Chapter: 20 – Animals

01. Rest for Animals

Just as a Jew is commanded to rest on Shabbat, so too, he is commanded to allow his animals to rest. There are two commandments that address this issue, one positive (aseh), as the Torah states (Shemot 23:12): “Six days … Continue reading

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02. Animals and Carrying

As we have seen, one must allow animals to rest on Shabbat. This includes making sure that one’s animal does not enter a semipublic (karmelit) or public domain with a burden on its back. However, not everything an animal carries … Continue reading

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03. Feeding Animals

An animal may be led to graze in a grassy area, and it does not constitute Kotzer since the animal is eating for its own sake. We are not commanded to make sure that animals keep Shabbat, only that they … Continue reading

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04. Milking on Shabbat

Torah law forbids milking a cow or any other animal on Shabbat, as doing so separates the milk from the cow’s body and constitutes Mefarek (separating something from its source), a tolada of Dash. Just as one may not separate … Continue reading

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05. Carrying Pets and Sick Animals

As we will see later on (23:5), anything that has no practical use on Shabbat is muktzeh and may not be carried. Animals are included in this category and thus may not be carried on Shabbat. If, in order to … Continue reading

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06. The Melakha of Tzad

Trapping animals was one of the melakhot performed for the Mishkan. They would trap teĥashim to make curtains from their skins and the ĥilazon to produce tekhelet to dye the curtains (Shabbat 73a; Rashi ad loc.; Shabbat 75a). The Torah … Continue reading

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07. Unintentional Trapping

Just as one may not chase an animal in order to trap it, so too one may not exploit the opportunity to catch an animal that got stuck in a confined space. Therefore, if a deer enters a house, the … Continue reading

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08. Slaughtering (Shoĥet)

Shoĥet refers to the melakha of taking the life of a living being. For the Mishkan, they slaughtered teĥashim and goats in order to use their skins for the curtains (Shabbat 73a, 75a). It is not only slaughtering that is … Continue reading

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09. Wounding (Ĥovel)

Just as it is prohibited by Torah law to kill any living being, it is also prohibited by Torah law to cause a loss of blood. After all, “blood is life” (Devarim 12:23). Additionally, with the release of a little … Continue reading

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10. Trapping and Killing Snakes, Scorpions, Mosquitoes, and Other Pests

Danger to life overrides Shabbat. Therefore, animals likely to endanger human life may be killed even on Shabbat, like poisonous snakes and scorpions. Even if one is unsure whether a particular animal is poisonous, he may kill it. Similarly, a … Continue reading

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