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Impure Animals


Rabbi Moshe Leib Halberstadt

Cheshvan 14, 5770
Is it true that dogs and other Non-kosher animals are considered tuma (impure)? Where is this stated and does the impurity of dogs stem from Islamic tradition and not have the root source in Torah? In addition to this can one make brachas with impure animals in the room? please send me the sources. many thanks,
The source of Non-kosher animals called Temeim [impure] is in the Torah itself, In Parashat Shemini, Vayikra 11. [The Torah was given 1926 years prior to the beginning of Islam] However that is only regarding the prohibition of eating them. Regarding a dog: the Mishnah in Bava Kama 79: states that one should not raise a dog unless it is tied to a chain. The Gemara in Bava Kama 83. adds that if he lives on the border he can tie the dog during the day and release it at night. Rabbi Eliezer Hagadol says that one who raises dogs is like one who raises pigs, regarding that he is cursed. The Rambam explains that the reason is because their damage is frequent and significant. The Shulchan Aruch states the Halacha, that it is prohibited to raise a bad dog that may damage, unless he is bound with metal chains. [משנה ב"ק עט: ובגמ' פג. רמב"ם הלכות נזקי ממון פ"ה ה"ט, שו"ע חו"מ סימן תט סעיף ג] The Maharal writes in “Beer Hagola” that man is the king of all creations and the dog is the opposite; he is the lowest and most degraded of all animals and distant of man. He brings from our Sages in Gemara Shabbat 155: that a dog is considered the poorest of all animals, and from the writings that show his degradedness, when a low creature was mentioned it says in Shmuel B. 3. “Am I a dog’s head” and in Job 30. “Whose fathers I disdained to set with the dogs of my flock”. And it is known among all people. [באר הגולה עמוד צח על פרק הכונס ב"ק ס.] The Rema brings LaHalachah the Sha’arei Dura, who says that a woman should be careful when she comes out of Tevilah to bump into her friend first and not into something Tameh [impure], if these things [such as a dog or donkey etc. – Shach] bumped into her, if she is a pious woman she should repeat her Tevilah. [רמ"א יו"ד סימן קצח סעיף מח וש"ך ס"ק סא] It is permitted to make Brachos near impure animals as long as they are clean.
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