LETTER : When is a sin not a sin in the varying religions of the 20th century?

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The Independent Online
From Mr Hyam Maccoby

Sir: In the table accompanying the article "Where to find sin in the modern world", cruelty to animals is listed as "permitted" in Judaism. This is entirely wrong. Avoidance of cruelty to animals (tza'ar ba'alei chayim) is one of the most cherished principles of Judaism, stemming from such Biblical precepts as "Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn" (Deuteronomy 25:4). The principle even forms part of the Ten Commandments, in which the Sabbath is ordained as a rest day for animals as well as for humans (Exodus 20:10). Sabbath laws may be relaxed in order to relieve animal suffering. Jewish law forbids hunting animals for sport, and has developed a whole code of humane treatment of animals.

Yours faithfully,

HYAM MACCOBY

Leo Baeck College

London, N3

8 June

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