- Torah Portion and Tanach
- Ki Tetze
Our Sedra seems to cast aspersions on dogs (23:19), & some Talmudic sources (Bava Kama 79 & 83) state that Jews should not own dogs. But many poskim only prohibit "evil dogs," defined by Rashi as dogs that both bite & bark (incessantly, & so disturb the peace of others). While one may not cause pain to any pet, dogs that are dangerous to the public may certainly be put down. One may not feed a dog any food that contains milk & meat (from kosher animals) that is cooked together; or food with chametz in it on Pesach. Halacha forbids removal of reproductive organs from humans or animals, both male or female. Gemara Shabbat 128 declares "all pets are muktze," but some rule leniently & Rav Lichtenstein writes, "we shouldn’t admonish those who follow the lenient opinion." One may walk a dog on a leash where there is an eruv; if no eruv, the leash should be held within 3 inches of one’s hand (so it doesn’t look like carrying). Guide & service dogs may be brought into shul.