The attitude to truffles and mushrooms in jewish sources

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The current study deals with the long halakhic debate with regard to truffles and mushrooms, and it reflects the development of Jewish law on this topic throughout history. Three historical stages may be discerned in this matter. The basic discussion was held in the Talmudic era, when the Sages ruled that truffles and mushrooms are differently than other plants (“They grow in the ground but draw sustenance from the air”). In the Middle Ages the rabbis attempted to offer different explanations for their special manner of development, such as that plants develop seeds while mushrooms have no seeds and that unlike plants, which have roots that penetrate the ground, mushrooms have no roots. Modern halakhic scholars, in contrast, indicate the discrepancy between ancient halakha, based as it is on period-based beliefs and outlooks, and modern knowledge.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)87-96
Number of pages10
JournalEuropean Journal of Science and Theology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2018


  • Jewish tradition
  • Mishnah
  • Mushrooms
  • Talmud
  • Truffles


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