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Ruling of Chief Rabbi of Israel Against Racing





Campaign against the Expansion of Racing in Israel

Experts' Statements about Racing

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Racing Cruelties:   The Horror Behind the Glamour

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Slaughter of Racehorses

In Memory of Ruffian

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Premarin Horses



Slaughter at
the Racetrack

Slaughterhouse: Exposé of Horse Slaughter in the UK






Rabbi Shlomo Amar


On July 30, 2006, Rabbi Shlomo Amar, the Sephardic Chief Rabbi of Israel, issued a ruling (psak halacha) against horse racing.


The ruling concludes:

...it seems self-evident that one ought to instruct every God-fearing person to hasten to gather his livestock and his horses at home [an allusion to Exodus 9:20] and not to participate in horse-races — neither in establishing them, nor by watching them: because of the pain to animals caused thereby, because it is "a dwelling place of scoffers," and because it is "playing with dice" [that is, gambling].

Among the reasons the Chief Rabbi cited in drawing his conclusion are the following:

  • Racing involves the death of many horses, and this violates the Jewish law against wanton destruction.

  • Horse slaughter would create a risk that horsemeat would be sold in Israel, which would violate Jewish law.

  • Whoever shows compassion is shown compassion.

  • Using horses for racing is unnecessary; the cruelty involved, only for the purpose of making some rich people richer, is prohibited.

  • Judaism forbids gambling because it enriches one person at the expense of another.


Read the Chief Rabbi's complete ruling (PDF format).


Read articles about the Chief Rabbi's psak halacha against racing:

It Is Forbidden to Hold Horse Races on Sukkoth

Haaretz, 6 October 2006, by Eli Ashkenazi (translated from Hebrew)


Rabbi Shlomo Amar has ruled: "It is forbidden to participate in horse races"

Ynet, 5 October 2006 (translated from Hebrew)


"Some trust in chariots and some in horses"

nrg, 3 October 2006 (translated from Hebrew)


Rabbi Amar in a Ruling Against Horse Racing

Arutz Sheva, 3 October 2006, by Shimon Cohen (translated from Hebrew)


Psak Halacha by Rabbi Amar: It Is Forbidden to Hold Horse Races

Hazofe, October 2006, by Tuli Fikersh (translated from Hebrew)


Psak Halacha: It Is Forbidden to Hold Horse Races for Gambling Purposes and to Watch Them

Zafon 1, October 2006 (translated from Hebrew)