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על כן יאמר כנמרד גבור ציד לפני ד'

Therefore, it is said, “Like Nimrod a mighty hunter before Hashem.” (10:9)

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Under such circumstances that there is no clearly-defined halachah that prohibits a certain activity, we will find a remonstrance such as: “It is not a Jewish thing,” or “Jewish people do not act in such a manner.” A point in question is the well-known psak, ruling, of the Noda B’Yehudah concerning hunting for sport. A wealthy Jew had just come into a sizeable estate, which included a large forest stocked with a variety of wild animals. The man asked the Noda B’Yehudah if he were permitted to hunt these animals on his newly-acquired forest.

The Noda B’Yehudah replied that exclusive of the issues concerning tzaar baalei chaim, which prohibits causing pain to living creatures, hunting is not a Jewish activity. Indeed, the only two individuals whom the Torah characterizes as hunters are Nimrod and Eisav. Certainly, no Jewish person would want to be included in their milieu. Therefore, no Jew should act in such a manner. Some areas of human endeavor, although not necessarily prohibited, remain out of the Torah Jew’s domain. There are ways in which a ben Avraham, Yitzchak and Yaakov, descendants of the Patriarchs, acts, and activities from which he should distance himself. We neither celebrate cruelty, nor do we encourage any form of brutality. It is just not Jewish.

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