Said Samuel, “The redwing thrush [lit.: wine-drinker] is prohibited. And the mnemonic for this is: `Those [priests] drunk with wine are invalid' (b. San. 22b).” And said Samuel, “The lapwing is prohibited. [63a] And the stock pigeon is permitted. And the mnemonic for this is: the power of the offspring is greater than the power of the father [b. 49b].” [The literal meaning of the Hebrew names are: wine-mixer and daughter of the wine-mixer.]
M. Said R. Judah, “The pink flamingo with long legs is permitted. And the mnemonic for this is: murzama [i.e., another permitted pink bird with long legs (Rashi)]. And the pink flamingo with short legs is prohibited. And the mnemonic for this is [the legal principle]: the dwarf is invalid [M. Bekh. 7:6 T(5)]. The green flamingo with long legs is prohibited. And the mnemonic for this is: If they are green — they are invalid [M. 3:3 C(6)].”
N. Said R. Judah, “The cormorant (Lev. 11:17), this is [a bird] that snatches fish from the sea. The hoopoe (Lev. 11:19), this is [a bird] with a double crown.”
O. It was taught on Tannaite authority in accord with this: The hoopoe (Lev. 11:19), this is [a bird] with a double crown. And this is the bird that brought the shamir-worm to the Temple [b. Git. 68b]. When R. Yohanan would see a cormorant he would recite, “Thy judgments are like the great deep” (Ps. 36:6). And when he would see an ant he would recite, “Thy righteousness is the like the mountains of God” (ibid).
P. Said Amemar, “The pelican and the gannet are permitted. The bustard and the black gannet — in a place where they are accustomed to eat them, they may eat them. In a place where they are not accustomed to eat them, they may not eat them.” Is it that the matter depends on the custom [and not on the law]? Yes. And there is no contradiction [between the two customs]. This one [custom that prohibits] is in a place where the vulture and the osprey are common [and we fear lest they confuse the birds and eat a prohibited kind]. This one [custom that permits] is in a place where the vulture and the osprey are not common [and we have no such fear].
Q. Said Abayye, “The large screech owl and the small screech owl are prohibited. The owl is permitted. In the West [Israel] they gave lashes [to one who ate it] and they called it the night screecher.”
R. Our rabbis taught on Tannaite authority: The tnšmt [RSV: the water hen (Lev. 11:18)] is the ugliest of the birds [Rashi: the bat; Cashdan: the night bird or owl]. Do you say it is the ugliest of the birds? Or do you say that it is the ugliest of the creeping things? [The same name is used to describe one of the prohibited kinds of creeping things in Lev. 11:30. RSV translates the chameleon.] You may say we may go forth and determine this from [one of] the thirteen principles by which the Torah is interpreted: [This is] a matter that may be determined from its context. Of what is Scripture speaking? Of birds. This too [must refer to] birds.
S. It was taught also with regard to creeping things in the same manner: The tnšmt is the ugliest of the creeping things. Do you say it is the ugliest of the creeping things? Or do you say that is it the ugliest of the birds? You may say we may go forth and determine this from [one of] the thirteen principles by which the Torah is interpreted: [This is] a matter that may be determined from its context. Of what is Scripture speaking? Of creeping things. This too [must refer to] creeping things.
T. Said Abayye, “The ugliest of the birds is the bat and the ugliest of the creeping things is the mole.” Said R. Judah, “The q't is the sea crow. The rhm is the vulture.” Said R. Yohanan, “Why is it called the rhm [meaning mercy, but implying rain]? Because when the rhm comes [around it is a sign that] rain [lit. mercy] will come to the world.”
U. Said R. Bibi bar Abayye, “[The coming of the vulture is a sign] if he sets down someplace and squawks. And we have a tradition that if he sets down on the land and squawks the messiah will come. As it says, `I will signal [lit. squawk] for them and gather them in, [for I have redeemed them, and they shall be as many as of old]' (Zech. 10:8).”
V. Said R. Ada bar Shimi to Mar bar R. Idai, “But lo, this one [vulture] set down on a plowed field and squawked. And a stone rolled down on it and split open its head.” He said to him, “This one [vulture] was a quack.”
A. Our rabbis taught on Tannaite authority: [The verse says, “Every raven according to its kind” (Lev. 11:15).] “Raven” is the raven itself. “Every raven” includes [in the category] the raven of the valley. “According to its kind” includes [in the category] the raven that travels in front of the doves.
B. Said the master, “[You said], `Raven' is the raven itself. It is right here before us. Rather you should say: `Raven' is the black raven. And so it says [in the verse], “His head is the finest gold; his locks are wavy, black as a raven” (Song of Songs 5:11).
C. The raven of the valley [in A, that is] the magpie [a white spotted raven]. And so it says [in the verse], “[The priest shall examine it, and if the hair in the spot has turned white] and it appears deeper than the skin, [then it is leprosy, it has broken out in the burn, and the priest shall pronounce him unclean; it is a leprous disease]” (Lev. 13:25). As [they say]: the appearance of sun is deeper than shade. [This is a play on the words for valley and deep from `mq. The white raven is the deeper- or the valley-raven.]
D. [And concerning] the raven that travels in front of the doves [in A]: Said R. Pappa, “Do not maintain that it means it travels in front of the doves. Rather [maintain that it means] its head resembles that of a dove [i.e., the cuckoo (Cashdan)].”
A. Our rabbis taught: [The verse says, “The hawk according to its kind” (Lev. 11:16).] “The hawk” is the hawk according to its kind. This includes the bar hyry'. What is the bar hyry'? Said Abayye, “It is the falcon.”
B. Said R. Judah, “`The stork, [the heron according to its kind, the hoopoe, and the bat]' (Lev. 11:19): This is the white stork. And why is it called the hsydh [lit. merciful]? Because it performs merciful acts for its fellows.”
C. The 'nph is the heron. And why is it called 'nph [lit. angry]? Because it is quarrelsome with its fellows.
A. Said R. Hanan bar R. Hisda, said R. Hisda, said R. Hanan the son Raba, said Rab, “There are twenty-four [categories of] unclean birds.” Said R. Hanan bar R. Hisda to R. Hisda, “Where are they? If you refer to Leviticus, there are twenty [categories there]. If you refer to Deuteronomy, there are twenty-one [categories] there. And if you maintain that [you should take the category of] the kite (Lev. 11:14) that is written in Leviticus but not written in Deuteronomy and add it to the others [that are listed], you still have only twenty-two!”
B. He [Hisda] said to him, “This is what your mother's father said in the name of Rab, `[You must count as separate categories] the four times [in chapter 11] that it says, After its kind.' There are your other four.”
C. [He said,] “If this is so then you have twenty-six [categories]!” Said Abayye, “The kite (d'h, Lev. 11:13) and the buzzard (r'h, Deut. 14:13) are one category. For if you wished to conclude that they are two [categories], [63b] then let us consider this. Deuteronomy [repeats the laws] so as to add to them. Why then there [in Leviticus] does it write d'h and there [in Deuteronomy] does it write r'h but not d'h? Rather we must derive from this that they are one category.”
D. You still have twenty-five [categories]! Said Abayye, “Just as d'h and r'h are one category. So too 'yh [RSV: the falcon, Lev. 11:14 and and dyh [RSV: the kite, Deut. 14:13] are one category. For if you wished to conclude that they are two [categories], then let us consider this. Deuteronomy [repeats the laws] so as to add to them. Why then there [in Leviticus] does it write `according to its kind' regarding the 'yh and there [in Deuteronomy] does it write `according to its kind' regarding the dyh? Rather we must derive from this that they, 'yh and dyh, are one category.”
E. And after we concluded that 'yh and dyh, are one category why then does it need to write both 'yh and dyh? As it was taught on Tannaite authority: Rabbi says, “I call it 'yh. Why then does it say dyh? So as not to give an opening for lawyers to dispute the law. So that you do not call it one name, and he call it the other, or vice versa. Therefore it is written in Deuteronomy, `The buzzard, the kite (hr'h w't h'yh whdyh lmynh) after their kinds' (Deut. 14:13).”
F. They raised a question: Why were they [i.e., the lists of clean and unclean animals] repeated [i.e., in Leviticus and Deuteronomy]? For [the list of prohibited] beasts, it was on account of the addition of the šsw`h. And for [the list of prohibited] birds, it was on account of the addition of the r'h. Is it not the case that regarding [the list in Deuteronomy of unclean] beasts that it adds [a new category]. [In the list in Deuteronomy of unclean] birds does it not also add [a new category]? No. There [for beasts] it adds. Here [for birds] it explains [a category that was already stated].
G. And this disputes the view of R. Abbahu. For said R. Abbahu, “The r'h is the same as the 'yh. And why was it called that? Because it has acute eyesight [a reference to the Hebrew root for seeing, r'h]. And so it says [in the verse], `That path no bird of prey knows, and the falcon's ['yh] eye has not seen it' (Job 28:7).”
H. It was taught, “It can be in Babylonia and see carrion in the Land of Israel.”
I. Since we said r'h is identical to 'yh, we may derive the rule that d'h is not identical to r'h. Then let us consider this. Deuteronomy [repeats the laws] so as to add to them. Why then there [in Leviticus] does it write d'h and there [in Deuteronomy] does it not write d'h? Rather we must derive from this that they, d'h, r'h and 'yh, are one category.”
J. And since r'h is identical to 'yh we may derive the rule that dyh is not identical to 'yh. What then is the difference between the verse there that writes according to its kind in regard to 'yh and the verse here that does not write according to its kind for 'yh, but only for dyh? Rather we must derive from this that they, d'h, r'h, dyh and 'yh, are one category.
A. It was taught on Tannaite authority: Isi b. Judah says, “There are one hundred categories of unclean birds in the East and all of them are kinds of 'yh.”
B. Taught Abimi the son of R. Abbahu,“There are seven hundred kinds of [unclean] fish and eight hundred kinds of [unclean] locusts. And there is an infinite number of the kinds of [unclean] birds.” [But we learned in V.9 A that] there are twenty-four [kinds of unclean birds]! [You should say that it means here that] there is an infinite number of clean birds.
C. It was taught on Tannaite authority: Rabbi says, “It is apparent to the Creator that the [categories of] clean beasts outnumber the [categories of] unclean beasts. Therefore Scripture listed the clean beasts. It was apparent to the Creator that the [categories of] clean birds outnumber the [categories of] unclean birds. Therefore Scripture listed the unclean birds.”
D. What novel point does this make? In accord with R. Huna in the name of Rab [it makes a novel point]. And some say, in accord with R. Huna in the name of Rab in the name of R. Meir, “A person should always teach something to his student in the most concise way possible.”
A. Said R. Yitzhak, “A clean bird may be eaten on the basis of the received tradition. The hunter is trusted to say, `This bird is clean. My master passed the tradition on to me.'”
B. Said R. Yohanan, “And this is the case if he is expert in [identifying] them and their names.” It is consistent if you say that his master was a hunter. Then it makes perfect sense [to say that he was an expert in identifying them and their names]. But if you say his master was a sage, it is consistent to conclude that he was learned in their names. But [is it consistent to assume] that he knew how to identify them. Rather must we not then derive that his master was a hunter? We must derive it.
A. Our rabbis taught on Tannaite authority: They may buy eggs from idolaters anywhere. And they need not suspect that they are from carrion nor from terefot. But perhaps they are from an unclean bird? Said the father of Samuel, “[This rule applies] where he [the seller] said, `They are from such-and-such a bird that is clean.'”
B. But [why not] let him say, “They are from a clean bird?” If he does this, he might prevaricate. [Later he might be tempted to change his story (Rashi)].
C. But why not let him [the buyer] inspect for the tokens [of cleanness]? For it was taught on Tannaite authority: The tokens [of cleanness] for eggs are like the tokens for fish. Does it make sense to conclude that they are like [the tokens for] fish? The Torah said [the tokens for fish are] fins and scales! Rather say, [The tokens of cleanness for birds' eggs] are like the tokens [64a] for fish roe.