Wednesday, August 16, 2006

The Furry Lining

I wonder if, thanks to the Slifkin controversy, more people are now aware that שפן means not "rabbit" or "hare", but HYRAX. That would be good. Then all we'd need to do is go around smacking upside the head everyone who translates נשר as "eagle" instead of GRIFFIN VULTURE, veshalom ‘al yisra’eil.

Stare at the Wonder of the Hyrax!
(and the Griffin Vulture Griffin)

22 Comments:

Anonymous David Linn said...

I've got a pic of a shafan on an old post here http://www.beyondbt.com/?p=250
It's certainly no rabbit or hare.

8/16/2006 10:37 AM  
Blogger Mar Gavriel said...

So, what's a badger, then?

8/16/2006 11:55 AM  
Blogger Steg (dos iz nit der šteg) said...

BADGERBADGERBADGER!

(what does H.S. have to do with it?)

8/16/2006 12:08 PM  
Blogger Elie said...

So if you don't buy the idea that the Shafan and Arvenes are the dromedary and the llama, what explanation do you prefer for the Torah's statement that they chew their cud? I've head a reasonable one but I'd like to hear your ideas.

8/16/2006 1:05 PM  
Blogger Ezzie said...

Poor Holy Hyrax. That leopard really nailed him.

8/16/2006 2:59 PM  
Blogger Steg (dos iz nit der šteg) said...

El(l)ie:

Shafan and Arnevet being dromedary and llama?
let me quote for you what R' Avraham ben Mei’ir Ibn-‘Ezra said about R' Sa‘adya Ga’on's identification of places and animals in his Arabic translation of the Torah...
...and he simply translated Hhavila according to his need, because he had no tradition regarding it. And so he did by families, nations, animals, birds and stones. Maybe he saw them in a dream... If so, let us not rely on his dreams.

Ez(z)ie:

I want one as a pet. You should get one too. I wonder if they're big enough for Elianna to ride...

8/16/2006 3:24 PM  
Blogger Knitter of shiny things said...

You're so obsessed with Hyraxes. :-p

8/16/2006 4:38 PM  
Blogger Steg (dos iz nit der šteg) said...

yeah, i am.
you wanna make something of it?

8/16/2006 5:23 PM  
Blogger Jen Taylor Friedman said...

'S not a bloody hyrax, it's a rock badger, don't you read your King James? Rock badgers are cool, they're like Meles meles (obviously, because God is English, everyone knows that) but REALLY HIP and go around in leather jackets.

8/16/2006 11:31 PM  
Blogger Elie said...

I thought the dromedary/llama theory was fairly well-known. It first appeared in the AOJS Journal "Intercom" in 1973; see here for a summary.

In any case, though it's somewhat clever, I don't buy this theory. I prefer the idea favored by Slifkin and others, that because the hyrax practices Cecotrophy, it is considered to "chew its cud" since Cecotrophy is similar to rumination in function: consumption and re-digestion of food which could not be properly utilized after the initial swallowing.

8/17/2006 9:36 AM  
Blogger Steg (dos iz nit der šteg) said...

Blackherring:

King James was a doofus. ראם does not = 'unicorn'. that's all i need to say.

Elie:

interesting! i actually just acquired R' Slifkin's two newest books today.

8/17/2006 6:18 PM  
Blogger Ben-Yehudah said...

B"H When I met my first "shefan sela," the translation "rock badger" seemed to fit. It looked like a badger, and lived between the rocks. Here in the Shomron, the kids don't get confused about this animal's ID, 'cause teachers like me just take them outside to look at them. I sent you a photo.

8/17/2006 6:39 PM  
Blogger Steg (dos iz nit der šteg) said...

Ben-Yehudah:

No, this is a rock badger ;-)

8/17/2006 8:16 PM  
Blogger Ezzie said...

I *have* a pet hyrax. He even posts on my blog sometimes! :)

8/17/2006 10:35 PM  
Blogger The back of the hill said...

Now, all together: Badger badger badger badger badger.... MUSHROOM!

I've always loved that song......


I'm surprised that you didn't even mention The Wind In The Willows.

8/17/2006 11:36 PM  
Blogger Steg (dos iz nit der šteg) said...

Of course The Back Of The Hill would be interested in The Wind In The Willows... but i don't think i've ever read it. Or watched it.

8/18/2006 6:37 AM  
Blogger The back of the hill said...

Then read it! It is a formative influence. Even for adults.

Hot toast, slathered with butter!

8/18/2006 6:03 PM  
Blogger Warren Burstein said...

Speaking of fur, have they identified which animal was used to make the shtreimels our ancestors wore in the desert?

8/20/2006 5:00 AM  
Blogger Steg (dos iz nit der šteg) said...

Speaking of fur, have they identified which animal was used to make the shtreimels our ancestors wore in the desert?

Egyptian back hair.

Either that or Egyptian Rat Screw.

8/20/2006 8:39 AM  
Blogger Knitter of shiny things said...

A strimel made out of Egyptian Rat Screw? That I'd like to see. (You could wear it to your next Sushi With Steg (TM) and take a picture...)

Best card game ever.

8/20/2006 2:20 PM  
Blogger Warren Burstein said...

Maybe in the illustrations of the Yiddish translation of Alice in Wonderland (http://www.cs.uky.edu/~raphael/bavebter/numer.1.2/sholem.alis.html), the playing cards could wear Egyptian Rat Screw shtreimels.

8/20/2006 3:49 PM  
Blogger Knitter of shiny things said...

Warren-

If only I could draw...

8/21/2006 10:27 AM  

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