tza'ar ba'alei chayim


tza'ar ba'alei chayim (TZA-ahr bah-ah-LEI chah-YEEM) listen


  • n. Pity for living creatures; compassion for animals.

Example Sentences

  • "Within the Talmud, this prohibition against unnecessary cruelty acquires a name — tza’ar ba’alei chayim: the suffering of animals" (source).

  • "I'm vegan because I think that all production of animal products today violate tza'ar ba'alei chayim."

  • "Don't kill that spider, just throw it out. It's tsaar baaley chayim!" (Glinert)

Languages of Origin

  • Textual Hebrew
  • Yiddish


  • TH צער בעלי חיים, 'tsa'ar ba'ale chayim', lit. 'cruelty to animals (implying something to be avoided)' > Y צער־בעלי־חײם tsar-bale-khaim

    • Who Uses This

      • Religious: Jews who are engaged in religious observance and have some Jewish education
      • Jews: Jews of diverse religious backgrounds and organizational involvements
      • Younger: Jews in their 30s or younger
      • Organizations: People involved in a professional or volunteer capacity with Jewish nonprofit organizations


      • North America
      • Great Britain
      • South Africa


      • Yiddish and English: A Century of Yiddish in America, by Sol Steinmetz (Tuscaloosa, 1986).
      • The Joys of Hebrew, by Lewis Glinert (New York, 1992).

      Alternative Spellings

      tzaar baalei hayyim, tza'ar ba'alei hayyim, tsaar baalei haim, tsa'ar ba'alei haim, tzaar baalei haim, tza'ar ba'alei haim, tsaar baalei hayim, tsa'ar ba'alei hayim, tzaar baalei hayim, tza'ar ba'alei hayim, tsaar baalei chaim, tsa'ar ba'alei chaim, tzaar baalei chaim, tza'ar ba'alei chaim, tsaar baalei chayim, tsa'ar ba'alei chayim, tzaar baalei chayim, tsa'ar ba'alei hayyim, tsaar baalei hayyim, tsar bale khayim, tsar bale khayim, tsaar baaley chayim, tsa'ar ba'aley chayim, tsa'ar ba'aley khayim, tsaar baaley khayim


  • The term has become popular among Jewish animal advocacy organizations.

    See also tsar.

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