Among the insects mentioned in the Bible as permitted for food are those "that go upon all fours, which have jointed legs above their feet, wherewith to leap upon the earth" (see animals of the bible ). These are "the arbeh ("locust" ) after its kinds, and the solam (AV, JPS, "bald locust") after its kinds, and the ḥargol (AV, "beetle"; JPS, "cricket") after its kinds, and the ḥagav (AV, JPS, "grasshopper") after its   kinds" (Lev. 11:21–22; and see dietary laws ). The last three, each followed by the expression "after its kinds," refer to numerous species of grasshopper, there being, according to an amora, as many as 800 (Ḥul. 63b). Although in the Bible ḥagav applies to the grasshopper and not to the locust, it may have the latter meaning in the verse, "if I command the ḥagav to devour the land" (II Chron. 7:13), as it has in the Mishnah, which speaks of it as being at times a countrywide plague. In Israel there are many species of grasshopper, some small, others up to 2 in. (5 cms.) and more in size. The small grasshopper hiding in the high grass symbolizes the puniness of man when viewed from above (Num. 13:33; Isa. 40:22). All species of the grasshopper in Israel develop (like the locust) by metamorphosis, that is, the larva (zaḥal) has no wings but the adult has wings covering most of its body, an essential characteristic of the permitted grasshopper (Ḥul. 65b). In mishnaic and talmudic times the grasshopper was widely used as food, being also preserved in salt (Av. Zar. 2:7; et al.). There are Yemenite Jews who, on the basis of tradition as to their kashrut, still eat locusts and species of grasshopper. It is difficult to identify "the solam after its kinds." The word means "destroying, eating," and refers to the grass-eating grasshopper, said to have the characteristic of being gabbaḥat, that is, apparently, having an arched back and slender feelers; many such species are found in Israel. Some identify it with the long-headed grasshopper of the genus Acridium (but see Av. Zar. 37a), i.e., with a species known as ayyal kamẓa which is kasher according to evidence from Second Temple times (Eduy. 8:4). With regard to the next permitted group "the ḥargol after its kinds," the sages stated that the outstanding characteristic of the ḥargol is "that it has a tail." This applies to the long-horned grasshopper of the family Tettigoniidae, whose female has a long protuberance which is a tube for the laying of eggs. Most of these species do no damage to agriculture, since they feed on insects and not on grass. Among them are also species whose imago is wingless, such as the Saga species, the largest grasshopper in Israel, and prohibited as food (see Ḥul. 65b). -BIBLIOGRAPHY: Palmoni, in: EM, 1 (1950), 520 6, S.V. Arbeh; J. Feliks, Animal World of the Bible (1962), 116–8. ADD BIBLIOGRAPHY: Feliks, Ha-Ẓome'aḥ, 203, 209, 225, 234, 235. (Jehuda Feliks)

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

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