Roberta Kalechofsky

American animal rights activist

Roberta Kalechofsky (born May 11, 1931) is an American writer, feminist and animal rights activist, focusing on the issue of animal rights within Judaism and the promotion of vegetarianism within the Jewish community.

Roberta Kalechofsky in 2013


  • Central to Jewish mysticism is the role that vegetarianism plays in messianic expectations: here vegetarianism functions in the concept of Jewish mystical time which chronicles human development from the vegetarian state in the Garden of Eden to the Messianic age when it is believed we will be vegetarians again. … in Judaism the laws governing responsibility to animals derive from the animal's place in the divine economy, assured by the covenantal statements, by the Jewish view of creation, and the Jewish view of a just and compassionate Creator. The stress of these laws with respect to the Jew is summed up in the question: How should the righteous (just) Jew behave toward animals, and the answer lies in the concept of the “imitatio Dei.” The just and merciful human behaves toward animals as a just and merciful Creator behaves toward humans.
    • “Hierarchy, Kinship, and Responsibility: The Jewish Relationship to the Animal World,” in A Communion of Subjects: Animals in Religion, Science, and Ethics, edited by Paul Waldau and Kimberly Patton (New York: Columbia University Press, 2006), 97-98.
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