Jews Owning Dogs?
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December 10, 2008 4:38 pm at 4:38 pm #588839jO jOMember
Is a Jew halachically permitted to own a dog?December 10, 2008 4:42 pm at 4:42 pm #1012986notpashutMember
I think there is a Noda B’yehuda about that.
But phechh!!! Not a Yiddishe thing!
O.K. Now all the liberals can attack me. Go ahead.December 10, 2008 4:42 pm at 4:42 pm #1012987
Its simply wrong.
Now watch the religious leftists yell, mekor mekor mekor.
Its simply wrong.December 10, 2008 4:43 pm at 4:43 pm #1012988Feif UnParticipant
Ask your Rav. People here aren’t poskim.December 10, 2008 4:54 pm at 4:54 pm #1012989
I never heard there was a problem. Anyone know a source? (not saying either way, just that I never heard of it)
Also, are we talking about recreational dogs? What about watch dogs or shepherding dogs?December 10, 2008 5:06 pm at 5:06 pm #1012990000646Participant
You are unbeleivable! on one hand you insist that we must be completley mevatel daas to whatever a gadol says even if it was said about a situation that does not exsist anymore (by girls learning.) or if the metzius is they are wrong about somthing (by science-if i understood you there you actualy beleive the sun goes around the earth!) but you have no problem saying somthing is wrong based on nothing other then your feelings.December 10, 2008 5:19 pm at 5:19 pm #1012991Y.W. EditorKeymaster
This is such a thing as not being allowed to have a “Biheima Timaya” (impure animal). Is a dog included in that category?
Back to the news 🙂December 10, 2008 5:34 pm at 5:34 pm #1012992The Queen of PersiaMember
If it’s wrong to own a dog then why are there all these halachos about feeding your animals first… and not petting them on Shabbos (muktzah)…. etc. etc.? I don’t think it’s assur. It’s just not the norm.
My kids went to visit at the home of a very frum Teimani this past Shabbos and were shocked to see that he owned a HUGE German Shepard. They were even more shocked to see that the dog understood everything he was told to do… sit…beg… etc. I thought it was quite amusing.December 10, 2008 5:38 pm at 5:38 pm #1012993
a person is permitted to have a dog.
but it causes all kinds of very serious Halachic problems.
the dog is muktzah, you cant lead it on a leash on Shabbos. (there are some lenient opinions here.) you cant pet it or hold it on Shabbos.
you cant feed it cholov v basur, most commercial dog foods are assur.
there are other problems i cant recall.
in addition, although i personally like dogs, in Yiddish tradition, all throughout our history, in Tanach, and Gemorah, dogs are considered disgusting. All of our Bubbies and Zadies from two generations ago back to Moshe Rabbeinu, would gag at the thought of a dog in the house, (though they were used for working purposes)December 10, 2008 5:42 pm at 5:42 pm #1012994
In Bava Kamma, the gemoro says things about the owner of a “kelev ra”. It doesn’t say anything about other types of dogs.December 10, 2008 5:43 pm at 5:43 pm #1012995Y.W. EditorKeymaster
“then why are there all these halachos about feeding your animals first”
This is talking about the good ol’ days, when everyone had two horses, four goats, a couple of cows, a sheep, and 90 chickens running around the backyard.
Perhaps I am wrong, but this is what I think it’s talking about.December 10, 2008 5:53 pm at 5:53 pm #1012996
Feivel, to be fair though, there are many things we would probably gag at from their times (like, using an outhouse as a permanent bathroom – no thank you)December 10, 2008 6:00 pm at 6:00 pm #1012997shindyMember
My parents are European, they told me that in Europe everyone had a dog, the frum yidden had them outside in order to protect their property. Good alarm system!
We actually do not have a dog but we asked our Rov, he said there is no issur but for some reason it is not done. Frum yidden have a hard enough time making ends meet with bli ayin horah all the children, tuition, costs of living and kosher food and meat and chicken. Having a pet is expensive, feeding and the vet bill, plus it is hard to make time taking care of a pet when you have a couple of kids as well.
I wonder what the frum oilam holds about owning cats, are they considered impure (behaimah temaiyah)?December 10, 2008 6:01 pm at 6:01 pm #1012998tzippiMember
I heard an adom gadol say that he would love to have a pet had his apartment allowed for the chinuch value alone.December 10, 2008 6:06 pm at 6:06 pm #1012999
the fact that their physical standards of living were lower than ours, has nothing to do with the fact that for three thousand years Jews have felt dogs to be lowly disgusting creatures. We dont find them such (including me) only because we are blind, ignorant fools compared to those generations.
A Jew wants a dog today, no problem, just be very careful not to transgress the Word of Hashem.December 10, 2008 6:10 pm at 6:10 pm #1013000myshadowMember
I’m pretty sure it’s muttar, but like feivel says there are a lot of complicated halachos involved which is why most people try to avoid itDecember 10, 2008 6:16 pm at 6:16 pm #1013001000646Participant
Another thing i find funny is that generaly the same people who hold that by an issur it is not possible that it was written because of the times, and that to say such a thing is bordering on heresy (even when the reason given is clearly not true anymore as by girls learning!) have no problem saying that a heter was only written for a certain cicumstance or timeDecember 10, 2008 6:26 pm at 6:26 pm #1013002beaconParticipant
A spin-off of this thread would be “Why Are So Many Frum Jews Afraid of Dogs”? Though we obviously know the most probable reason- not too many people own them…December 10, 2008 6:31 pm at 6:31 pm #1013003
Feivel, I’m not 100% clear on your intent. I was not calling passed generations ignorant because they didnt have running water – just that its not something I would live with today. As such, unless there is a halachic reason they thought dogs were lowly, disgusting creatures, I dont know if there opinion holds much water today. There were plenty of old superstitions that are no longer agreed with.December 10, 2008 6:36 pm at 6:36 pm #1013004JAPPMember
i have heard that there is a gemarah perhaps in the end of the 7th perek in bava kammah, correct me if i am wrong, it says that jews should not own dogs and it brings down several reasons. ayin shum.(p.s. it is assur for a girl to learn gemarah, i got this from my shtark bros.)December 10, 2008 6:42 pm at 6:42 pm #1013005
pps – JAPP and her sharkbochur brothers can refer to my above comment for further insight.December 10, 2008 6:48 pm at 6:48 pm #1013006
I meant shtarkDecember 10, 2008 6:51 pm at 6:51 pm #1013007
sj your logic is reversed. you are stating a chamur v kal, not a kal v chamur
if their lifestyle was much poorer than ours, so that they were NOT disgusted by things (such as an outhouse, or mud floors, etc) and we ARE disgusted by them, then how much more so should we be disgusted by things they WERE disgusted by. in other words they were MORE tolerant of disgusting things than we are.
i didnt presume you to be calling past generations ignorant, not at all.
“I dont know if there opinion holds much water today”
to me, to any Yid connected to the Mesorah, their opinions ALWAYS hold much water, and we must be exceedingly careful if we think we understand who they were, what they knew, and how they lived in their hearts, we must be exceedingly careful when we wish to deviate from what they held. (not necessarily though, the physical standards by which they lived, because nothing else was available in those times)
im sorry if we are misunderstanding each other. discussion is over for me, thank you.December 10, 2008 7:00 pm at 7:00 pm #1013008
Dogs are the most kind wonderful animals there are. I know of no other animal that shows such simcha when he sees his owner. Many beg to be petted and lick you all over if you do. They can be taught to play all kinds of ball games and will gladly bring back the ball. They have a sense of humor and love to be teased. They mamash are man’s best friend. When I go out with my kids, we stop at every dog we see, and pet him and chat with the owner.
There is a chazal that says the dogs were given a tremendous reward because of lo yecheratz kelev lshono, and believe it or not, dog byproducts are used in the writing of a sefer Torah.
This business about being a bad omen or something is simply superstitious stuff which is probably asur to believe for a yid. Possibly darchei emori.
The only reason I don’t own one is that I think the tremendous work of cleaning up after them would be too much for us. They are wonderful animals, and one can see that with his own eyes.
The only dogs I don’t pet are seeing eye dogs which I have heard rightly or wrongly will get distracted from their mileches hakodesh of helping the poor soul who is their owner.December 10, 2008 7:08 pm at 7:08 pm #1013009
Essay describes how much dogs give to their owners
Dear Ann Landers: Back in 1992, you printed an essay that made a lasting impression on me. I have saved it for six years, knowing one day I would ask you to print it again. That day has come. Today, we had to put our dog to sleep. She was nearly 14 years old and couldn’t hold on any longer. Taking her to the vet for the very last time was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done.
Please reprint this essay for my dog, Penny. She was part of our family and will be greatly missed. Thanks, Ann.
— D.J. in Wausau, Wis.
Dear D.J.: Here is the essay you requested. I did not grow up with pets, but I confess, when I first read this essay, I had a clearer understanding of what a pet can mean to a family, and my eyes moistened a bit, too. It was written by Chuck Wells of Palmyra, N.Y.
Dogs Don’t Have Souls,
I remember bringing you home. You were so small and cuddly with your tiny paws and soft fur.
You bounced around the room with eyes flashing and ears flopping. Once in a while, you’d let out a little yelp just to let me know this was your territory.
Making a mess of the house and chewing on everything in sight became a passion, and when I scolded you, you just put your head down and looked up at me with those innocent eyes, as if to say, “I’m sorry, but I’ll do it again as soon as you’re not watching.”
As you got older, you protected me by looking out the window and barking at everyone who walked by. When I had a tough day at work, you would be waiting for me with your tail wagging, just to say, “Welcome home. I missed you.” You never had a bad day, and I could always count on you to be there for me.
When I sat down to read the paper and watch TV, you would hop on my lap, looking for attention. You never asked for anything more than to have me pat your head so you could go to sleep with your head over my leg.
As you got older, you moved around more slowly. Then, one day, old age finally took its toll, and you couldn’t stand on those wobbly legs anymore. I knelt down and patted you lying there, trying to make you young again. You just looked up at me as if to say that you were old and tired and that after all these years of not asking for anything, you had to ask me for one favor.
With tears in my eyes, I drove you one last time to the vet. One last time, you were lying next to me. For some strange reason, you were able to stand up in the animal hospital; perhaps it was your sense of pride.
As the vet led you away, you stopped for an instant, turned your head and looked at me as if to say, “Thank you for taking care of me.”
I thought, “No, thank you for taking care of me.”December 10, 2008 7:13 pm at 7:13 pm #1013010Mrs. BeautifulMember
Why would someone want to own a dog to begin with?December 10, 2008 7:24 pm at 7:24 pm #1013011
are you affililiated with oprah?December 10, 2008 7:30 pm at 7:30 pm #1013012
Do you find any other parts of the Gemora superstitious as well?December 10, 2008 7:49 pm at 7:49 pm #1013014
DOGS ARE WONDERFUL !
and dogs are mutar
i love dogs!!
really, im not being sarcastic, ive always liked dogs (and cats too)
(now here is the sarcastic part)
i also love watching movies, laying down on the sofa and watching tv, i could do it all day, really, and stuffing myself (mostly cookies, potato chips , popcorn, pretzels), reading novels, listening to talk radio, classic 60s music, why not?, show me in the Torah where its asusur. i love staying up till 3am watching police dramas, waking up at 11:00, if i could. im not hurting anyone, its mutar, why not? bitul Torah? im not such a good learner, and i learn when i can, i need to relax, thats how Hashem made me. im sure they will be understanding on the Yom HaDin.
what this has to do with dogs, im not sureDecember 10, 2008 7:50 pm at 7:50 pm #1013015
We are forewarned against dogs in…
Kesef Mishna which brings the Gemora supporting the Rambam in Mesechtes Bava Kama 15:2 not to have a dog in your house.
and Rambam Hilchos Talmud Torah 6:14, and Hilchos Nizkei Mamon 5:9, Chazon Ish on Choshen Mishpat Likutim 18:9.December 10, 2008 7:55 pm at 7:55 pm #1013016
i cant respond to your post because i didnt read it, i hope you didnt ask for a response from me.
i would like to ask you a Chesed. please dont respond to my posts. i know that is probably asking too much, as you feel (as i do) the necessity to respond to posts you disagree with. nevertheless i am asking you, regardless. if not, so be it.
thank you.December 10, 2008 7:56 pm at 7:56 pm #1013017
Feivel, the difference is that those activities you list will not help you reach your potential and accomplish great things. However, owning a dog may indeed help you reach your potential if it creates shalom bayis and entertains your kids, and teaches them chesed and love. Remember Moshe was appointed because he took care of a lost sheep.December 10, 2008 8:03 pm at 8:03 pm #1013018
Why is a dog different from any other tamei animal? If you own a farm, do you have horses and/or donkeys???? Please. If your response to that is, “Well they don’t live in the house,” can you have a parakeet? Did people not keep cats in their home to get rid of mice?
Yes there are specific halachos about dogs (muktzeh to touch on Shabbos, assur to “walk” them unless they are pulling you and not vice versa, etc.). I personally did not grow up with a dog in the home. I was scared to death of them, and did not get over my fear until my teen years. When I was 20 years old, my beloved maternal grandmother who had lived for the last 15 years with us died. During her year-long illness, she had occasionally had hallucinations, when her medication built up too strongly in her blood and she needed a blood transfusion. Her hallucinations were always the same. She saw a small black and white dog lying under her sewing machine in her bedroom. When she died, on what would have been both her Jewish birthday AND was her shloshim, a black and white Springer Spaniel mix came into our backyard, sat himself down by our back door and made himself a place to sleep. He would not leave, but stayed in place. Finally we had rachmanus and left him some food. He ate and left. THEN, he came back and again stayed at the door. This went on for two days, with us (foolishly, as some people said)left food for him. Each time, he ate, left, then returned and sat back down, like he was guarding the door. The third day, it was Shabbos, and storming with thunder and lightning. We heard a howling, and we couldn’t bear that he sounded so scared, so we let him in out of the rainstorm. When the storm stopped, we immediately opened the door for him to go out. He started to go out halfway, then looked to his right and then to his left, stopped, and then slow-w-w-w-wly backed into the house. That was it, this dog was ours. Whatever any of you might be thinking right now, and even if you are laughing your heads off, we, the totally non-dog family, became a dog-loving family. We could not help but feel like Bubby had sent us this dog, to give us someone to care for, now taht she was gone. And you know what – Max (as we named him) was incredibly and fiercely protective of us, very loyal and loving, and especially devoted to my mom. Every night he waited for my parents to come home from work, standing guard at the door five minutes before they arrived home. How he knew the exact time,(it varied every day), we will never know, unless his hearing being so acute,he recognized the sound of their car’s motor from blocks away.
I personally would not get another dog, but sometimes it is a very good thing to have one. if you don’t agree,then by all emans, do NOT get a dog.December 10, 2008 8:04 pm at 8:04 pm #1013019jphoneMember
If halacha allowed Jews to own dogs, would it be ok to give them a cellphone? Would texting have to be blocked? If one wanted to send their dog to obedience school, what type of school should it be, hashkafa wise? Most importantly, when the time came, what type of shidduch should one do for their dog? Would it matter if the owner fed it from a paper or plastic bowl on shabbos?December 10, 2008 8:06 pm at 8:06 pm #1013020
PY: The activities Feivel listed are even more likely to bring about all the goodies you associated with a canine.December 10, 2008 8:10 pm at 8:10 pm #1013021
I like your approach Feivel, I really do…December 10, 2008 8:12 pm at 8:12 pm #1013022
Re: Times changing regarding dogs. This is actually a truth, though I don’t know enough to say what the situation was with dogs in general in the times of the gemoro. Has anyone ever heard of a woman miscarrying from seeing a dog these days? Things have probably changed somewhat.
Dogs are related to wolves. They are not naturally tame animals. They were very useful because of their ferociousness (that’s what a watchdog is) and because they had the capacity for loyalty to their owners. You would not generally want to be near a dog any more than you would a wolf.
However, in the present day, dogs are domesticated animals and have been already for generations. We train our dogs to be friendly, not ferocious. That is why most watchdogs nowadays are useless – if you throw them a treat they will roll over and lick your hand.
Clearly, dogs are not what they used to be (though they are still at root potentially dangerous animals and we hear stories from time to time). Whether that means that the halacha regarding owning them is different now I certainly cannot say. However, what I have seen only speaks about a “bad dog”. I have never seen a halacha that says one cannot have ANY dog. If the metzius today is that most dogs are not wild then that means the halacha only applies to a minority of dogs.December 10, 2008 8:20 pm at 8:20 pm #1013023
“those activities you list will not help you reach your potential and accomplish great things. However, owning a dog may indeed help you reach your potential”
and here i am wasting my time with Chovos HaLvovos and Msilis Yesharim
im going out right now to purchase a holy Rebbe Dog.December 10, 2008 8:20 pm at 8:20 pm #1013024
Joseph, come on, that is not being a good boy. A quick check on my Bar Ilan CD shows that in those Rambams it is follwed by the word Ra, i.e., a dangerous dog, maybe a pit bull. In Nizkei Mamon (5,9) he says they are ok if on a leash. It seems clear that the only fear was that they are dangerous. In those times maybe that was true, as I believe I read that they were originally bread from wolves. Nowadays, most household dogs are quite safe.December 10, 2008 8:21 pm at 8:21 pm #1013025tzippiMember
Shindy, I was going to say something along the lines of Pashute Yid. I’ll add that the word kelev is the same as k’lev, like the heart because dogs are so loyal. Now maybe cats have just been getting bad press, but while they may be easier to care for than dogs, they’re not as satisfying. (From what I hear. I do not own one.)December 10, 2008 8:26 pm at 8:26 pm #1013026
“those activities you list will not help you reach your potential and accomplish great things.”
sure they will! the relaxation will help me to be refreshed to serve the Abishter better.
all those tasty foods will bring me to simcha (just like Yitzchak before he blessed his sons). watching all that TV will help me to understand the goyish mind so i will be able to relate to the nations, so i will be able to serve the Abishter better. the music will stimulate my Neshama.
why, one can rationalize anything!, even that a dog will help one to “reach your potential and accomplish great things.” further words fail meDecember 10, 2008 8:40 pm at 8:40 pm #1013027bobthebuilderParticipant
Feivel, your response to Illini was wholly out of place and quiet potentially simply wrong. Without getting into specifics, know that it is possible for one to exhibit rishus tendencies couched in pseudo-holiness.
Given that (a number of) individuals on this site know one another, there is a strong possibility that you may have offended Illini b’rabim and thus are required to appropriately ask him mechilah (b’rabim).
If one is uncomfortable conversing with members on this site, then they should refrain from posting. It is incorrigible for individuals to single out who they feel can/can’t respond to them.December 10, 2008 8:49 pm at 8:49 pm #1013028
<Yawn> Pashute, you can save yourself the trouble of reposting by just referring to my comments. Sheesh.December 10, 2008 9:05 pm at 9:05 pm #1013029
i dont know what incorrigible means but it doesnt sound too good.
i made a polite request, he of course is free to deny it.
should YOU ask me mechila for calling me, b’rabim, incorrigible?
i dont know, i better look it up.
how about stating b’rabim that i have “rishus tendencies” and “pseudo-holiness” doesnt sound too nice to me.
its okay, im moichal you
however in the future i think illini can answer for himself if he wishes. he is very articulate and uses logic quite well. and i bet he knows what incorrigible
means.December 10, 2008 9:19 pm at 9:19 pm #1013030
Sqveek, when I wrote my words, I hadn’t seen the monumental and laborious work of exegesis you had just compiled. Had I known I would certainly have cited a reference to it, and bowed out.December 10, 2008 9:31 pm at 9:31 pm #1013031
Thank you, PY. Now if only others could follow your lead, there’d be half as many posts for the Moderators to sort through.December 10, 2008 9:43 pm at 9:43 pm #1013032lgbgMember
Actually when I was younger my father wanted to get me a dog (I still have no idea why, because I am petrified of them!) but anyways, he asked a Rav if he is allowed to get one and the Rav said halachically there is no problem, however it is not something a yiddishe home should have, and on shabbos a dog is muktza so you would have to send it away ever shaboos.
Besides the point who over here really wants a dog??December 10, 2008 9:53 pm at 9:53 pm #1013033
“Why Are So Many Frum Jews Afraid of Dogs”
There is a very simple and logical explanation. The Holocaust. The Nazi’s, yemach shemam v’zichram, used their German Shepherds to terrorize and attack Jews. Our parents and grandparents memories go a long way.December 10, 2008 9:56 pm at 9:56 pm #1013034
.(p.s. it is assur for a girl to learn gemarah, i got this from my shtark bros.)
Yeah??? Talk better to their shtark SISTERS!December 10, 2008 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm #1013035
“If halacha allowed Jews to own dogs, would it be ok to give them a cellphone? Would texting have to be blocked? If one wanted to send their dog to obedience school, what type of school should it be, hashkafa wise? Most importantly, when the time came, what type of shidduch should one do for their dog? Would it matter if the owner fed it from a paper or plastic bowl on shabbos? “
THANK YOU for the best laugh I have had all day! I am saving this for a Purim Shpiel article. I especially loved the last sentence!!!!!
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