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"For Instruction shall come forth from Zion, The word of the L-rd from Jerusalem." -- Isaiah 2:3


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GENESIS — 1:20 life

It was taught: “The men of the watch [in the Temple] would fast every day.  On the fifth day they would fast that pregnant women not miscarry and that nursing infants not die [it being written of that day]: ‘And G-d said: “Let the waters swarm abundantly with all moving creatures that have life.’” Yerushalmi, Ta’anith 4:3 TEMIMAH-GEN 9

GENESIS — 1:20 living

“G-d said, ‘Let the waters bring forth swarms of nefesh chayah [living creatures]’” [this verse]. From the very beginning, our tradition teaches that G-d created animals as nefesh chayah, as living creatures, or more literally “living souls.” This phrase is also used to describe the creation of humankind; “[G-d] breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, so that man became a nefesh chayahGenesis 2:7.  The use of the same phrase to describe humans and animals sends a clear message of the commonality that exists between all of G-d’s creatures, human and nonhuman alike. SACTAB 216

GENESIS — 1:22 blessed

Ethically charged engagements with animals permeate Jewish traditions, beginning with the Bible. Compassion (rahamim) for animals is deeply interwoven with the Pentateuchal narrative where G-d creates humans and animals on the same day and gives them the same blessing (Genesis 1:24-28); grants humans dominion over animals but also commands them to be vegetarian (Genesis 1:26-30)…  OXFORD 419

GENESIS — 1:22 blessed

Judaism has always manifested humane attitude to animals. This attitude is inherent in the biblical account of the creation of living creatures [this verse].  The act of blessing is an expression of care, concern, and love. Animals were placed in “subjection” to man Genesis 1:26.  Their subordinate position granted man the right to domesticate them, to use them as beasts of burden, and to derive whatever benefits are beneficial to him. However, man’s sovereign power did not give him a license to mistreat or torment helpless creatures. Indeed, according to the Talmud, man was initially barred from using animals as a source of food, a right granted only after the Flood Sanhedrin 59b. The significance of G-d’s “blessing” of animals was lost upon primitive man. Living creatures were subjected to torture in superstitious rites designed to propitiate evil spirits. Cruelty to animals did not provide any objection or protest. Biblical intimations of a loving relationship between G-d and all living creatures had a profound influence upon the universalist poetic creativity of the psalmists. G-d’s promise to provide food for all creatures Genesis 1:30 inspired the psalmists’ depiction of beasts looking to heaven for their subsistence.  Psalm 36:7; 104:14, 21; 24, 27; 147:9; 148. BLOCH 79

GENESIS — 1:22 blessed

On the fifth day of creation, G-d commanded the waters to teem with swarms of living creatures. On this day the fish and birds were created. For the first time the Creator conferred a blessing on His handiwork [this verse]. In this passage, the Hebrew root for blessing – barekh – a key-word in Genesis, appears for the first time. ROSNER 59

GENESIS — 1:22 fertile

The great blessing, then, for the human species is fertility – not because more hands were needed to operate farms or to engage in defense. That the blessing of fertility included all animate beings (particularly those whose usefulness to man is less obvious) precludes its having a utilitarian purpose. The first chapter of Genesis does not conceive of the blessing of fertility as associated with labor, aggression, or defense. In this chapter, G-d has designated grass and fruit-trees to serve as food for both men and animals. The hard labor to which man was subjected and the need for many hands to assist him in his back-breaking work was not contemplated in the original plan of creation. Genesis pictures a pacific world in which there is no conflict between man and man or between man and other creatures. Neither does it envision internecine warfare within the animal kingdom.  Nahmanides to Genesis 1:29 and Nahmanides to Leviticus 26:4 The blessing of fertility would appear to have emanated from the great delight experienced by G-d in creating the world and its inhabitants. “May the glory of the Lord endure forever; let the Lord rejoice in His works.” Psalm 104:31 According to the Aggadah, these words constituted the song of the universe when creation was completed. Chullin 60a The joy of G-d in His work was reflected in the response of His creatures, who broke forth in a universal paean. “G-d saw all that He had made and behold it was very good.” Genesis 1:31 G-d loved the world, is living creatures, and man above all, so that He poured forth upon them with the greatest abundance the blessing of creativity that enables every species to reproduce life according to its kind. The blessing of fertility is associated with G-d’s vision of the world and life as good, as we read in [this and previous verse]. The vision of the goodness of life preceded the blessing and motivated it. The creation of man in G-d’s image likewise motivated the blessing of fertility for man. Genesis 1:26-28  ROSNER 61-2

GENESIS — 1:24 kind

… in the biblical ethos, only human individuals possess infinite value. In the account of the creation of plants, reptiles, or mammals, the Bible notes that they were created “according to their species.” [this verse] Significantly, there is no reference to the species in the biblical story depicting the creation of humanity. As the Mishnah declares, “Adam was created as a single individual…therefore, one who destroys a single human life is regarded as having destroyed the entire universe.”  Mishnah, Sanhedrin 4:5.  Bering the divine image, human beings transcend the realm of nature and enjoy a special status among creatures.  Although the Bible mandates compassion for all creatures, Judaism balks at the extreme formulations of reverence for all life that undergird the agenda of the animal rights movement.  The Jewish value-system insists that there is a radical difference between humans and animals.  Only human beings are so sacred that they must not be sacrificed even for the collective good.  Treatment of animals, on the other hand, is not subject to the overriding constraints of inviolable rights, but should be governed by utilitarian considerations.  Unlike the advocates of animal rights, who are so wary of inflicting pain upon animals that they even object to their use for medical research, Halakhah sanctions whatever experiments on animals are necessary to help humans in the battle against disease.  From a Jewish perspective, the imperative mandating the preservation of human life and the alleviation of suffering overrides the prohibition against torturing animals.  However, all possible measures must be taken to minimize the pain of animals, since cruelty to animals is strictly prohibited.  Experimentation on human beings, on the other hand, is subject to completely different standards.  The inviolability and sanctity of human life preclude sanctioning any form of intervention with the human body, even for eh purpose of finding a cure for a disease, unless it is believed that there is a real possibility that the patient subjected to the experimental procedure might directly benefit from it. Without such a possibility, even the expectation that a given procedure will contribute to medical progress, which will benefit humanity, cannot justify causing suffering to individuals, who, as creature being the image of G-d, are inviolable and must not be used as guinea pigs.  While there are halakhic opinions permitting a patient to have his consent to life-threatening procedures such as donation of a kidney on the ground that an individual may endanger his won life to save the life of another human being, it is questionable whether such permission may be granted in cases when the potential benefit accruing to others is merely a matter of speculation.  There is a crucial distinction to be drawn between permitting an individual to undergo risk procedures when there is a high probability hat it will redound to the benefit of another patient versus sanctioning experimentation when there is only a remote change that another person will actually derive benefit from it.  ETHRESP 60-61

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