All Dogs Are Bad and Their Owners Accursed, Israeli City’s Rabbis Rule

'A serious phenomenon has spread in our city Elad, in which young boys and children walk around publicly with dogs. This is strictly forbidden'

Cnaan Liphshiz
JTA
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
File photo: Dog walker in Jerusalem, July 8, 2019.
File photo: Dog walker in Jerusalem, July 8, 2019.Credit: Emil Salman
Cnaan Liphshiz
JTA

More than a dozen rabbis from the Israeli city of Elad, near Tel Aviv, issued an edict declaring all dogs bad and warning residents that keeping them will make them accursed.

The edict, dated June 14, contains the signatures of all the Sephardic rabbis in Elad, a city of about 46,000 residents where most of the population is ultra-Orthodox. The city’s chief rabbi, Mordechai Malka, also signed the edict, the news site bhol reported Friday.

>> Read more: Study reveals how dogs hijacked our hearts and walletsYour dog feels your pain — especially if it’s a bitch

“We have heard and have seen that lately, a serious phenomenon has spread in our city Elad, in which young boys and children walk around publicly with dogs. This is strictly forbidden. As explained in the Talmud and by the Rambam, anyone raising a dog is accursed and especially in our city where many women and children are afraid of dogs,” the anti-canine edict states.

The rabbi of neighboring Holon, Avraham Yosef, is quoted as writing: “I do not find any grounds for permitting any dog whatsoever in any manner.”

The term “bad dog” means “any dog, for it barks on whomever it does not know and because of its bark it is a bad dog even if does not bite,” the edict also states. People who keep dogs for medical needs should appear before the local rabbinical court so it may rule on their matter, the edict says.

The Talmud and the 12th-century sage Maimonides, or the Rambam, frequently regard dogs as dangerous and unclean. The edict’s interpretation is strict, however, compared to readings by other Israeli Orthodox authorities.

Uziel Elyahu, the chief Orthodox rabbi of the northern municipality of Misgav, in 2002 ruledthat keeping guard dogs is allowed, as well as guide dogs and ones kept “to develop a person’s emotions.”

Elad was established in 1998. More than half of its population is below 18.

In 2016, Tel Aviv declared itself the friendliest world city for dogs, claiming, doggedly but perhaps not accurately, the most dogs per capita of any city in the world.

Click the alert icon to follow topics:

Comments

SUBSCRIBERS JOIN THE CONVERSATION FASTER

Automatic approval of subscriber comments.
From $1 for the first month

SUBSCRIBE
Already signed up? LOG IN

ICYMI

Charles Lindbergh addressing an America First Committee rally on October 3, 1941.

Ken Burns’ Brilliant ‘The U.S. and the Holocaust’ Has Only One Problem

The projected rise in sea level on a beach in Haifa over the next 30 years.

Facing Rapid Rise in Sea Levels, Israel Could Lose Large Parts of Its Coastline by 2050

Tal Dilian.

As Israel Reins in Its Cyberarms Industry, an Ex-intel Officer Is Building a New Empire

Queen Elizabeth II, King Charles III and a British synagogue.

How the Queen’s Death Changes British Jewry’s Most Distinctive Prayer

Newly appointed Israeli ambassador to Chile, Gil Artzyeli, poses for a group picture alongside Rabbi Yonatan Szewkis, Chilean deputy Helia Molina and Gerardo Gorodischer, during a religious ceremony in a synagogue in Vina del Mar, Chile last week.

Chile Community Leaders 'Horrified' by Treatment of Israeli Envoy

Queen Elizabeth attends a ceremony at Windsor Castle, in June 2021.

Over 120 Countries, but Never Israel: Queen Elizabeth II's Unofficial Boycott