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Where are the Pandas, Penguins and Polar Bears of Psalms?
In “The Identity of the Shafan and Arnevet” (Dialogue 2012), physicians Isaac Betech and Obadia Maya attempt to argue that the shafan of Tenach is the rabbit and not the hyrax. Their article is lengthy, includes a copious number of footnotes, and the authors claim to have corresponded with “the greatest specialists in the relevant disciplines.” Yet they fail to even mention, let alone address, the reason why virtually every scholar of Biblical zoology in the last century has agreed that the shafan cannot be the rabbit.
You can download my full response in PDF version at this link. I already sent it to Dialogue, but given the make-up of their rabbinic board (Rabbi Miller, Rabbi Feldman and Rabbi Meiselman), it seems unlikely, to say the least, that they would be open to dialogue. I asked the editor to notify me if they would consider it for publication, but I did not receive a reply. So I am making it available here; if you know any readers of Dialogue, please pass it on to them.
Meanwhile, my article about Mishpacha's take on charedim and the army is in the Jerusalem Post. You can see it online at this link (slightly expanded from the version that I originally posted here). If you have comments on it, please post them to the previous post, not this one.