Monday, April 03, 2006

Avian Flu in Israel


I have read reports that Israel's Sephardi Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar has allowed for the continued elimination of chickens over Shabbos because of possible contamination by the H5N1 avian influenza virus in order so that human life is not endangered. Who could rationally be against such a thing? - Clearly the issue of Pikuach Nefesh, the potential danger to human life outweighs the abrogation of the Melachos Shabbos and the loss of chickens. However I am curious why there has not been much said about the method being used to do the job. According to ArutzSheva “People are being offered 2,000 shekels a day to kill chickens in the Sharon region because there are not enough people willing to do the job, which involves denying the birds food and drink, and then offering them poisoned water.” Clearly we as the Jewish people are more prone to being under the sway of the Midah of Rachamim as it says “and He will give you mercy” - "וְנָתַן-לְךָ רַחֲמִים" (Devarim 13:18) and as such shy away from such activities. Why is it then that we have not heard about the issue of Tzaar Baalei Chaim here? It may be an unfortunate necessity to kill these birds... but the manner in which it is being done does not have to be so cruel. They are starving the birds and then poisoning them, which seems rather efficient but at least from my limited view - contrary to Halacha. I am certain that there is a manner in which both the concerns of Pikuach Nefesh and Tzaar Baalei Chaim can be addressed and am perplexed as to why it is seemingly not.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

I think maybe their killing them in this manner because this way they don't need to touch the birds or come in contact with fluids. I'm not sure how I got to this conclusion... me 'n you might of talked about this already, but I can't remember :-p hehe.

Brooklyn Habiru said...

Who are you?