Browsing Tag

animal tales


These Pigeons Flew for a Jewish Palestine

By On January 17, 2017

Long before city-dwellers affectionately called them “sky rats,” homing pigeons could occasionally serve a higher purpose. For one such purpose, look to the operations of Nili, the Jewish espionage network that aided… Read More


Are Evil Sea Monkeys Kosher?

By On January 4, 2017

Ann and Jeff VanderMeer tackle tough questions in their delightful, illustrated page-turner: Could Bigfoot be served, roasted, at a seder? What about a cloven-hoofed alien? The two debate whether the 34 gloriously illustrated creatures in their The… Read More


The Yiddish Tale Behind the Thanksgiving Turkey

By On November 23, 2016

Why do we eat turkey on Thanksgiving? There are lots of explanations, but socialist Jews have the best one. It appears in a 50-year-old Yiddish story, “Farvos est men indik tenksgiving” originally… Read More


The Strange Yom Kippur History of the Word ‘Scapegoat’

By On October 11, 2016

If you’re paying attention to the Yom Kippur Torah portion, you’ll notice a lot of goats. In Leviticus, Aaron is commanded to “place lots” on two goats: one for God, and one… Read More

These Three Eagles Left Israel to Go Date in Europe

These Three Eagles Left Israel to Find Love in Europe

By On July 4, 2016

  The North American Bald Eagle is getting a lot of attention today. But a different kind of eagle made headlines in Israel a few months ago, and today we pay homage… Read More


Why 100 NY Jews Brought Goats to This Moroccan Village

By On June 27, 2016

  They were quite a sight: 100 Jewish men from Monsey, New York, respectfully clad in traditional Arab clothing, arriving, after 25 miles of traversing tough climes, at a small Berber village… Read More

Make Way for Canadian Sheep Making Baa-aliyah

These Sheep Are Preparing to Make Baa-aliyah

By On March 16, 2016

National animals are a serious matter — after all, what would Americans think of themselves if Ben Franklin’s (fictional) campaign for the turkey had bested the bald eagle? Insofar as Jews are… Read More

How This Sick Lion Left Gaza, Drove Through Israel, and Landed in the West Bank

How This Sick Lion Left Gaza, Drove Through Israel, and Landed in the West Bank

By On March 13, 2016

As a very famous one once sang, all a lion really needs is courage. But these days, the help of Coordinator of Government Activities in the [Palestinian] Territories, the Palestinian Agriculture Ministry,… Read More

Israel's Weirdest Innovation is this TV Station for your Dog

Israel’s Weirdest Innovation Is This TV Station For Your Dog

By On March 10, 2016

  Does your dog, like this one, howl uncontrollably when Law and Order comes on? Or maybe there’s pacing and growling every time Netanyahu is on the news or you try to… Read More

Torah Taxidermy in the Brooklyn Shtetl

Bizarre Torah Taxidermy in the Heart of Jewish Brooklyn

By On March 6, 2016

  Tucked away in a brownstone in the Brooklyn shtetl of Borough Park is a family-friendly attraction of almost Biblical proportions: Torah Animal World, or the “spiritual taxidermy center” of New York… Read More

Israel's Persian Deer Heist of 1978

Israel’s Great Persian Deer Heist of 1978

By On January 6, 2016

In the valleys of the Galilee, along the slopes of Mount Carmel, prance the rare Persian fallow deer. Their presence in Northern Israel is, you could say, a miracle. You could also… Read More


How the Jewfish Got Its Name

By On December 29, 2015

  Why does putting the word “Jew” in front of any object make it sound a little anti-Semitic? There are several theories for how the jewfish (Promicrops itaiara), an Atlantic saltwater grouper… Read More