The Obligation to have Mercy on a Animal
The prohibation of meat from a living animal
The prohibition - eiver min ha'chai - seems obvious, but it contains more details than what one initially thinks.
Genesis 9:4 says, “But flesh with its soul, and its blood, you shall not eat.”
This refers to the separation of flesh from a living animal, i.e. while its soul is still in its blood. Specifically, it is illegal to eat Rocky Mountain oysters.
But it goes a step further. One should not eat meat taken from a living animal. (Even if it died afterwards). If we want to kill an animal for food, it must be done as painlessly as possible. Permission to kill an animal for food was not given to Noah until after the flood, Adam was not allowed to kill an animal for food. Man was given permission to kill an animal but was not given permission to make an animal suffer unnecessarily. Every person should distance himself from cruel practices and should not harm any living being uselessly, on the contrary one should show compassion and mercy to all living beings.
This also means that one should not kill an animal uselessly for pleasure. Pleasure hunting is prohibited.
Brought By Angelique Sijbolts
Angelique Sijbolts is one of the main writers for the Noahide Academy. She has been an observant Noahide for many years. She studies Torah with Rabbi Perets every week. Angelique invests much of her time in editing video-lectures for the Rabbis of the Academy and contributes in administrating the Academy's website in English and Dutch. She lives in the north of the Netherlands. Married and mother of two sons. She works as a teacher in a school with students with special needs. And is a Hebrew Teacher for the levels beginners en intermediate. She likes to walk, to read and play the piano.
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