Monday, May 22, 2006

Prayer for pets and animals

I heard on the radio yesterday that people were praying for Barabro, the injured racehorse. I don't know if praying for an animal is ever more than an emotional response, but to the degree that we can rationally analyze it I was wondering if there is any efficacy to tefillah for animals. As we discussed in the past, the Rambam limits hashgacha pratis to sichli spritually elevated people - it never applies to animals, who are governed by hashgacha klalis. If so, then can we really ask G-d to intrude on the laws of nature for the sake of a specific animal? (I guess you can ask G-d to do anything, but does that fit the rational model of hashgacha and tefillah?) I can imagine a frum child davening on behalf of a sick pet - should that be encouraged, or is it nonsensical? I don't have any sources offhand, so just speculating....

9 comments:

  1. This reminds me of a cute story. The Past Vizhnitzer Rebbe lost his brother the Sereter Rav in the 1960's in EY. At the levaya the Gerer Rebbe came over to him and in the conversation the VR says to the Gerrer You know when a chossid came to your father in Poland they came with requests to strengthen their avodas hashem. To my father the chassidim came with requests that their cow is pregnant and the rebbe should be mispalel for twins! how can one become anything from such a background?

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  2. Maybe if the person praying is one who gets hashgahha, God would heal the animal on behalf of the person?

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  3. Good point - I had not thought of thar...

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  4. I meant 'I had not thought of thaT'

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  5. Chaim Dov1:28 AM

    How is this different to davening for good weather, for example?

    Then again, according to the BST, who followers produce so much of our machshova literature (as you said elsewhere), the question haipt zich nisht on.

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  6. Good weather affects you, and you might be zoche to hashgacha pratis.

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  7. Chaim Dov9:10 AM

    My point exactly, the welfare of the animal affects you, else you would daven for it.

    BTW, you are not mekabel shitas ha'baal shem?

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  8. I do not understand how the shitas haBesht fits with the Rishonim. Discussed this in the past - see here:

    http://divreichaim.blogspot.com/2006/05/hashgacha-pratis-besht-vs-chinuch.html

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  9. Anonymous8:57 AM

    Best regards from NY! » » »

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