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VIDEO: HaGaon HaRav Yitzchak Yosef: One May Not Eat Locust


Following reports that members of the Yemenite tzibur are collecting locusts from southern Israel to prepare them for eating, HaGaon HaRav Yitzchak Yosef, known as the Bal Yalkut Yosef, says eating them is forbidden. Some of those working to collect the locusts reported that they are a kosher species as identifiable by their community, which has maintained the mesoret regarding the flying creatures.

The identification of the locust is also covered in a sefer by noted kashrus expert and rav in that community, HaGaon HaRav Shlomo Machpud Shlita, who heads Badatz Yoreh Deah.

Rav Yitzchak Yosef writes that even a tzibur that maintains the minhag and knows how to identify them, since the majority of the tzibur does not know how to identify them, and the tradition was lost, one should not eat them.

בדבר אכילת חגבים (ארבה) ליהוי ידוע שעכשיו מנהגנו פשוט שלא לאכול שום חגב, אפילו כשיש איזה סימנים, ואפילו שידוע ששמו ‘חגב’, לפי שאין אנו בקיאים בשמותיהם וסימניהם ואין לנו מסורת ברורה על כך.

קהילות שיש להן מסורת ברורה בענין מקילין בזה, אך רוב העם היושב בציון אין לנו מסורת בזה ואין לסמוך על הסימנים גם כשידוע ששמו חגב.


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(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)

7 Responses

  1. Dear Editor: The language of the psak in Hebrew specifically restrics only communities with no masoret – NOT ‘even a tzibur that maintains the minhag and knows how to identify them’ as you report in English.

  2. The article is not clear, and leaves the impression that the psak forbade even communities with mesora from relying on their mesora. If all he wrote is what is the teshuva that is reproduced here, that is not what it says. It says that only those communities can rely on their mesora, but other communities can not transfer the mesora- they cannot rely on the other community’s mesora.

  3. There are opinions that one can rely on the opinion of other communities in regards to eating locusts.

    Some people find them appetizing while others do not. However, for health reasons one should be careful of them in regards to pesticides as the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has stated to its subjects.

  4. I do not understand this. Today everyone eats turkey. Yet there is no Masorah in any of the Sephardi, Temoni or Mizrachi communities for turkey. The same is true of the specific breeds of beef cattle used. They were not know in the non European communities. Same story with the specific breed of chickens used. So where does this idea that we can not rely on the Masorah of a Kosher Jew and especially of a Kosher community?

  5. 1. If the two first posters are correct, YWN has transgressed the torah issur of Bal Tosif.

    2. It’s not Bal Yalkut Yosef, which means “Absence of Yalkut Yosef”, but rather Ba’al Yalkut Yosef.

  6. The Hebrew clearly states as commentor #1-Yagel Libi did, and not how the author of the article made it sound.

  7. to #4, Aryeh Zelasko:
    Regarding birds, you’re right. Unless you have a mesora prohibiting it, you can rely on those that have a mesora allowing it. When it comes to locusts, though, it’s more complicated. For one thing, the Or Hachaim Hakadosh prohibited the residents of Morocco from relying on their mesora, stating that it was not reliable. Additionally, Rav Zalman Nechemiah Goldberg cites Teshuvos HaRosh (20:20) as stating in general that the Ashkenazi communities are not somech on the Sefardi mesora. I don’t see that in the Rosh, but then I’m not Rav ZNG, a recognized Gadol in psak.

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