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    Hunting – Ask the Rabbi

    Q. Is hunting allowed in Jewish law?

    A. The Noachide principles prohibit tearing a limb from a living animal, which by extension includes hunting for sport.

    In the Noda Biy’hudah, Rabbi Yechezkel Landau says that hunting is abhorrent to the spirit of the Torah and is regarded as the mark of wicked people like Esau (Noda Biy’hudah, Yoreh De’ah 10). This applies to hunting for sport.

    There is a famous saying of Walter Rathenau, “When a Jew says he goes hunting to amuse himself, he is lying”. However, catching animals for food is permitted. In theory, fishing for sport should also be prohibited, but it is unlikely to be banned because the fish will – if kosher – probably be eaten.

    At all times, if any sporting activity, including hunting, places human beings in serious danger, the activity is not allowed. One must not put one’s own or anyone else’s life at risk.

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