Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
 
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

Chapter 87:13
Animals on Shabbos

13. It is permissible to have an animal graze on grass that is still attached to the earth. The fact that it must uproot the grass from the ground is not considered "work" for it; on the contrary, it is a pleasure for the animal (1). In contrast, grass that was cut by a Gentile on Shabbos is considered "muktzah" (2), and an animal may not be led in front of it to eat (3), unless it has nothing else to eat; in that instance, leniency is granted because of "tza'ar ba'alei chayim" (lit: "suffering of living creatures"). Similarly, if an animal has nothing to drink, it is permitted to tell a Gentile to bring water from a well situated in a "carmelis" (an area in which it is rabbinically prohibited to carry on Shabbos - see HY 81:4) (4).

FOOTNOTES:

(1) The verse prohibiting allowing one's animal to "work" on Shabbos is: "[...cease work on the seventh day] so that your donkey and your ox will REST" ("La'Nuach") [Exodus 23:12]. One may have thought that what is considered "melacha" (activity prohibited on Shabbos) for a person, is also "melacha" for an animal; that is, since a Jew is forbidden to uproot grass on Shabbos, so too, his animal would be subject to the same prohibition. However, the Midrash clarifies that forcing an animal to abstain from grazing, is not considered "REST" ("Noach") but rather "SUFFERING" ("Tza'ar"), and therefore, could not be derived from the aforementioned verse as a prohibited activity for the animal (Mishna Berura 324:12).

(2) Any piece of vegetation that is separated from its source of growth on Shabbos, whether it was cut by hand or fell off naturally, is considered "muktzeh" and cannot be moved on Shabbos.

(3) There is nothing intrinsically wrong with allowing one's animal to eat grass that is "muktza." The reason it is prohibited here is out of a concern that the owner might pick up the grass to feed the animal by hand. Therefore, it is permissible to lead the animal onto a narrow path such that the only direction it can go is towards the cut grass, because in that case, the owner is not standing close to the "muktza" item, and there is no concern that he will inadvertently feed the animal by hand (Shulchan Aruch 324:13).

(4) Even though it is rabbinically prohibited to instruct a Gentile on Shabbos to perform an activity that would be forbidden to a Jew, in this case, the suffering of an animal overrides that prohibition.

Back  Paragraph 12  Table of Contents  Paragraph 14 Next 

Halacha-Yomi, Copyright (c) 2002 Project Genesis, Inc.

 

ARTICLES ON VAESCHANAN AND TU BEAV:

View Complete List

Shabbos Nachamu
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5762

Down to Earth Spirituality
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5755

The Double Nation
Shlomo Katz - 5764

Looking for a Chavrusah?

It's Your Fault!
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5759

The Easy Commandment
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5765

The Wiser We Will Be
Rabbi Label Lam - 5772

> You the Man; No, You the Man
Jon Erlbaum - 0

Rejoicing in a Month of Misfortune: Part 2
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5758

How Wise We Would Be
Rabbi Label Lam - 5763

ArtScroll

The Laws of Relaxation
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5764

Humble, Yet Proud
Shlomo Katz - 5761

Enough! Chill Out!
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5757

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Switching Gears
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5761

Twice the Responsibility
Shlomo Katz - 5768

Seeing the Blessing
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5772

For The Very First Time
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5761



Project Genesis

Torah.org Home


Torah Portion

Jewish Law

Ethics

Texts

Learn the Basics

Seasons

Features

TORAHAUDIO

Ask The Rabbi

Knowledge Base




Help

About Us

Contact Us



Free Book on Geulah!




Torah.org Home
Torah.org HomeCapalon.com Copyright Information