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Orthodox Judaism/About Animals and the Afterlife

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Question
Shalom, Rabbi Shishler. Firstly, forgive me for writing on Shabbat. Secondly, I have a question which has weighed on my mind for quite a while: what happens to animals who were used to do wicked deeds—such as the dogs owned by Southerners who would kidnap and re-enslave African-American slaves and the dogs owned by Nazis? I've always wondered about that and have never had the courage to ask.

L'Shabbat Shalom u'Mevorakh, and thank you for taking the time to answer my question.

Answer
Hi Nicole

What an interesting question!

According to Judaism, an animal is designed with a particular nature and is not expected to alter its nature. So, if a human trains an animal to be vicious, to harm people or the like, that person is responsible for what the animal does, not the animal.

I hope that helps.

Sincerely,

Rabbi Shishler

Orthodox Judaism

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Rabbi Ari Shishler

Expertise

I am a rabbi who loves teaching, through writing and speaking. In 1999, my wife and I started our own Chabad House and it's grown exponentially. I'm also the learning director at Chabad House of Johannesburg, a high school teacher and the father of young children. As you can imagine, I get to answer lots of questions every day. I'd be glad to answer your questions on Judaism, Jewish spirituality and practice.

Experience

I have been a practicing Orthodox rabbi since 1997 and have headed my own community since 1999. I teach Talmud at a religious high school in Johannesburg and give daily lectures to adults on Jewish practice, spiritualty, Chassidic philosophy and Kabbalah. I'm the campus rabbi at our two major universities in Johannesburg.

Organizations
Chabad-Lubavitch South African Rabbinical Association.

Publications
Monthly column in Jewish Life magazine, South Africa. Jewish Tradition, South Africa. Jewish Report, South Africa. South African Union of Jewish Students annual Holiday guide. Jewish Observer, South Africa. Nshei Chabad Newsletter, NY. Jewish Online Magazine. www.chabad.org

Education/Credentials
After completing high scool, I spent six years studying in Rabbinical seminaries in South Africa, Israel and New York.

Past/Present Clients
www.chabad.org www.askmoses.com ChaiFM (www.chaifm.com) Jewish Life magazine

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