The ayyal, identified with the deer (Cervus capreolus), is mentioned among the seven species of permitted game that chew the cud and are cloven-footed (Deut. 14:5). The word occurs several times in the Bible in the feminine form ayyalah.   The tribe of Naphtali was compared to a nimble deer ("a hind let loose") with branching horns ("he giveth imrei shafer," i.e., whose amirim ("antlers") are beautiful; Gen. 49:21). Since the hind has no horns, as pointed out by Rashi in his comment on the talmudic passage that "the hind's antlers branch out this way and that" (Yoma 29a), the reference here is to the hart, which in its first year has only one branch on its horns, growing two more later. Its height at the shoulder is about 30 in. (about 75 cms.). It is extremely beautiful and delicate (cf. Prov. 5:19). It survived in Erez Israel until World War I but, despite its agility, it fell prey to hunters eager for its tasty meat. At present there are to be seen in Israel herds of gazelle , which, although wrongly identified with ayyal/ayyalah, are in fact the biblical ẓevi, distinguished from the deer by its horns, which are hollow and do not branch out like those of the ayyal. Until the end of the 19th century the fallow deer (Cervus dama mesopotamica) was found in the Middle East. It is a larger deer, its height at the shoulder being about 35 in. (about 90 cms.), its horns broad, with five branches in those of an adult. Apparently this is the species called yahmur in the Bible. It is among the permitted game (Deut. 14:5) and was provided for Solomon's table (I Kings 5:3). In the Talmud it is identified with an important species of game akin to the deer (Bek. 7b), depicted frequently in ancient hunting scenes. In prehistoric times the European deer (Cervus elaphus), bones of which have been discovered in caves on Mount Carmel and in Lebanon, was also found in Ereẓ Israel. -BIBLIOGRAPHY: I. Aharoni, Torat ha-Hai, 1 (1923), 88–90; Lewysohn, Zool, 111–3; J. Feliks, Animal World of the Bible (1962), 10, 12. (Jehuda Feliks)

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

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  • Deer — (d[=e]r), n. sing. & pl. [OE. der, deor, animal, wild animal, AS. de[ o]r; akin to D. dier, OFries. diar, G. thier, tier, Icel. d[=y]r, Dan. dyr, Sw. djur, Goth. dius; of unknown origin. [root]71.] 1. Any animal; especially, a wild animal. [Obs.] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • deer — (dîr) n. pl. deer ▸ Any of various hoofed ruminant mammals of the family Cervidae, characteristically having deciduous antlers borne chiefly by the males. The deer family includes the white tailed deer, elk, moose, and caribou. ╂ [Middle English… …   Word Histories

  • Deer — heißen: Deer (Arkansas), Vereinigten Staaten Deer (Missouri), Vereinigten Staaten Deer (New Mexico), Vereinigten Staaten Deér, namentlich: Josef Deér (József, 1905–1972), ungarischer Historiker Siehe auch: John Deere, Landmaschinenhersteller… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • deer — [ dır ] (plural deer or deers) noun count * a large brown animal with long thin legs. The adult male deer is called a stag and may have antlers growing from its head. The female deer is called a doe and a young deer is called a fawn …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • deer — O.E. deor animal, beast, from P.Gmc. *deuzam, the general Germanic word for animal (as opposed to man), but often restricted to wild animal (Cf. O.Fris. diar, Du. dier, O.N. dyr, O.H.G. tior, Ger. Tier animal, Goth. dius wild animal, also Cf. R …   Etymology dictionary

  • deer — [dir] n. pl. deer or deers [ME der < OE deor, wild animal, akin to Ger tier, ON dȳr < IE base * dhewes, *dheus , to stir up, blow, breathe (> DUSK, DOZE1, FURY): for sense development cf. ANIMAL] 1. any of a family (Cervidae) of… …   English World dictionary

  • deer — [dıə US dır] n plural deer ↑antler [: Old English; Origin: deor animal ] a large wild animal that can run very fast, eats grass, and has horns …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • deer — ► NOUN (pl. same) ▪ a hoofed grazing or browsing animal, the male of which usually has branched bony antlers that are shed annually. ORIGIN Old English, originally also denoting any quadruped …   English terms dictionary

  • Deer — This article is about the ruminant animal. For other uses, see Deer (disambiguation). Fawn and Stag redirect here. For other uses, see Fawn (disambiguation) and Stag (disambiguation). Deer Temporal range: Early Oligocene–Recent …   Wikipedia

  • deer — /dear/, n., pl. deer, (occasionally) deers. 1. any of several ruminants of the family Cervidae, most of the males of which have solid, deciduous antlers. 2. any of the smaller species of this family, as distinguished from the moose, elk, etc.… …   Universalium

  • Deér — Josef Deér (auch: József Deér) (* 4. März 1905 in Budapest; † 26. September 1972 in Bern) war ein ungarischer Historiker. Der Sohn eines Apothekers und einer Lehrerin studierte von 1923 bis 1929 an den Universitäten Budapest und Wien Geschichte.… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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