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Domesticated Animals & Tzad

The Daily Halacha Moment - Domesticated Animals & Tzad 🐶

״כל השונה הלכות בכל יום - מובטח לו שהוא בן ‎העולם הבא״ (נידה עג ע״א, מגילה כח:)

“Anyone who studies Halachot every day is guaranteed that he is destined for the world-to-come” (Megilla 28b, Niddah 73a)


Are domesticated animals subjected to the Melacha of Tzad?


A domesticated animal that will regularly return to its confined area is not considered an animal that is subject to Tzad, since it is intrinsically a confined animal. Therefore, a chicken that walked away from its coop and wandered into a courtyard may be captured by closing the door of the yard, in order that it should not escape outside, and if one is afraid of them doing damage, then they may even be prodded back to their coop. [1]

A domesticated animal can be considered an intrinsically confined animal even if it does not

return exclusively to its owner. Therefore, if one acquired a chicken from a nearby neighbor

and will instinctively return to its original owner, then it is still considered halachically confined. However, the chicken’s new home must be near enough for the animal to return to its former home, otherwise it will wander off freely and cannot be considered a confined animal. [2]


[1]. See Shulchan Aruch 316:12; Chazon Ovadia, Shabbat, vol. 5, pp. 101-103. See also in Menuchat Ahavah, vol. 3, 17:4 who states that this is also the case with pets, such as a cat or a dog, if it is totally domesticated and submissive to its owner. However, if it is a newly bought pet, and it is not yet totally submissive to its owner, then one may not pick the pet up, but one may only prod to one’s home or a room that is big enough that it cannot be captured in one grab, as will be explained below.

[2]. See Chazon Ovadia, Shabbat, vol. 5, pp. 103-104; Biur Halachah, 316:12, “Chayah VaOf.”

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