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Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Rav Yitzhak Yosef Forbids Eating Locusts For Those Without Mesora

There have been a number of blogposts and articles about the permissibility of eating locusts when it has the correct signs.  There have even been recipes posted.
Rav Yitzhak Yosef Shlit"a, son of Rav Ovadia Yosef Shlit"a and author of the multi-volume set Yalkut Yosef, reiterates what he said in Yalkut Yosef that those who are not part of the communities with a tradition of knowing what the signs of a locust are - even if you know the signs and you know that its name is "Hagav" - may not eat them.


At Wed Mar 06, 11:27:00 AM 2013, Anonymous Anon1 said...

I wasn't too tempted even before this.

At Wed Mar 06, 02:37:00 PM 2013, Blogger Dov Bar-Leib said...

I was wondering if locusts were definitely pareve, D'Rabbanan. Of course they are pareve D'Oraita. Back in the 60s and the early 70s there were various hippies around offering chocolate covered insects of various varieties. I never partook in this bizarre delicacy, thank G-d. Now I am wondering what chocolate covered locust might taste like. Sorry, but I am new to this culinary fascination with locusts and grasshoppers.

At Wed Mar 06, 02:56:00 PM 2013, Blogger Dov Bar-Leib said...

Also if they most likely are pareve, are there halakhic health issues eating them with milk or meat?? Like fish, they are a Ba'al Chai.

At Wed Mar 06, 03:01:00 PM 2013, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Normally, why would any normal human being want to eat an insect? Of course, HaRav Yitzchak Yosef is completely correct that only those whose mesorah of 2000 years is it okay and kosher for them to eat.

At Wed Mar 06, 03:07:00 PM 2013, Blogger yaak said...

R' Dov, Yoreh De'ah 87:3 permits Hagavim with milk or meat. It doesn't seem like there's any Sakana issues either like there is with fish.

At Wed Mar 06, 07:45:00 PM 2013, Blogger joshwaxman said...

not that one can refute this legit position in a single blog comment, but for a contrary idea (to bolster those poskim from other communities than R' Yosef who take contrary positions), see Shabbat 97a and specifically the only Tosafot on the daf.

At Wed Mar 06, 11:21:00 PM 2013, Blogger yaak said...

I noticed that YWN botched the Psak as pointed out by the first 2 commenters there.

At Wed Mar 06, 11:34:00 PM 2013, Blogger yaak said...

Josh, I took a look at that Tosafot, and I see what you're getting at - that in Tosafot's question, R' Yehuda Ben Beteira didn't have a Mesora and R' Akiva did, so he should have followed his Mesora.

Perhaps, you can differentiate by saying that this is a Mesora in Simanim - which needs an unbroken chain, whereas a Mesora of a Gezeira Shava does not necessarily.

But, I like your question.

At Thu Mar 07, 09:42:00 AM 2013, Blogger Daniela said...

while in Sana'a or elsewhere in Yemen, in regards to the few people who live there, people with a mesorah may eat and enjoy, this is not true in NJ or EY. In these places, the majority of the kehilla is disgusted at the very idea of eating insects and thus locusts are unfit to eat for everyone, including those who like their taste. It's forbidden even in those Asian cities where the majority sells and eats insects, but in regards to the local kehilla, the majority does not care for them.
Please everyone ask a question to a Rabbi and verify.
The reason it is not written out is to avoid some people disrespecting the Rav: those who have a mesorah to eat, who feel they identify with certainty the signs, and who do not know the halacha, might not accept being told it's forbidden. The audience of YWN is not like that, as the Sefaradim who read there are learned, so, I imagine the editors saw no harm in writing so.

Besides the halacha that what is disgusting to the majority is unfit to eat and is forbidden, the local community and our leaders can and do enforce restrictions, and we are compelled to follow them. For example in Israel, except for approved bakeries, it is forbidden to bake Pesach sweets and even to buy and sell Pesach flour, lest some ignorant person uses wet wine or wet juice, or even water. I was told this applies also to those who don't belong to the community and don't hold by the local rabbis. Only those who have a Rabbi in EY who permits Pesach baking (the Askhenazi and Litvak charedim do) may follow him, those who have a Rabbi outside EY and are in EY have to avoid.

At Thu Mar 07, 10:03:00 AM 2013, Blogger yaak said...

Daniela, it's a nice theory, but it's not correct. Please look at the Yalkut Yosef link above yourself.

There is no Bal Teshaktzu issue for those with a Mesora, no matter where they live. It would apply, however, if one eats it live, according to some.

At Thu Mar 07, 10:27:00 AM 2013, Blogger Daniela said...

No I did not say it is Baal teshaktzu (which unfortunately we sometimes see transgressed, eg eating icecream with the tongue while walking) it is the issur of detaching ourselves from the community. Due to the sad state of the Tamani community their Rabbis and poskim are Sefardites or Mizrachi. In NJ and EY there is no longer a recognized Tamani kehilla which is capable of paskening, of running yeshivot, of arguing with other gedolim, with a mesorah for hagavim and whose majority enjoys eating them.

As I pointed out, it is the same issur most people have in regards to baking for Pesach and during Pesach in EY. Which is certainly not beneath anyone's dignity, of course.

At Thu Mar 07, 10:36:00 AM 2013, Blogger Daniela said...

I am aware it is not in writing. This is so that yemenites who were taught the simanim and who are going to eat anyway, should do so inadvertently and not out of rebellion.

At Thu Mar 07, 12:21:00 PM 2013, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rabbi Amar enacted a controversial ban on retail sale of Pesach flour in communities outside of Israel, bypassing the local communities altogether.

At Thu Mar 07, 12:58:00 PM 2013, Blogger Daniela said...

Anonymous do you mean in Italy? That one is a very complicated issue that can't be addressed in a few lines.

At Thu Mar 07, 03:40:00 PM 2013, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Daniela stop trying to be a rebetzin, you just confuse everyone.

At Thu Mar 07, 04:11:00 PM 2013, Blogger Daniela said...

Anonymous are you the same person who contacted me from a disposable email, in regards to the forbidden / dangerous links, those other than VIN? I was aware of that info, but thank you. And are you the same anonymous who commented above about the Pesach flour issue?

Where exactly am I confusing people, please explain. I am no rebetzin, no daughter of a rabbi, no wife of a rabbi, and no one should rely on me. This should be obvious to begin with, as I am not hiding I am a woman.

If you have a Tamani minhag and mesorah in regards to locusts, if you are a chacham and a rabbi (I assume you are a man to begin with) enjoy your hagavim for dinner.

At Fri Mar 08, 12:25:00 PM 2013, Blogger joshwaxman said...



to add to the above, just to add a 'big name' to the position, "Therefore, according to many authorities, such as the late Rabbi Chaim Pinchas Scheinberg, it is possible to rely upon the North African tradition regarding kosher varieties."

kol tuv,


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