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Author:  David Barry Adlerson
E-mail:  not available
Date:  5/13/2003 11:07:00 AM
Subject:  Seeing Eye Dog
Message:  Rabbi Abadi,

One of the members of our congregation recently returned to shul after a long illness in which he lost the use of his eyes.

He is now unfortunately blind and gets around with the help of a seeing eye dog ( a magnificent creature in its own right).

On his return to shul last shabbat he was given the honor of an aliya. However, when he approached the bima with his dog, the rabbi montioned the gabbai not to allow the dog on the bima. The gabbai helped the member up the bima stairs and the dog remained at the bottom of the bima. The member was clearly very upset and shaken by these events.

Later the rabbi told the congregation that it was not kovod hatorah for a dog to be on the bima. Normally I would agree, but under the circumstances Rabbi Abadi, what do you think?

Regards and keep up the good work.
Reply:  A seeing eye dog should not be brought into the synagogue itself. It is not necessary. Members of the congregation should help that man to his seat. There are many obvious reasons for this. It is not an insult to the dog nor to its master. People should cut out the excess sensitivities.

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