Jews - Nearly Everything You Wanted to Know* *But Were Too Afraid to Ask - Peter Cave

Jews - Nearly Everything You Wanted to Know* *But Were Too Afraid to Ask - Peter Cave

4. Do Jews Not Care about Animal Welfare?

Jews - Nearly Everything You Wanted to Know* *But Were Too Afraid to Ask - Peter Cave

Peter Cave [+-]
The Open University and New York University (London)
Peter Cave read philosophy at University College London and King's College Cambridge. His philosophy lectureships span University College London, University of Khartoum, Sudan to, currently, The Open University and New York University (London).
Peter is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, sits on the Council of the Royal Institute of Philosophy and is Patron of Humanists UK and of Population Matters. He has published many papers, light and serious. His books include This Sentence is False: an introduction to philosophical paradoxes and three ‘beginner’s guides’: Humanism; Philosophy; and Ethics. His most recent work is The Big Think Book: Discover Philosophy Through 99 Perplexities. He has written and presented philosophy programmes for BBC radio, and often takes part in public debates.
Peter lives in Soho, central London, enjoys opera, lieder and chamber music (well, he thinks he knows what he likes), even delights in religious music, despite his atheism — and is irritated by builders’ drillings, pointless burglar alarms and unnecessary thuds of music in cafes, restaurants and shops. He is often to be found with a glass of wine — or two.
Dan Cohn-Sherbok [+-]
University of Wales (Emeritus Professor) and Rabbi
Dan Cohn-Sherbok is an American rabbi and Professor Emeritus of Judaism at the University of Wales. He received a PhD from the University of Cambridge and an Honorary Doctorate of Divinity from the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, New York.
Dan is the author and editor of a number of books dealing with Israel including Israel: The History of an Idea; The Palestine-Israeli Conflict (with Dawoud El-Alami); Debating Israel and Palestine (with Mary Grey); The Politics of Apocalypse: The History and Influence of Christian Zionism; Introduction to Zionism and Israel: From Ideology to History; The Palestinian State: A Jewish Justification. He has also published several books of cartoons.
Dan lives in Kensington (and Wales) with his wife Lavinia and his Burmese cat. He is frequently to be found drawing cartoons in his London club.


A common criticism of Jews levelled by antisemites is that Judaism fosters an unethical attitude toward animals. During the Nazi period, such criticism was a central theme. In Nazi propaganda, kashrut (a set of Jewish laws regulating slaughter) was deliberately misrepresented so as to tie in with claims that Jews engaged in perverse ritual killings of humans for their blood. The truth, however, is that Judaism teaches that animals are part of God’s creation and should be treated with compassion. This principle is referred to in rabbinic sources as ‘tzar baalei chayim’ (the prohibition on causing pain to any living creature). According to the Talmud, Jews are not to cause suffering to any animals – such a view is based on Bible stories which use kindness to animals as a demonstration of the virtues of various individuals.

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Cave, Peter; Cohn-Sherbok, Dan. 4. Do Jews Not Care about Animal Welfare?. Jews - Nearly Everything You Wanted to Know* *But Were Too Afraid to Ask. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. p. 42-54 Nov 2018. ISBN 9781781797778. Date accessed: 05 Mar 2024 doi: 10.1558/equinox.35985. Nov 2018

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