Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
 
Print Version

Email this article to a friend


29. Slaughter - Shechitah

a) Slaughtering

If one wishes to eat the meat of a permitted animal or bird he must first slaughter it, as it says "[If you say `I shall eat meat'...] you shall slaughter from your cattle or sheep... as the deer and gazelle are eaten, so shall you eat it"1; and it says "[If any man...] hunts quarry of animal or bird that may be eaten he shall spill its blood".2 After it has been slaughtered one may not eat from it if it is still quivering, as it says "You shall not eat upon the blood".3 Fish and locusts do not require slaughter, as it says "Could sheep or cattle be slaughtered for them and suffice for them? Could all the fish of the sea be gathered for them and suffice for them?"4; and for locusts it says "As the locust is gathered".5,a It is rabbinically forbidden to slaughter anything in the Temple other than a sacrifice, as it says "If the place that Ha-Shem your G-d shall choose... is far from you, you shall slaughter...".1 It is also forbidden to derive benefit from non-sacrificial meat slaughtered in the Temple.b

Slaughtering consists of cutting the windpipe and gullet (but for a bird, either of them suffices) with a sharp implement. It must be done without pausing; without hiding the implement; by cutting rather than chopping or tearing; and not too high or low on the neck.c When one slaughters a permitted bird or non-domestic animal he must cover up its blood, as it says "If any man... hunts quarry of animal or bird that may be eaten he shall spill its blood and cover it with dust".2,d

b) Terefah

Certain defects, whether arising from injury or disease, make an animal or bird forbidden to eat (terefah).e They include 1) punctures in the brain, heart, lungs, gullet, stomach(s), intestines, or gall bladder f; 2) cuts in the spinal cord or windpipe; a tear in the abdominal wall g; 3) fracture of the skull or large ribs h; 4) removal of the liver, the major tendons in the hind legs, the upper jaw, or the skin i; 5) absence of the hind legs above the lowest joint, or of lobes from the lungs of an animal j; 6) certain defects in the kidneys or spleen of an animal.k Certain events also make an animal or bird terefah: 7) some types of attack by a predator l; 8) a fall or blow as a result of which it is unable to walk normally.m

If a terefah is slaughtered it is still forbidden to eat from it, but its meat is not impure. In some severe cases of injury the animal or bird is regarded as already dead and slaughter has no effect on it.n

c) Mother and Child

It is forbidden to slaughter a permitted animal whose mother or child has been slaughtered on the same day, as it says "Ox or sheep, you may not slaughter it and its child on one day".6,o It is forbidden to take a non-domestic permitted mother bird that is found sitting on eggs or chicks, or to take them while she is sitting on them, as it says "If you happen on a bird's nest... and the mother is sitting on the chicks or on the eggs you shall not take the mother with the children; you shall send away the mother and take the children for yourself".7,p

Sources:

1. Deut. 12:20-22 a. 1:1-3
2. Lev. 17:13 b. 2:1-2
3. Lev. 19:26 c. 1:9,14; 3:2,9,11,12,14
4. Num. 11:22 d. 14:1
5. Isaiah 33:4 e. 5:1-2; see Maachalos Assuros 4:6-9
6. Lev. 22:28 f. 3:20; 6:1
7. Deut. 22:6-7 g. 3:23; 9:1,5
h. 10:1,6
i. 8:16; 9:7
j. 8:1,11; 10:3-4,10
k. 6:19; 8:26; 10:10
l. 5:4ff
m. 9:8-9
n. 3:19; see She'ar Avos ha-Tumos 1:2
o. 12:1, 8,11
p. 13:1,6,8,18



 






ARTICLES ON REEH:

View Complete List

Enjoy the Ride
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5772

Now What?
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5765

Give and Take
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5769

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Prophet-ism
Rabbi Dovid Green - 5757

Total Control
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5760

The "Eye" Generation
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5761

ArtScroll

Signs From Heaven
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5769

Don't Give It Personally
Rabbi Yochanan Zweig - 5772

How Good Is Good Enough?
Shlomo Katz - 5762

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

It Just Isn't So
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5759

At Risk
Rabbi Pinchas Avruch - 5764

The Value of Pricelessness
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5764

> To See or Not to See
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5758

Fall - and get back up!
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5773

Life Choices
Shlomo Katz - 5765

We Are One Person
Rabbi Pinchas Avruch - 5763



Project Genesis

Torah.org Home


Torah Portion

Jewish Law

Ethics

Texts

Learn the Basics

Seasons

Features

TORAHAUDIO

Ask The Rabbi

Knowledge Base




Help

About Us

Contact Us



Free Book on Geulah!




Torah.org Home
Torah.org HomeCapalon.com Copyright Information