Saturday, September 13, 2008

Kindness + respect to animals + people

This dog was waiting outside a restaurant in downtown Jerusalem when a haredi (ultra-Orthodox Jewish) family walked by.
The kids found great delight in petting the dog and talking to him.

It made me realize that you never see religious Jews walking dogs. I think it is not customary for them to have such pets. Although Jewish law does not forbid keeping a pet, it does raise many complications for the owner.
Showing sensitivity to people's feelings the Talmud does, however, say that it is forbidden to keep a pet that will scare other people and specifically mentions a barking dog.

This week's parasha (Torah portion) is Ki Tetseh in which many be-kind-to-animals commandments are given. Deuteronomy 22:10 says, "You shall not plow with an ox and a donkey together" (because having two animals of unequal strength and size yoked together would be a hardship on them).
Deut. 22:4 says, "You shall not see your brother's donkey or ox fallen down by the way, and withhold your help from them; you shall help him to lift them up again."

And the most well known is Deut. 22:6-7, the mitsvah of Shiluach haken שלוח הקן
"If you chance to come upon a bird's nest, in any tree or on the ground, with young ones or eggs and the mother sitting upon the young or upon the eggs, you shall not take the mother with the young; you must first chase away the mother, but the young you may take to yourself; that it may go well with you, and that you may live long."

The reward is great, the same one that is promised for honoring your mother and father.
The Ramban wrote that one reason for the giving of this commandment was so that we do not develop within ourselves a trait of cruelty by grossly causing discomfort to the mother bird by allowing her to witness the taking of her young.


The weekend Camera-Critters meme is underway.

25 comments:

Misty Dawn said...

What a gorgeous Burmese Mountain Dog! I would have had to stop and visit with him too ;-)

I learned a lot from this post, my friend, as I do from most of your posts. I am thankful that Camera-Critters brought me to your blog to learn and see things I otherwise would not.

bobbie said...

I never knew about these commandments.It pleases me very much to learn of them. This is a beautiful thing.

Reader Wil said...

I am so glad that the Holy Book says something in favour of animals. I love animals, all creatures great and small! Thanks for these wise words!

MEDITERRANEAN KIWI said...

i like the logic behind the idea: no pitbulls, no dangerous toxic animals, everything in a natural order. in crete, most people don't treat animals like humans (they treat them like animals), and i think that makes sense

ratmammy said...

the quotes were very enlightening. thank you!

Pat - An Arkansas Stamper said...

The dog is beautiful, and big!

Very informative post, Dina.

Norm said...

the dog looks so tired, very wonderful dog, thanks for sharing very interesting..

i beati said...

mighty big dog got to love the child's expression!! sandy

Michele (Rocky Mtn.Girl) said...

Wow... these are quite the unique commandments... I am intrigued by them... thanks for letting us learn about these.
A beautiful dog in the photo... he looks quite friendly!
Mountain Retreat

fishing guy said...

Dina: That dog doesn't look like it has the energy to bark. Cute picture.

Webradio said...

Bonsoir Dina !

Elle est jolie Ta photo...
Le chien n'a pas envie de poser...

Ladynred said...

What a cute dog and thanks for some interesting reads!

Eki Akhwan said...

I read the Koran and the Old Testament (the Torah) and found that both are similar in their teachings about respect for animals and fellow human beings.

I think you should write more about things like this, Dina. Religions are there to make humans better human beings. Thanks for sharing the wonderful moment in the picture (cute dog, as what that child did, I'd pet him(?) too if I had been there) and the reflective thoughts.

Mimi Lenox said...

What an interesting blog you have. The pictures of the children are adorable. So glad I found you through Camera Critters! I came with an invitation.


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magiceye said...

a beautiful picture and a very interesting post...

Leora said...

Nice d'var torah on the parsha. I liked all the pro-animal mitzvot you found.

Abu Dhabi/UAE Daily Photo said...

What a strange dog to see as a stray! That Burmese Mountain dog must have been adandoned or lost. Poor thing...
Sorry I haven't been by recently. Things are hectic! I'll try to come round more often. :)

USelaine said...

Yes, I would say it looks like a Bernese Mountain dog too, or one of the several Swiss Mountain dogs anyway. But I would imagine it would be terribly hot in Jerusalem!

Your holy passages remind me of the reasoning behind the dairy/meat dietary restrictions. A sense of compassion in all conduct.

Sherry said...

That is beautiful of heart, I love this. I think we need to hear more of this kind of scriptures today.

Kay said...

This is so very interesting, Dina. There must not be many orthodox Jewish people here in Pearl City because let me tell you every other neighbor has a barking dog or two to scare me every time I pass by.

babooshka said...

Again so much can be learned for mo one post and such a gorgoues dog too.

Shimmy Mom said...

Such a cute shot. And interesting thoughts. I am a huge animal lover and very much believe in being kind to ALL of God's Beautiful creatures (human and otherwise) That dog is a Bernese Mountain Dog, ( I have one) they are very mellow and loyal and affectionate dogs. I bet those little ones had much fun giving him some attention!
*hugs*

Louise said...

Sweet picture. I'm of the sort that would have no problem obeying the texts about being kind to animals, but might have a harder time with the ones being kind to people of every sort!

twobarkingdogs said...

Thanks for an insightful posting. And a cute dog photo too.

Gretchen said...

I can't imagine not having a dog and cat. Lets face it, many men (and quite a few women) are much scarier to others than any animal could ever be!