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choo, chu, (ma`aleh gerah, literally "bringing up" (American Revised Versions margin), i.e. "chewing the cud," from garar, "to roll," "ruminate"): One of the marks of cleanliness, in the sense of fitness for food, of a quadruped, given in Le 11:3 and De 14:6, is the chewing of the cud. Among the animals considered clean are therefore included the ox, the sheep, the goat, the hart, the gazelle, the roebuck, the wild goat, the pygarg, the antelope and the chamois. Several of the forbidden animals are expressly named in the passages, e.g. the camel, the rock-badger, the hare and the swine. In addition to the distinctions between clean and unclean animals mentioned in the Bible, the Talmud points out that the clean animals have no upper teeth, that their horns are either forked, or if not forked they are clear of splinters, notched with scales and round, and that certain portions of the meat of clean animals tear lengthwise as well as across. Many theories have been advanced as to the reasons for the distinctions with regard to the chewing of the cud and the cloven hoof. See the Jewish Encyclopedia under the word "Clean." The most obvious is that ruminating animals and animals without claws were apparently cleaner-feeding animals than the others.

See also

  • Chew