Discussion:
The peacock
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D.M. Procida
2006-12-05 23:19:41 UTC
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Does the peacock have any special symbolism in Judaism? I can't find
anything very helpful now that I look, but I am sure I have encountered
it in that context.

I'm speaking of biblical Judaism particularly - the peacock appears a
few times in the scriptures, but not with really important role so far
as I can tell.

Thanks,

Daniele
Fiona Abrahami
2006-12-06 02:09:22 UTC
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Post by D.M. Procida
Does the peacock have any special symbolism in Judaism?
Nope.

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Craig Winchell
2006-12-07 20:20:23 UTC
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Post by D.M. Procida
Does the peacock have any special symbolism in Judaism? I can't find
anything very helpful now that I look, but I am sure I have encountered
it in that context.
I'm speaking of biblical Judaism particularly - the peacock appears a
few times in the scriptures, but not with really important role so far
as I can tell.
It's a nonkosher bird. There's a list of nonkosher birds in the Torah, and
a word we associate with the peacock is on the list.

Craig Winchell
Post by D.M. Procida
Thanks,
Daniele
D.M. Procida
2006-12-08 03:19:13 UTC
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Post by Craig Winchell
Post by D.M. Procida
I'm speaking of biblical Judaism particularly - the peacock appears a
few times in the scriptures, but not with really important role so far
as I can tell.
It's a nonkosher bird. There's a list of nonkosher birds in the Torah, and
a word we associate with the peacock is on the list.
I thought all domesticated fowl were kosher; clearly not.

Anyway, I thought there might be some more specific thing going on with
the peacock. In Leonard Cohen's song "Story of Isaac" there is the line
"The peacock spreads his fan" at the conclusion of a verse describing
slaughter and sacrifice in the name of unholy causes. There is a
tradition of the peacock as a symbol of vanity (as in a pointless and
futile display) descending from the Greeks, but I was hoping there might
be some more telling Judaic reference.

Daniele
Henry Goodman
2006-12-08 10:39:29 UTC
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Post by D.M. Procida
Post by Craig Winchell
Post by D.M. Procida
I'm speaking of biblical Judaism particularly - the peacock appears a
few times in the scriptures, but not with really important role so far
as I can tell.
It's a nonkosher bird. There's a list of nonkosher birds in the Torah, and
a word we associate with the peacock is on the list.
I thought all domesticated fowl were kosher; clearly not.
Craig, I also found this surprising. Which Hebrew word (in Shemini or
Re'eh) do you think means peacock?
--
Henry Goodman
henry dot goodman at virgin dot net
d***@gmail.com
2006-12-11 16:51:41 UTC
Permalink
Post by D.M. Procida
Post by Craig Winchell
Post by D.M. Procida
I'm speaking of biblical Judaism particularly - the peacock appears a
few times in the scriptures, but not with really important role so far
as I can tell.
It's a nonkosher bird. There's a list of nonkosher birds in the Torah, and
a word we associate with the peacock is on the list.
I thought all domesticated fowl were kosher; clearly not.
Anyway, I thought there might be some more specific thing going on with
the peacock. In Leonard Cohen's song "Story of Isaac" there is the line
"The peacock spreads his fan" at the conclusion of a verse describing
slaughter and sacrifice in the name of unholy causes. There is a
tradition of the peacock as a symbol of vanity (as in a pointless and
futile display) descending from the Greeks, but I was hoping there might
be some more telling Judaic reference.
Daniele
Isn't there a midrash about the peacock wandering around, showing his
feathers, and crowing that he was the most beautiful bird in the world.
Solomon, seeing this, had the peacock's feet changed to the current
ugly ones. The peacock saw his feet, and lost his beautiful voice, and
to this day has a mournful crow because of the ugliness of his feet.
D.M. Procida
2006-12-11 23:44:57 UTC
Permalink
Post by d***@gmail.com
Post by D.M. Procida
Anyway, I thought there might be some more specific thing going on with
the peacock. In Leonard Cohen's song "Story of Isaac" there is the line
"The peacock spreads his fan" at the conclusion of a verse describing
slaughter and sacrifice in the name of unholy causes. There is a
tradition of the peacock as a symbol of vanity (as in a pointless and
futile display) descending from the Greeks, but I was hoping there might
be some more telling Judaic reference.
Daniele
Isn't there a midrash about the peacock wandering around, showing his
feathers, and crowing that he was the most beautiful bird in the world.
Solomon, seeing this, had the peacock's feet changed to the current
ugly ones. The peacock saw his feet, and lost his beautiful voice, and
to this day has a mournful crow because of the ugliness of his feet.
Umph. Why couldn't you have posted that an hour *before* my lessons
today? Still, I can wow them with that story tomorrow when we do Abraham
and Isaac.

Daniele

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