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Animal Rights

The Halacha is that first one must feed one's animal and only then can one eat oneself. [Actually it is probably better not to eat oneself. If you do there will be nothing left of you.] This is learned from the order of the pasuk. First it says [Devarim Ch. 11] "I will give grass in the field to your animals", and only then "And you will eat and be satiated." [Brachos 40a]. [Chinuch tip: If you have a child who insists on getting served first tell him that first is for animals. People go second...]

This Shavuos we commemorated the 59th yahrtzeit of the Imrei Emes, Rav Avraham Mordechai Alter Ztz"l the third Gerrer Rebbe [after whom my third child is named. Quick quiz: What is my third child's name?]. He notes that in Parshas Bechokosai [25,6] the Torah teaches us that the produce of the seventh year was given to us to eat "... YOU, your servant etc. and to YOUR ANIMALS..." WOOPS!! Here we are eating BEFORE our animals.

So we must understand. If the order of the pasuk determines who eats first, then why does one pasuk tell us that animals come first while the other pasuk teaches that humans come first.

So animal rights or no animal rights. Which one is it?

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About me

  • I'm Rabbi Ally Ehrman
  • From Old City Jerusalem, Israel
  • I am a Rebbe in Yeshivat Netiv Aryeh.
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