Endnotes for "Mercy, Lovingkindness, and Peace: A Jewish Affirmation of Respect for Life"

  1. God is neither male nor female. The use of a masculine pronoun to refer to God is a time-honored convention that reflects the limitations of language but does not define God in any way.

  2. Exodus 21-22-3.

  3. For an explication, see Basil F. Herring, Jewish Ethics and Halakhah for Our Time: Sources and Commentary (New York: Ktav Publishing House, Inc., and Yeshiva University Press, 1984), 25-45.

  4. Maimonides, Mishneh Torah, Shabbat 2:3.

  5. Sefer Ha-Chinuch 529.

  6. "The Torah prohibits the torture or causing of pain to any living creature. One is duty bound to save every living creature from pain or distress, even if it has no owner" (Hayim Halevy Donin, To Be a Jew [New York: Basic Books, 1972]). The general term for the mitzvah of kindness to animals is tsaar baalei chayim, "the pain of living things." See Exodus 20:10, 23:12: Leviticus 22:26-33; Deuteronomy 12: 21, 22:10; Isaiah 11; Talmud, Berakhot 40a, Hullin 1-2.

  7. "Love your neighbor as yourself: this is the major principle of the Torah" (Rabbi Akiva, Talmud Yerushalmi, Nedarim 9:4). See Genesis 3:21, 18:1, 25:11; Deuteronomy 34:6.

  8. See Exodus 22:20-21, 23:5; Leviticus 19:9,19:33, 25:17, 25:35; Deuteronomy 15:7-11, 22:8, 23:16-17; Proverbs 25:21; Mishnah, Avot 3:14; Talmud, Shabbat 63a.

  9. Mishnah, Sanhedrin 4:5.

  10. Talmud, Bava Kamma 84a.

  11. The Chassidic master Rabbi Bunam Simcha, quoted in Louis I. Newman, The Hasidic Anthology (Northvale, N.J.: Jason Aronson, 1987), 207.

  12. Talmud, Bava Kamma 3b.

  13. Genesis 1:27.