Friday, January 3, 2014

Caring For Animals

Caring For Animals
Day: Friday
Date: January 3, 2014
Parshat: Bo
Source: Yalkut Yosef: 308

All animals are muktzeh on Shabbat and therefore may not be moved. Before moving on to the halachot of animals as they pertain to muktzeh, a few important principles should be understood. Raising an animal in one's home is a big responsibility and must be viewed as such. The Torah views tzar ba'alei chayim (causing pain to living things) very strictly. Therefore one must be careful to avoid causing the animal any unnecessary pain or discomfort. There are special allowances made in Halacha for this. For example, a person may not ride an animal on Shabbat. However if a person got on an animal on Shabbat he is directed to get off the animal immediately, so as not cause the animal discomfort by having the person wait until Shabbat is over to get off. However if a person were to climb a tree on Shabbat he must wait in the tree and is not allowed to climb down until Shabbat is over (Y"Y:304). Additionally, ideally one must give food to the animal before he himself eats (it is okay to drink first though). If one said a beracha on food and before he ate he told someone standing nearby to feed the animals it is not considered to be a hefsek since he is not allowed to eat before feeding them (Y"Y:167).

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