(National Post) An invasion of locusts from Egypt is prompting debate in Israel about whether they are kosher.

Some rabbis say only those Jewish communities that have a tradition of eating locusts, such as the Yemenite Jews, are permitted to consume them according to Jewish law. But other rabbis say that in the book of Leviticus four types of kosher locusts — red, yellow, spotted gray and white — are listed as kosher.

“They are kosher — the Bible classes them as kosher and the Talmud says they’re kosher,” says Rabbi Ari Zivotofsky, a scientist at Bar Ilan University and an expert on exotic animals. “The only issue is that Jews from eastern and northern Europe have not seen them in over 1000 years and don’t have the knowledge on how to distinguish which are kosher.”

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