Saturday, March 6, 2010

Punishment for embarrassing an animal


"Lest one say that Gd only punishes for the shame of the righteous and not that of the wicked, we have found that He punishes for the shame of the wicked; there was no hater of Gd and hater of Israel like Edom, and yet Gd punished for his shame, as it is written, 'For the three sins of Moav... For burning the bones of the king of Edom into lime.'

"And He punished Moav measure for measure: They burned with fire and so it said, ‘I will send fire against Moav.’ They burned the king, and so it said, ‘I will cut off the judges from her midst and kill all of her officers.’ We find that He punishes even the shame of the wicked.

"Not only that - He even punishes for the shame of an animal, as it is written, 'Why did you hit your donkey?' Gd did not come to punish Bilam for taking an opposing path, but for striking his donkey."

(Rabbi Yaakov Skili, Torat haMinchah to Parshat Ki Tetze)

Have a great day,


  1. This made my day ! (And it's only 7:30). We love our dog like he's one of our children. Hope all is going well for your family, Rabbi! Allison Shimon

  2. Hi Allison,

    Thanks for saying Hi! Any chance of a visit up north? (Feel free to reply by email.)