In Israel We Watch Birds – In Lebanon? Not So Much

Yesterday I posted about this week’s bird festival in the north and how twitchers from all over the world flock to Israel to watch the massive migratory movements of a myriad of magnificent birds.

Though it’s not always quite so easy for the little birdies to get to Israel. You see they don’t have hunter countermeasures and they have to fly past these two guys and all their friends in Lebanon.

From Al Arabia:

A Lebanese hunter recently posted an image of two men boasting a bonnet full of hunted birds on his Facebook profile.

This photo did not get praises the man hoped to gain but instead received disapproving comments.

Despite the hunter removing the image soon after, the Facebook page “STOP Shooting Birds in Lebanon!” instantly re-published his image, with nature lovers expressing their outrage on the social networking site.

The website “greenprophet” garnered some comments, with one nature lover saying: “Has anyone thought of carrying a psychological study to find out what makes these “hunters” go out and commit these bird massacres? That might help come out with a solution.” The person also said that after seeing the photo, he was ashamed to be Lebanese.

I’m not going to say that no birds are killed in Israel but I will tell you that Judaism is 100% clear on forbidding hunting for sport (and please don’t tell me those two are planning to eat a thousand tiny birds).

From Aish:

Hunting animals for sport is viewed with serious disapproval by our Sages. (Talmud – Avoda Zara 18b; “Noda BiYehuda” 2-Y.D. 10)

While it is certainly true that hunting has never been thought of an activity that Jews do in their spare time, there are legal principles at stake as well. The great scholar Rabbi Yechezkel Landau (18th century Prague) listed several reasons why Jews should not hunt for sport:

1) It causes pain to animals, which is forbidden by Jewish law.

2) It senselessly destroys God’s creations.

3) It is characteristic of the behavior of the evil Esau and Nimrod, who were both hunters.

4) It is indicative of cruel behavior. One of the 613 mitzvot is to emulate God. One of God’s attributes is mercy, which is the antithesis of cruelty.

5) It is a dangerous activity.

To hunt for food would theoretically be permissible, if not for the fact that it is virtually impossible to slaughter an animal in accordance with Jewish law while hunting.

And a big hat tip to Judge Dan for this story.

About Brian of London

Brian of London is not the messiah, he's a very naughty boy. Since making aliyah in 2009, Brian has blogged at Israellycool. Brian's interests include electric cars, world peace and an end to world hunger. Besides blogging here, Brian of London now writes at the Times of Israel. Brian of London also hosted Shire Network News

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Desværre flyver de også forbi Libanon… « Hodjanernes Blog
12 November 2012 at 7:11pm
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  • http://israelitkan.ning.com/ Gaia

    Really repulsive

    • http://www.israellycool.com/author/brianoflondon/ Brian of London

      Isn’t it. Nice neighbours. Not.

      • http://www.israellycool.com/ Aussie Dave

  • Jim from Iowa

    I assume Jewish law only applies to Jews. I am not a hunter myself, but I find hunting and hunters completely acceptable and beneficial to the larger community. The two nimrods featured here are just that and are not representative of hunters in general.

    • Norman B.

      I would think that controlled hunting to cull a population explosion of wildlife that threatens human habitations would be permitted under Jewish law. That is why last year’s bagging of 500 garbage-eating bears in New Jersey had overall public support.

      • Jim from Iowa

        Or blasting away (during their respective legal hunting seasons) at pheasants, deer and ducks) in the harveted corn fields and lakes of Iowa is just as acceptable. I hate to break it to everybody, but hunting gives pleasure to the hunter and is a perfectly acceptable recreational activity and comports with social norms. The desire to hunt is in our genes. It really is.

        • http://www.israellycool.com/author/brianoflondon/ Brian of London

          Jews never look to apply Jewish law to non Jews. Fire at will. I’ve never shot at living things but having blasted many clay pigeons I can definitely see the attraction.

          Hunting to feed yourself in a matter of life and death is acceptable just as eating anything to keep yourself alive (no matter about kosher rules) is not just acceptable but required. You are not allowed to starve yourself to death if sustaining food is available.

          Hunting to kill a population of animals that is a direct threat to the lives of people is also probably acceptable but Rabbis would sit and debate it for aeons no doubt.

        • BigHabsFan

          Not so much pleasure for the dying/dead animals though. Shooting clay pigeons is far less offensive, leathal & humane & pretty darn fun.

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  • Hundra the Warrior Woman

    As a animal lover and birdwatcher I find this genocide absolutely appalling! But what do you expect from Lebanese cavemen? I don’t know it appears to me that arabs are a sandwich short of a picnic!

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