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COMING SOON Bez"H
Fascinating Insights—The Sefer (in English)
Bullfighting and Butterflies
There are events and certain
actions where we may feel there is no prohibition involved but yet it doesn’t
seem right. R’ Ovadia Yosef
was asked if it permitted from a Halachic standpoint to go to a stadium to
watch bullfighting? He answered that there is no doubt that this is completely
against the spirit of the Torah because this is the culture of sinners and
cruel people, which is not in the portion of those who are from Yaakov. As the
says there are three identifying marks of a Jew—merciful, bashful and they do
acts of kindness…With bullfighting, they starve and pain the bull before he
enters and after they incite him…and we are taught it is forbidden for a person
to eat before he gives food to his animal.
Also, the Gemara
relates that Rebbi once told his maidservant who was sweeping up baby weasels
that were on the floor to leave them be and quoted the Pasuk ורחמיו על כל מעשיו, His mercy is upon all His creations.
They then said in heaven since he shows mercy, let us show mercy to him…One who
enters a stadium to watch bullfighting and pays the entrance fee is a friend to
a destructive person and is מסייע ידי עוברי עבירה, assisting those who
commit transgressions…To go where people enjoy themselves on the cruelty of
pain of animals implants that trait in the people who enjoy it and they destroy
their soul. It is a Mitzva to publicize not to go to such places.
The Noda B’Yehuda
deals with the question if hunting is permitted. He says that there is no
problem of Baal Tashchis and Tzaar Baalei Chaim.
However, in Torah, the only hunters we find are Nimrod and Esav,
and it is not the ways of the Avos. Why would a Jew unnecessarily kill an
animal and waste his time? Going into a forest is dangerous since there are
many animals there and thus if one goes there, he transgresses ונשמרתם מאד לנפשותיכם.
The expert hunter Esav said הנה אנכי הולך למות..., meaning he was afraid
of being with those animals. However, the Noda B’Yehuda does say that an עני who hunts for his sustenance is permitted to do so.
The Kitzur Shulchan Aruch
writes that the Torah forbids us to inflict suffering on any living creature.
Furthermore, one is obligated to remove the suffering of any creature even if
it is ownerless or belongs to a גוי. However, if they are
troublesome to people or if they are needed for medical purposes or any other
purpose, it is permitted even to kill them…Therefore it is permitted to pluck
feathers from living geese to use as a quill if you have no other feather with
which to write. However, people abstain from doing so because of cruelty.
When horses pull a wagon and come to a rough road
or a steep hill and can’t draw it further without help, it is a Mitzva to help,
even if they belong to a גוי, because
of the suffering of the animals, for fear that the גוי will hit
them harshly to force them to pull more than they are able.