Leviticus 17:13 teaches us about the mitzvah of kisui hadam (covering of the blood) after an animal undergoes shechitah:

וְאִ֨ישׁ אִ֜ישׁ מִבְּנֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֗ל וּמִן־הַגֵּר֙ הַגָּ֣ר בְּתוֹכָ֔ם אֲשֶׁ֨ר יָצ֜וּד צֵ֥יד חַיָּ֛ה אוֹ־ע֖וֹף אֲשֶׁ֣ר יֵאָכֵ֑ל וְשָׁפַךְ֙ אֶת־דָּמ֔וֹ וְכִסָּ֖הוּ בֶּעָפָֽר׃

And if any Israelite or any stranger who resides among them hunts down an animal or a bird that may be eaten, he shall pour out its blood and cover it with earth.

However this mitzvah ONLY applies to birds & wild animals (see Sefer HaMitzvot Mitzvah #147).

Why doesn't kisui hadam also apply to domesticated animals?

2 Answers 2


According to the "Klei Yakar" (Vayikra 17-13):

The main reason for the Mitzvah of "Kisui Ha'Dam" is to make a distinction that one should not come to eat blood - "Dam Ha'Nefesh" (violating the prohibition of eating blood). but for Beheimot there is no such need, because they are sacrificed on the Mizbeach, and that's already a sign (and a reminder) that the blood is coming from the Nefesh (- the Nefesh of the sacrifice is a Kaparah for the human's Nefesh).

  • Shaye Ulman, welcome to Mi Yodeya, and thanks for this answer! I hope you'll stick around and keep answering and asking.
    – Isaac Moses
    Commented May 30, 2019 at 23:46

The Chinuch explains that the blood domestic animals is offered on the altar so cannot be covered, and God didn't trouble us to distinguish in this way between animals offered on the altar and animals slaughtered privately. Yes, birds are also offered on the altar, but very few, so we cover their blood and wild animals'.

  • Don't kill the messenger.
    – msh210
    Commented May 30, 2019 at 21:07

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