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.

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