It seems somewhat widespread that Jews that are scared of dogs think that saying ולכל בני ישראל לא יחרץ כלב לשונו will either protect them or scare the dog away or something like that. Does this have any source in authentic Judaism or is it just made up by a primary school teacher 20 years ago?

  • 1
    Hi Moshe. Where have you seen this practiced that you call it "somewhat widespread"? If you edit to specify a community that might help people find you an answer. Try and include any other details of the practice that you can think of.
    – Double AA
    Commented Jun 22, 2016 at 14:29
  • The only connection that I have seen that verse used was in regard to giving the dogs a nevela (non-kosher or improperly slaughtered meat). I believe that Rash"i mentions that this is a reward to dogs for not barking or howling when the first born Egyptians were killed.
    – DanF
    Commented Jun 22, 2016 at 15:29
  • 1
    @DoubleAA For example: halachicadventures.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/09/… We continuously recited the pasuk “U’lechol Bnei Yisrael lo yecheratz kelev leshono,” which is traditionally recited to protect us from dogs Commented Jun 22, 2016 at 18:11
  • I have found a source in shas for being attacked by dogs - avodah zara 18b refers to dogs who bite people and the person said 'oh God of Meir (referring to Rabbi Meir) please answer me' and they were answered. You could say that that which they don't reply with this passuk implies it is a made up minhag Commented Jun 23, 2016 at 15:32
  • See Haamek Davar on that Pasuk, where he understands that dogs are attuned to some degree of spiritual presence.
    – Chaim
    Commented Feb 13, 2017 at 3:15

2 Answers 2


Yes. this is something that is said in the gemara in order to protect one from dogs. As an example

Rav David Silverberg

The Gemara in Masekhet Berakhot (56b) comments that if a person dreams about a dog, upon awakening he should immediately recite this verse from Sefer Shemot that speaks of the dogs’ silence on the night of Yetzi’at Mitzrayim. This should be done quickly, the Gemara urges, as otherwise a different verse about dogs may come to mind first, namely, Yeshayahu’s description of dogs as “azei nefesh” (“brazen” – Yeshayahu 56:11).

While I do not have the citation for scaring away a dog I have found a reference which assumes the custom.


We continuously recited the pasuk “U’lechol Bnei Yisrael lo yecheratz kelev leshono,” which is traditionally recited to protect us from dogs.

  • This is a very similar idea but not exactly the same. Do you have any idea or indication how this would be expanded from dreams to scaring dogs away when they come near you? Commented Jun 22, 2016 at 22:25
  • @MosheSteinberg I remember that there is also a reference to scaring away dogs but do not have the exact citation. Commented Jun 23, 2016 at 0:06
  • I have looked into that gemara from brachos a little bit more and it seems to be (aruch hashulchan says so explicitly in OCH 220:3) that it is just a dog passuk related to good thing. Hence, you should say that passuk after a doggy dream, because the result of dreams depends on their interpretation. If this is true, it is not at all applicable to your daily walk in the park. Commented Jun 23, 2016 at 15:17

The Dubno Maggid is quoted as including the following in one of his derashos:

“A yeshiva rebbe once decided to take his students on a walk through the forest. ‘Now boys,’ he told them, ‘we’re going to be walking through a forest, and there’s a good chance we might come across wild dogs. Well boys – have no fear! All you have to do if we come across wild dogs is to recite the pasuk, "And to all the Children of Israel no dog whet its tongue", and no harm will become us...

Utilizing the pasuk seemed to be a given by the Dubno Maggid when he made the comment in the 1800s--more than just made up by a Rebbi 20 years ago.


You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .