Announcement: Return of the Hyrax

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R. Natan Slifkin’s The Camel, the Hare and the Hyrax is once again available!

“Every animal that has hooves that are fully split and brings up the cud, you shall eat. However, this you shall not eat… the camel, the hare, and the hyrax, for they bring up the cud, but they do not have split hooves; therefore they are unclean to you.” (Deuteronomy 14:6-7)

For more than a century, the Torah’s list of animals with one kosher sign has been a source of controversy. This obscure topic is used both by those seeking to demonstrate the Torah’s scientific knowledge and also by those seeking to challenge it. Do we know the correct identities of these animals? Do they indeed chew the cud and lack split hooves? Does the Torah claim them to be the only such animals? And are there any others?

The Camel, the Hare and the Hyrax is a thorough study of these questions. Out of print for several years, it has just been reprinted! This groundbreaking work draws upon a wealth of Torah literature and the latest zoological research to present a detailed and comprehensive study of this difficult topic. The Camel, The Hare And The Hyrax also explores other related topics, such as the classifying kosher mammals, and the Talmud’s rules regarding kosher fish. It will be reaching Jewish bookstores in the US soon, but probably not in time for when Daf Yomi reaches these topics (August 24th). To obtain a copy before then, at the special launch price of $21.95 plus $5 local shipping to America or Israel, go to

“Rambam wrote that difficult and deep passages of the Talmud cannot be addressed by enthusiasm alone. We do a great injustice to the Torah and the Sages by providing explanations that don’t really hold water. Sensitive areas of the Torah must be approached with hard work, thorough research, rigorous analysis, and intellectual honesty. In this authoritative book, Rabbi Slifkin once again applies these qualities, and this is why it succeeds.”
– Rabbi Yitzchok Adlerstein, Author, Maharal: Be’er HaGolah

See here for R. Yisroel Belsky’s letter of approbation to the first edition: link

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About Gil Student

Rabbi Gil Student is the Editor of, a leading website on Orthodox Jewish scholarly subjects, and the Book Editor of the Orthodox Union’s Jewish Action magazine. He writes a popular column on issues of Jewish law and thought featured in newspapers and magazines, including The Jewish Link, The Jewish Echo and The Vues. In the past, he has served as the President of the small Jewish publisher Yashar Books and as the Managing Editor of OU Press. Rabbi Student has served two terms on the Executive Committee of the Rabbinical Council of America and currently serves as the Director of the Halacha Commission of the Rabbinical Alliance of America. He serves on the Editorial Boards of Jewish Action magazine, the Journal of Halacha and Contemporary Society and the Achieve Journal of Behavioral Health, Religion & Community, as well as the Board of OU Press. He has published five English books, the most recent titled Search Engine volume 2: Finding Meaning in Jewish Texts -- Jewish Leadership, and served as the American editor for Morasha Kehillat Yaakov: Essays in Honour of Chief Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks.


  1. MiMedinat HaYam

    what haskamot are included in this edition?

  2. The juxtaposition between this post and the previous one is providential.
    Chazal say that only the five grains can leaven when water is added and become chametz. But oats don’t have the gluten which makes dough rise! And how do we know what the five grains (and Orez) really are anyway?
    Seems like a book waiting to be written: “The Wheat, The Spelt, The Barley, The Rye and the Oats”!

  3. calee forn I A

    So then including the approbation of Rabbi Adlerstein is somewhat misleading in the post.

  4. lawrence.kaplan

    IH: You drew an incorrect inference. In his post Rabbi Slifkin said that the three haskamot which had appeared in the first edition did not appear in this edition. This does NOT mean that there are no haskamot in this edition. There could be new ones. I assume that Rabbi Adlerstein’s haskamah is a new one.

    calee: Be more careful before accusing others of being misleading.

  5. Prof. Kaplan — The penultimate sentence in the RNS posting supports my reading. But, I bow to the empirical evidence.

  6. Rabbi Adlerstein’s blurb is the same as that on the first edition. I left it on because there is a difference, at least in public perception, between a “blurb” and a “haskamah.”

  7. lawrence.kaplan

    IH: Yes, you are right. It was I who was too hasty, for which I apologize. I am not sure what Rabbi Adlerstein’s comment is. Perhaps it’s an approbation not included in the book itself?

  8. B”H
    You wrote:
    See here for R. Yisroel Belsky’s letter of approbation to the first edition

    I think that R. Yisroel Belsky’s letter of approbation missing in the 2nd edition is very significant, as you can see in his new published letter, available in the following address:

  9. Natan: I am curious if Rabbi Adlerstein was asked if he considers the 2nd edition authoritative, such as he did the first?

  10. B”H
    3 weeks and no answer yet?

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