In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review August 12, 2009 / 22 Menachem-Av 5769

Some practical applications of how animals may be used to benefit man

By Rabbi Dr. Asher Meir

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Recent columns explained the religious and ethical basis of Judaism's approach to animal welfare. According to the book of Genesis, man was created in G-d's image and he was given domination over the animals, but this domination creates obligations as well as rights. Mankind is authorized to use animals for its benefit, but this very right creates obligations to treat animals in a humane way.

In this column, we will turn to some recent examples of rabbinical decisions which show how this principle is applied. It may be that there are dissenting opinions as well, but what is most important here is how the principles are applied.

Rabbi Moshe Feinstein was asked about the permissibility of raising veal. The situation as described to him in the early 1980s was one where the calf was confined to a narrow pen and fed a deficient diet so that the meat would be white instead of red. Rabbi Feinstein affirms that animals may be used for any human need, even if it involves causing them suffering, but he asserts that making the meat white instead of red is not considered a human need, insofar as it serves no valid purpose. The meat is not better tasting or healthier, so the suffering caused the calf cannot be justified.

Rabbi David Bardigo was asked about horse racing. He cites an earlier responsum by Rabbi Ovadiah Yosef in which he categorically forbids taking part in bullfights or viewing them, because of the cruelty to the bull. In fact, taking part and viewing bullfights was already forbidden by the sages of the Talmud for this very reason. (2) He acknowledges that although horse racing is not exactly comparable, because the spectators enjoy seeing the horses run fast and not seeing them be tormented per se as is the case with bullfights. However, he concludes that the spectacle of horse racing, particularly for the purpose of gambling, which is frowned upon by the sages, cannot be considered a legitimate human need. This would not forbid horse racing in and of itself, but insofar as Rabbi Bardigo considered that great suffering is caused to the horses he explains that this is not a "need" that can justify animal suffering. (3)

Rabbi Yitzchak Weiss was asked about a technique whereby hens are starved for a period of weeks, during which they suffer hunger and shed their feathers. As a result, the period of time during which they lay eggs is considerably extended. Rabbi Weiss concludes that increasing the yield of hens is certainly a legitimate human need, given that the increase is quite significant. He does however state that while the technique is not forbidden, it is proper to consider carefully if the animal suffering is truly justified. (4)

Rabbi Eliezer Waldenberg rules conclusively that using animals for medical experiments, in order to help identify the cause of disease that strikes humans, is permissible. Healing is an important mitzvah (commandment) in Judaism; using animals in a way that will help us fulfill this mitzvah is certainly proper, even if this inevitably causes some suffering to the animals.

From these responsa, we see that while mankind's divine image justifies our use of animals for our needs, even if this necessitates animal suffering, it is only justified for needs that are an appropriate expression of this image - needs that advance our service of G-d rather than impeding it.

SOURCES: (1) Responsa Igros Moshe, EHE IV:92 (2) Babylonian Talmud, Avodah Zarah 18b. (3) Responsum published by the Office of the Chief Rabbi. (4) Responsa Minchas Yitzchak X:145. (5) Responsa Tzitz Eliezer XIV:68


Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes inspiring articles. Sign up for our daily update. It's free. Just click here.

JWR contributor Rabbi Dr. Asher Meir, formerly of the Council of Economic Advisers in the Reagan administration, is Research Director of the Business Ethics Center of Jerusalem, Jerusalem College of Technology. To comment or pose a question, please click here.


You've enjoyed his columns on JWR for years. Now the Jewish Ethicist has culled his most intriguing — and controversial — offerings in book form.
Sales help fund JWR.

© 2009, The Jewish Ethicist is produced by the JCT Center for Business Ethics