11 The Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying to them, 2 “Speak to the Israelites:
“From among all the land animals, these are the creatures that you may eat. 3 Any animal that has divided hoofs and is cleft-footed and chews the cud—such you may eat. 4 But among those that chew the cud or have divided hoofs, you shall not eat the following: the camel, for even though it chews the cud, it does not have divided hoofs; it is unclean for you. 5 The rock badger, for even though it chews the cud, it does not have divided hoofs; it is unclean for you. 6 The hare, for even though it chews the cud, it does not have divided hoofs; it is unclean for you. 7 The pig, for even though it has divided hoofs and is cleft-footed, it does not chew the cud; it is unclean for you. 8 Of their flesh you shall not eat, and their carcasses you shall not touch; they are unclean for you
Rabbits (hares) are big parts of our literature and lore, but not of the Bible. A rabbit is truly one of God’s small creatures. But this verse is the only place that a rabbit/hare is mentioned in the Bible. And, because of its manner of dining, and the shape of its feet, the Hebrew people were forbidden from eating one. That’s good, because I think bunnies make a better talking point and object lesson than treat.
God, I thank you for the animals that bring me joy for just being. Thanks for the smiles that still come to me as I remember singing of Peter Cottontail, and of finding a white chocolate friend of his in my Easter basket. Amen.