Torah laws involve compassion for animals?
(1) It is forbidden to cause pain to any animal.
Maimonides (1135-1214) [Guide of the Perplexed,
3:17] and R. Judah ha-Hasid (1150-1217) [Sefer
Hasidim, ed. Reuben Margolies, No. 666] stated
that this is based on the biblical statement of the
angel of God to Balaam, "Wherefore have you smitten
your ass?" (Num. 22:32). This verse is used in the
Talmud as a prime source for its assertion that we
are to treat animals humanely (Baba Metzia 32b; Shabbat
(2) "You shall not muzzle the ox when he threshes
the corn" (Deut. 25:4).
(3) "You shall not plow with an ox and an ass together"
(4) "A person should not eat or drink before first
providing for his animals." [based on Deuteronomy
(5) Animals too must be able to rest on the Sabbath
day. The kiddush (sanctification over wine or grape
juice) that is recited on Sabbath mornings includes
the following verse from the Ten Commandments:
Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six
days shall you labor, and do all your work; but
the seventh day is a Sabbath unto the Lord, thy
God, in it you shall not do any manner of work,
you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your man-servant,
nor your maid-servant, nor your cattle, nor the
stranger that is within your gates. (Exod. 20:8-10)
(6) It is forbidden to sacrifice a newborn ox, sheep,
or goat until it has had at least seven days of warmth
and nourishment from its mother (Lev. 22:27).
(7) "And whether it be ox or ewe, you shall not
kill it and its young both in one day" (Lev. 22:28).
(8) We are forbidden to take the mother bird and
its young together. The mother bird must be sent away
before its young are taken. (Deut. 22:6-7).
(9) We should not boil a kid in the milk of its
mother. (Exodus 23:19, 34:26; Deuteronomy 14:21)
(10) Animals should be relieved from suffering:
If you see the ass of him that hates you lying
under its burden, you shall surely not pass by him;
you shall surely unload it with him. (Exod. 23:5)
(11) We must be vigilant for the well-being of a
You shall not see your brother's ox or his sheep
driven away and hide yourself from them; You shall
surely bring them back to your brother. (Deut. 22:1).
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