I want to buy a dove but my parents say that they heard that according to Kabbalah you cannot own a bird as a pet. I want to know what Kabbalah says about this.

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    Welcome to MiYodeya Avi and thanks for this first question. Great to have you learn with us!
    – mbloch
    Commented Sep 16, 2018 at 6:17
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    The mishnah in Shabbos 24:3 implies you're allowed to.
    – Heshy
    Commented Sep 16, 2018 at 9:48
  • @ShmuelBrin both are discussed. sefaria.org/…
    – Heshy
    Commented Sep 16, 2018 at 16:07

1 Answer 1


It's one of the stipulations of Rabbi Yehuda Hachassids ethical will:

לא יגדל אדם תורים ובני יונה בתוך ביתו (ע' סי' תתרל"ח). לפי שהבית אשר יגדלו בה או ימותו בניו או לא יהיה לו זרע.

One should not grow pigeons or doves in his house, since a house where [one grows pigeons or doves] will not have children or his sons will die.


Although there is a debate how much of this will applies to those who aren't his descendants. Practically, some people are stringent on some of his rules, and ignore others.

Rabbi Yechiel Weinberger, though, seems to be stringent.

Rabbi Chaim Vital also writes [1]

יונים... המגדלים בתוך ביתו הוא בהכרח שימותו אחד או שנים מאנשי הבית בשנה ההיא. גם שאר היונים שמעתי שאינן סימן טוב לגדלם בבית לא לסבת הבנים ולא לסבת מיעוט ההצלחה בממון. ולכן טוב להתרחק גם מלגדל תורים

Pigeons .. One who raises them will definitely lose two or three of his family within the year. Also, I heard that other pigeons are bad luck to raise in the house, as it causes [problems] with children as well as lack of financial success. Therefore, one should stay away from raising doves.

[1]. I don't have a copy of the original, so I copied what I have.

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    However, both of those prohibitions seem to pertain to pigeons and doves, plural. Perhaps having one pigeon or one dove as a pet would therefore be acceptable?
    – aroth
    Commented Sep 16, 2018 at 12:59
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    In addition to @aroth's diyuk, it sounds like only adult pigeons or baby doves are a problem. But you could buy an adolescent dove (תחלת הציהוב) and keep it for the rest of its life (or buy a baby pigeon and keep it until it grows up, but that's not typically what people want to do with pets).
    – Heshy
    Commented Sep 16, 2018 at 13:51
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    One nitpick: The hebrew version of Rabbi Chaim Vital says one or two family members will die, whereas the English translation translates that as two or three family members.
    – Danield
    Commented Sep 16, 2018 at 15:12

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