It may not be kosher, but the Hoopoe was chosen on Thursday as Israel’s national bird.

The Hoopoe, or “Duchifat” in Hebrew, is listed in the Old Testament as unclean and forbidden food for Jews.

President Shimon Peres declared the pink, black and white-crested bird the winner of a competition timed to coincide with Israel’s 60th anniversary. It beat out rivals such as the Yellow-vented Bulbul and the Palestine Sunbird.

The Book of Leviticus groups the Hoopoe with birds such as the eagle, vulture and pelican that are “abhorrent, not to be eaten”.

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6 Comments

  • This is clearly an instance of the Torah needing serious updating. A special friend and I recently got to feast upon a delicate barley risotto, pan-seared eagle and a rather cheeky red Zin.

  • The Torah definitely needs to be updated. That part about not working on Shabbat is keeping me from watching Battlestar Galactica at the same time as the rest of everyone. 🙁

  • What, a kosher bird wasn’t good enough for Israel? The Dove is a universal symbol of peace and love. Doves sit peacefully in the crevices of the Kotel. Israel needs as much peace and love as it can get.
    Also, the Dove is related to the pigeon, which if you put on your bellybutton when you have Zehavet, will cure you…

  • Just went to the Wiki link on this bird (and yes, I know Wiki makes mistakes) HOWEVER I learned the following factoids on this bird:

    1)the word “dupe” was originally a French dialect word for a Hoopoe, which was applied to unintelligent people because the bird was considered to look stupid.

    2)the nest tends to contain copious amounts of feces and smell very foul as a protection against predators. Nesting hoopoes are capable of squirting fecal matter at intruders.

    Very impressive.

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