoof; it is unclean for you. And the pig,(D) though it has a divided hoof, does not chew the cud; it is unclean for you. You must not eat their meat or touch their carcasses; they are unclean for you.(E)

“‘Of all the creatures living in the water of the seas and the streams you may eat any that have fins and scales. 10 But all creatures in the seas or streams that do not have fins and scales—whether among all the swarming things or among all the other living creatures in the water—you are to regard as unclean.(F) 11 And since you are to regard them as unclean, you must not eat their meat; you must regard their carcasses as unclean.(G) 12 Anything living in the water that does not have fins and scales is to be regarded as unclean by you.(H)

13 “‘These are the birds you are to regard as unclean and not eat because they are unclean: the eagle,[a] the vulture, the black vulture, 14 the red kite, any kind(I) of black kite, 15 any kind of raven,(J) 16 the horned owl, the screech owl, the gull, any kind of hawk, 17 the little owl, the cormorant, the great owl, 18 the white owl,(K) the desert owl, the osprey, 19 the stork,(L) any kind(M) of heron, the hoopoe and the bat.(N)

20 “‘All flying insects that walk on all fours are to be regarded as unclean by you.(O) 21 There are, however, some flying insects that walk on all fours that you may eat: those that have jointed legs for hopping on the ground. 22 Of these you may eat any kind of locust,(P) katydid, cricket or grasshopper. 23 But all other flying insects that have four legs you are to regard as unclean.

24 “‘You will make yourselves unclean by these;(Q) whoever touches their carcasses will be unclean till evening.(R) 25 Whoever picks up one of their carcasses must wash their clothes,(S) and they will be unclean till evening.(T)

26 “‘Every animal that does not have a divided hoof or that does not chew the cud is unclean for you; whoever touches the carcass of any of them will be unclean. 27 Of all the animals that walk on all fours, those that walk on their paws are unclean for you; whoever touches their carcasses will be unclean till evening. 28 Anyone who picks up their carcasses must wash their clothes, and they will be unclean till evening.(U) These animals are unclean for you.

29 “‘Of the animals that move along the ground, these are unclean for you:(V) the weasel, the rat,(W) any kind of great lizard, 30 the gecko, the monitor lizard, the wall lizard, the skink and the chameleon. 31 Of all those that move along the ground, these are unclean for you. Whoever touches them when they are dead will be unclean till evening. 32 When one of them dies and falls on something, that article, whatever its use, will be unclean, whether it is made of wood, cloth, hide or sackcloth.(X) Put it in water; it will be unclean till evening, and then it will be clean. 33 If one of them falls into a clay pot, everything in it will be unclean, and you must break the pot.(Y) 34 Any food you are allowed to eat that has come into contact with water from any such pot is unclean, and any liquid that is drunk from such a pot is unclean. 35 Anything that one of their carcasses falls on becomes unclean; an oven or cooking pot must be broken up. They are unclean, and you are to regard them as unclean. 36 A spring, however, or a cistern for collecting water remains clean, but anyone who touches one of these carcasses is unclean. 37 If a carcass falls on any seeds that are to be planted, they remain clean. 38 But if water has been put on the seed and a carcass falls on it, it is unclean for you.

39 “‘If an animal that you are allowed to eat dies,(Z) anyone who touches its carcass(AA) will be unclean till evening. 40 Anyone who eats some of its carcass(AB) must wash their clothes, and they will be unclean till evening.(AC) Anyone who picks up the carcass must wash their clothes, and they will be unclean till evening.

41 “‘Every creature that moves along the ground is to be regarded as unclean; it is not to be eaten. 42 You are not to eat any creature that moves along the ground, whether it moves on its belly or walks on all fours or on many feet; it is unclean. 43 Do not defile yourselves by any of these creatures.(AD) Do not make yourselves unclean by means of them or be made unclean by them. 44 I am the Lord your God;(AE) consecrate yourselves(AF) and be holy,(AG) because I am holy.(AH) Do not make yourselves unclean by any creature that moves along the ground.(AI) 45 I am the Lord, who brought you up out of Egypt(AJ) to be your God;(AK) therefore be holy, because I am holy.(AL)

46 “‘These are the regulations concerning animals, birds, every living thing that moves about in the water and every creature that moves along the ground. 47 You must distinguish between the unclean and the clean, between living creatures that may be eaten and those that may not be eaten.(AM)’”

Footnotes

  1. Leviticus 11:13 The precise identification of some of the birds, insects and animals in this chapter is uncertain.

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