Mourning for Pets, the ‘Jewish’ Way?

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As I peer down at her cotton-puff head, my sense of guilt sets in. Peeps, my bichon frise associate, has just taken a cocktail of three different medicines meant to keep her ticker ticking. Her eyes water, and her mouth turns downward, quivering slightly. It’s obvious she is not digging this new regimen. At 13, this lady has lived long enough to endure an onslaught of insults to her pot-bellied little being — epilepsy, cataracts, a successful surgery to rid her of cancer and, most recently, congestive heart failure. Despite this nobility, I know she will someday leave this world.

In thinking about that fateful day and how to commemorate Peeps’s life, I am confronted with the fact that there is no Jewish roadmap for how to properly mourn pets, no universal law or tradition for how to close the circle of a pet’s life.

According to Ari Enkin, an Orthodox rabbi in Israel who has written several books on Jewish law, equating the loss of an animal with the loss of a human is inappropriate. Enkin recently discussed the question of whether, upon the death of a beloved pet, it is appropriate for a Jewish person to say, “Blessed is the True Judge.” It is reflexively uttered by many Jews in response to death and tragedy.

Read More: @ haaretz.com

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Posted by on Monday, April 30th, 2012. Filed under Jewish News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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