tza'ar ba'alei chayim

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


  • pity for living creatures (Steinmetz), or 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" (
  • "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


Hebrew צער בעלי חיים, 'tsa'ar ba'ale chayim' lit. cruelty to animals, (implying something to be avoided).

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


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


The term has become popular among Jewish animal advocacy organizations.

Edit     See something you disagree with? Feel free to edit it. All changes will be moderated.