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Hogs With Uncloven Hooves Are Twice As Trayf

Or perhaps the most Jewish ‘Times’ correction ever

Adam Chandler
May 09, 2013

Yesterday, the Times City Room blog wrote excitedly about the new trio of mulefoots, which are hogs with…feet like mules…, that are now hanging out at Queens Zoo. They’re being described as beautiful and rare by some and as off-putting as dogs with shoes by me.

City Room ended its post about the piglets with this sentence: “It was not immediately clear whether the meat of hogs with uncloven hooves was considered kosher.” Of course, this prompted one of the most Jewish corrections in the history of the Times, spotted moments ago by our intrepid Yair Rosenberg.

Update, 4:26 p.m. | City Room, based on its extremely poor religious training, made the mistake above of wondering aloud whether meat from a pig with an uncloven hoof would still be considered nonkosher.

Rabbi Moshe Elefant, chief operating officer of the kashrut division of the Orthodox Union, the largest kosher certification organization in the world, quickly set us straight.

“Actually this pig is even worse than all other pigs,” he said. “Not only does it not chew its cud, it doesn’t have a split hoof.”

Split hoof = kosher. Unsplit = nonkosher. The thing that makes pigs nonkosher is that they don’t chew their cud. We will remember this. Thanks, Rabbi.

We will remember this too. Thanks, Rabbi.

Adam Chandler was previously a staff writer at Tablet. His work has appeared in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Atlantic, Slate, Esquire, New York, and elsewhere. He tweets @allmychandler.