Thursday, October 19, 2006

Why didn't Hashem accept קין's קרבן?

The ספר העיקרים has an intersting p'shat. He says that קין and הבל had an idealogical dispute. קין held that man was on the same level as animals and therefore man had no right to use animals. Because of this, he was an עובד אדמה and brought produce as his korban and refused to bring an animal korban. הבל on the other hand, held that man was allowed to use animals and therefore he was a shephard and he brought animals as his korban. Hashem accepted הבל's korban because he wanted to show קין that he was wrong, that man is on a different level then animals and is allowed to use the animals for his benefit.

This is an important lesson for our times where there is a growing movement that claims that animals have the same rights as people etc.

4 comments:

Mike Miller said...

that man is on a different level then animals and is allowed to use the animals for his benefit.

If this was true before Noach, why were we not permitted to eat meat?

If we say that we're allowed to use animals for our benefit, then why do we need a special "heter" to eat them?

In fact, we know that we're allowed to kill animals even not for eating, such as for their skins. Is this also a post-Noach heter?

bluke said...

A few points.

There is a machlokes Rashi and Tosafos in Sanhedrin whether they were allowed to eat an animal that dropped dead.

We see clearly from Hevel that they were allowed to kill animals for korbanos.

It would seem that killing an animal for food at that time was not considered a real need.

ADDeRabbi said...

It would seem that killing an animal for food at that time was not considered a real need.

interesting. what about today, when it's again entirely possible to recieve all nutrition without killing animals? in such a reality, is vegetarianism preferable?

Mike Miller said...

We see clearly from Hevel that they were allowed to kill animals for korbanos.
Is a korban considered a personal need?

It would seem that killing an animal for food at that time was not considered a real need.

We can kill animals nowadays for fun, if we'd like (cf Nodeh B'Yehuda's tshuvah on hunting). Of course, that's a rather sick form of fun that should be strongly discouraged (R' Moshe frowns on killing bugs with ones hand (as opposed to a fly swatter / poison) due to the negative middos it implies!), but nevertheless, we are allowed to do so. If so, it would seem that the "heter" of eating animals was not a matter of saying that it became necessary, since even if it's not necessary, it could still be done.