Man and Beast
Our Relationships with Animals in Jewish Law and Thought
ISBN 1-933143-06-1, 266 pages, $24.95
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By Natan Slifkin

Man and Beast presents a comprehensive Jewish perspective on our relationship with the animal kingdom. From the blessings to be recited when visiting the zoo, to understanding what exactly sets us apart from animals, to the issues involved in keeping pets - an entire framework is presented.

"Rabbi Natan Slifkin's new book, Man and Beast, offers a comprehensive view of Judaism's attitude and concern towards the animal world. It is skillfully researched and it is a thoroughly enjoyable read on a subject that otherwise could be considered arcane. There is great information and wonderful insights provided into the worldview of Judaism and its relationship to the other creatures that inhabit God's world with us humans."
— Rabbi Berel Wein

"Man and Beast is a fascinating and important work. It presents an aspect of Judaism that many of us do not even realize exists - its comprehensive principles and laws regarding our interactions with the natural world, in this case, specifically the animal world. Rabbi Natan Slifkin, the world-renowned "Zoo Rabbi," has accomplished amazing things in his seminal works on these topics. This new book of his will doubtless be treasured by educators and anyone seeking to enhance their understanding of the Torah's view of man's interaction with his fellow-inhabitor of this planet, the animal kingdom."
— Rabbi Chaim Malinowitz

Inside the Book

Table of Contents
  • Preface
  • Jews and Zoos
  • The Religion in Conservation
  • When Bad Things Happen To Good Animals
  • Man Vs. Beast
  • Animals on Trial
  • Why Be Kind to Animals?
  • Mitzvos of Sensitivity and Insensitivity
  • The Importance of Sensitivity
  • When Animal Lovers Go Too Far
  • Eating Animals
  • Hunting Animals
  • Harming Animals for Human Benefit
  • The Propriety of Pets
  • Laws for Petkeepers


Man Vs. Beast

About the Author

Born in Manchester, England, Rabbi Natan Slifkin (Google him) studied there at Yeshivas Shaarei Torah. He then moved to Israel, where he spent many years in study, at Yeshivas Midrash Shmuel and the Mir Yeshivah. He then taught Talmud and Jewish philosophy at Ohr Somayach Institutions, where he received ordination, and now teaches an extensive Zoo Torah course at Yeshivat Lev HaTorah and Midreshet Moriah Seminary for Women. Rabbi Slifkin has written extensively for the Daf Yomi Advancement Forum and many newspapers, websites and journals. He has been invited as guest lecturer to Bar Ilan University and to numerous synagogues worldwide.

Several years ago, Rabbi Slifkin began teaching about the relationship between Judaism and the animal kingdom at the Jerusalem Biblical Zoo. He then developed the Zoo Torah program, which he has since successfully operated in New York, Detroit, Philadelphia, Washington D.C., Baltimore, St. Louis, Atlanta, Phoenix, Los Angeles, and San Diego. This program has led Rabbi Slifkin to be featured in television and radio shows as well as in countless newspapers and journals. Rabbi Slifkin has a lifelong fascination with wildlife and has kept a wide variety of exotic pets, including iguanas and tarantulas! His studies of wildlife have led him hiking extensively in Israel, scuba diving to coral reefs in Eilat, on safari in Kenya, whale-watching in California, and behind the scenes at numerous zoological facilities worldwide.

Rabbi Slifkin's published works include:

  • Lying for Truth: Understanding Yaakov's Deception of Yitzchak (Targum Press 1996)
  • Focus: Classical and Contemporary Issues through the Lens of the Weekly Parashah (Targum Press 1997)
  • Seasons of Life: The Reflection of the Jewish Year in the Natural World (Targum Press 1998)
  • Second Focus: Original and Stimulating Essays on Jewish Thought (Targum Press 1999)
  • In Noah's Footsteps: Biblical Perspectives on the Zoo (The Tisch Family Zoological Gardens 2000)
  • The Science of Torah: The Reflection of Torah in the Laws of Science, the Creation of the Universe, and the Development of Life (Targum Press 2001)
  • Nature's Song: An Elucidation of Perek Shirah, the Anceint Text that Lists the Philosophical and Ethical Lessons of the Natural World (Targum Press 2001)
  • Mysterious Creatures: Intriguing Torah Enigmas of Natural and Unnatural History (Targum Press 2003)
  • The Camel, The Hare, And The Hyrax: A Study of the Laws of Animals with One Kosher Sign in Light of Modern Zoology (Targum Press 2004)

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