Judaism was ahead of the game when it came to caring for animals. Animal rights didn’t even become a thing in most parts of the world until the late 19th century, but Jewish tradition has always made preventing the suffering of living creatures a priority. Jewish law says that people are supposed to feed their animals before they feed themselves. Animals get the day off from work on Shabbat, except you must milk your cows, even on Shabbat, because it is too painful for them to go a whole day without being milked. Many laws of kosher slaughter are made to prevent needless suffering of the animal. Many observant Jews interested in decreasing cruelty to animals are vegetarian. And one sweet story from the Torah is that when Abraham sent his servant, Eliezer, to look for a wife for his son Isaac, Eliezer made up a camel test. He would get to a place and ask a young woman for water, and if she offered to get water for his camels too, then she was kind and compassionate and would be the right wife for Isaac. And Rebecca, one of the most important women in the bible, passed the test.
With our history, what's more natural than a rescue dog?
One of the things that we love about Judaism is that it teaches compassion of animals. In fact, there is even a “camel test” from the Bible: Rebecca, one of the foremothers in Judaism, passed with flying colors, which is why she ended up being Isaac’s bride. Thousands of years ago, Abraham (basically, the first Jew) sent Eliezer (his servant) off with a task, “Find a suitable wife for my son, Isaac.” Eliezer wonders how he will be able to identify a woman for a man as good as Isaac. He decides that on this journey, whenever he comes upon a young woman, he will ask her for a sip of water. The young woman he would choose would be the one who not only gave him a sip but offered water for his camels as well. Rachel did, and the rest is history. This reading tells us more.
First line: God’s compassion extends to every living creature, caring for all their needs. As we strive to emulate our Creator, we have a responsibility to demonstrate concern for animals, to take care of their needs and to alleviate their suffering. Last line: The requirement applies to all animals, birds and fish that rely on people for their food. According to some authorities, it is even forbidden to take a light snack before feeding one’s animals…
We at JewBelong are total dog and cat lovers and so was theologian Albert Schweitzer. He believed in compassion for all and this short reading is as powerful as any we’ve found.
First line: We must fight against the spirit of the unconscious cruelty with which we treat the animals. Last line: Until we extend our circle of compassion to all living things, humanity will not find peace.
First line: The reputation of Eugene O’Neill as the American Shakespeare was established even before his death in 1953. Last line: No matter how deep my sleep I shall hear you, and not all the power of death can keep my spirit from wagging a grateful tail…
The kitten doesn't care that the client hates you.
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