Last modified on September 26, 2021, at 23:21

Judaism and dogs

Golden Retriever

Rabbi Levi Welton wrote:

...I've often wondered if the Bible supports animal activism and what exactly God would say if I posed the question, "Do You love dogs?"

Dogs are the only animals in the Torah that receive a reward for their actions. When the Jewish slaves flee Egypt, it states "not one dog barked” (Exodus 11:7). As a reward for that, God said, "…and flesh torn in the field you shall not eat; you shall throw it to the dog[s]" (Exodus 22:30; Mechilta)...

The notable sixteenth century Jewish leader, the Maharsha, says that a dog is a creature of love. Hence, the Hebrew name for a dog is "kelev" which is etymologically derived from the words "kulo lev" or "all heart"... Now remember that Adam and Eve were instructed by God to give all the animals of the world their Hebrew names (Genesis 2:19-20). When they made this personal connection with the beasts of the world, the names they chose were prophetically accurate so as to encapsulate the essence of each animal into a name that truly revealed its soul. (Bereishit Rabbah 17:4). Thus, one may extrapolate from this that the Hebrew name for a dog was precisely chosen to be indicative of the loving soul of this marvelous creature.[1]

See alsoEdit


  1. Does God Love Dogs? by Rabbi Levi Welton, Jan 4, 2014