Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Halocho #58 - One animal at a time

The Torah prohibits using different species of animals at the same time. This is called Kil'ay Beheimo. One may not pull a wagon with 2 different types of animals, e.g. a donkey and a horse. One may not ride in a wagon being pulled by 2 different types of animals. One may not even tie 2 different types of animals together to prevent them from escaping; this applies to birds as well. One may use a female and male of the same species as well as small and large animals of the same species. E.g. one could pull a wagon with a cow, a bull and a calf. Source: Kitzur SA 175:2, 3, 5

סימן קעה – הלכות כלאי בהמה
סעיף ב - אסור לעשות מלאכה בשני מינים, כגון לחרוש או שימשכו את הקרון ואפילו להנהיגם בקול בלבד, שהוא צועק עליהם, אסור אם הם קשורים יחד, ולכן עגלה של אינה יהודי שכלאים מושכים אותה, ומשא של ישראל על העגלה, אסור לישראל שילך סמוך להעגלה, דחיישינן שמא יצעק עליהם שילכו מהר, וזה אסור משום מנהיג בכלאים. סעיף ג - עגלה שהכלאים מושכין אותה, אסור לישב בה אפילו אינו מנהיג. סעיף ה- אסור לקשור שני מינים יחד אפילו רק משום שמירה שלא יברחו, ויש ליזהר בזה בעופות שלא לקשור שני מינים יחד, וקצת טועין בזה.
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  1. Somebody asked:

    What is the reasoning behind this?
    What do you mean escape together?

    I responded:

    >What is the reasoning behind this?

    The short answer is "we don't really know the reason for any Mitzva in the Torah".

    But various books have been written to explain the reasons for Mitzvos. For this Mitzva there are various proposals including:

    - Different animals have different eating habits, so while the cow is still chewing its cud, the horse is wondering why he didn't get anything to eat.

    - Different animals have different characteristics which could upset the other animal; e.g. the horse trots while the cow lumbers; making it unfair for them to have to walk in step.

    Each of these answers have obvious shortcomings, and there are more answers (and even more questions) - but the common denominator seems to be to prevent "cruelty to animals".

    > what do you mean escape together?

    Tying dogs together doesn't do much; the Kitzur talks about tying birds (like ducks & geese) together to prevent them from escaping. I guess that was how you prevented your live shopping from escaping before you got home. :-)

    Hope this helps a bit,

    - Danny

  2. Somebody asked:

    What about different species of the same animal. For example could you tie an alsatian and a labrador dog together?

    I responded:

    Tough one! I did some research and it would seem to be forbidden.
    The criteria being that they look alike.

    However, going for a walk with both dogs while holding both their leashes would be OK, even of you knot the leashes together. So would tying them both to the same post.

    What would remain forbidden is having both of them pull a sleigh or wagon.

    Tying dogs together doesn't do much; the Kitzur talks about tying birds (like ducks & geese) together to prevent them from escaping.

    That said, it wouldn't surprise me if you find rabbinical authorities that claim that all dogs are the same species.

    Hope this helps a bit

    - Danny