5
Jewish Traditions

Man has no superiority over beast.

Ecclesiastes 3:191

Judaism emerged from earlier, Middle Eastern religious traditions in the first millennium BCE, distinguishing itself from previous traditions by requiring followers to focus on just one deity. In Jewish religious traditions, the one God of the Jewish people has created and continues to sustain the universe, and is the author and judge of a moral code, both for humanity generally and for Jews specifically. The Tanakh (often referred to as the Old Testament among Christians), is the most sacred book of Judaism, and is also sacred for Muslims.2


Sacred Nature, Sacred Anymals

The Tanakh celebrates the power and glory of a single deity who acts as Creator, who “fashions the hearts” “of all the inhabitants of the earth” and brings forth the spiny tail lizard, Nubian ibex, and starling with the breath of life (Ps. 33:15, 14).

How many are your works, O LORD;
In wisdom, you have made them all;
the earth is full of your creatures. (Ps. 104:24)

Jewish religious traditions teach humanity that all of the created world belongs to God. “The earth is the LORD’s, and all that it holds, the world and its inhabitants”

1 Offset passages from the Tanakh have been translated from the Hebrew by Samantha Joo, Ph.D (Old Testament Studies). In-text translations are from the Tanakh: The Holy Scriptures: Torah, Nevi’im, Kethuvim, The New JPS Translation (Jerusalem: Jewish Publication Society, 1985).

2 The meaning of scriptural passages from the Tanakh discussed in this chapter, compared with the same passages in the Christian Old Testament, is the same. Therefore, explorations of the Tanakh in this chapter are applicable to both Christian and Islamic traditions, but will not be repeated in subsequent chapters.

-169-

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Animals and World Religions
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Acknowledgments ix
  • Foreword xi
  • Introduction 3
  • 1 - Indigenous Traditions 19
  • 2 - Hindu Traditions 56
  • 3 - Buddhist Traditions 91
  • 4 - Chinese Traditions 127
  • 5 - Jewish Traditions 169
  • 6 - Christian Traditions 205
  • 7 - Islamic Traditions 241
  • Conclusion 277
  • Appendix- Factory Farming and Fishing 291
  • References 317
  • Further Reading 335
  • Index 339
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