Compassion for Animals

In Parshat Ki Tetze we learn about compassion for animals from the following psukim (Devarim 22:6, 7): ďIf you should chance upon a birdís nest before you on the road in any tree, or on the ground with fledglings or eggs and the mother is sitting on the fledglings or on the eggs; do not take the mother with her offspring. You must surely send away the mother and the offspring take for yourself, so that you will benefit and will live long.Ē

 

According to the Sefer HaChunch, we can learn from here that Godís desire is for the endurance of all of his species.

 

If we as people can ensure that the animals are well taken care of and that none of them will become extinct then we will be rewarded with a long life in this world as well as eternal souls in the world to come.

 

This reward is measure for measure. If we watch over Godís creatures, then God will watch over us.

 

I saw a beautiful story about a panda researcher in China who wore a panda costume to give mother like feeling to a baby panda who lost her mother.

 

I am not saying that we have to go that far out of the way, but it is important that we respect all of the creatures that God created.

 

The Gemara in Avoda Zara 3b talks about what God does during the during the day: For the first three hours of the day, God sits and involves Himself with Torah study, during the second three hours, He sits and judges the entire world, once he sees that the world is deserving of annihilation He stands up from the Throne of Judgment and sits instead upon the Throne of Mercy, during the third three hour period, He sits and provides nourishment for the entire world- from the horns of the antelopes to the eggs of the lice, during the forth three hour period, He laughs with the Leviathan sea creature.

 

We see from here that in addition to studying Torah and judging the world God concerns himself with the well being of the animals and so should we.