if an animal kills a Jew it deserves the death penalty source

if a child (under 13/12) kills a Jew he is completely free (no consequences)?
if yes why?

  • 2
    Maybe because we don't have the same value for an animal life then for human life...
    – mroll
    Commented Jun 14, 2018 at 15:12
  • @mroll but an adult(sane) human gets the death penalty
    – hazoriz
    Commented Jun 14, 2018 at 15:13
  • @hazoriz Not if he didn’t mean to. And a child, who doesn’t have intent, is automatically considered not on purpose. A cow also doesn’t have intent - but we don’t care about animal life when it leads to endangering human life. Feel free to sic PETA on me for that.
    – DonielF
    Commented Jun 15, 2018 at 3:10
  • @DonielF from halacha 9 in the above source "animal that kills [a person] is not stoned to death unless it had the intent to kill a person for whom it would be executed" and from halacha 2 here chabad.org/1172728 "Cases involving capital punishment may not be judged by a court with less than 23 judges, i.e., a minor Sanhedrin. This applies not only to instances where humans are judged with regard to capital punishment, but also when animals face such judgment. " (btw i am not a vegitarian)
    – hazoriz
    Commented Jun 15, 2018 at 8:52
  • @hazoriz (Meant the PETA thing as a joke.) I think intent by animals is defined as did it look at a person and start charging them, or was it just walking along and accidentally stepped on a person (latter case would seem to be Regel and therefore liable for damage but not to the death penalty; former case is Keren). When an animal gets killed it’s going to be judged by a court of 23 only because it’s being killed - but do you seriously think that the animal needs eidim and hasra’ah before they can do so?
    – DonielF
    Commented Jun 15, 2018 at 14:50

1 Answer 1


The Ramban (BERAISHIS 9:5) says that an animal which kills a person does not receive death as a punishment because animals do not get rewarded or punished for their actions (as they have no Bechira (free will)). He goes on to say that it is a special Gezairas Hamelech decree from the King Hashem that an animal which kills a person gets stoned. A child which does not receive punishment for his actions and there is no specific decree that he is put to death therefore is not killed for killing another person.


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