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According to Halacha, Jews and non-Jews alike are prohibited from eating the limb of a living animal as one the noahide laws, known as Ever Min Hachai. My question is, is there no prohibition of Ever Min Hachai for a Ben Pekuah, as it is considered an organ of the slaughtered animal. Noahides don’t have the rules of shechita so I don’t know if this would be a loophole for them.

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  • A Ben pikua is considered slaughtered. Miderabonon you have to slaughter it. So technically, eiver min hachai cannot exist in the realms of a Ben pikua.
    – Moishe
    Feb 20 at 22:21
  • I'm sorry, but I find the question's premise offensive. Personally, I would not consider such a thing permitted. It is not organ meat. But I wouldn't knowingly slaughter a pregnant animal. If I err, I would err toward the stricter interpretation and follow Leviticus 22:28 "And whether it be cattle or sheep, ye shall not slaughter it and its young both in one day." Noahides don't look for loopholes to exploit. We would slaughter another animal.
    – user34203
    Feb 20 at 23:10
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    @PaulWalker many of these questions are theoretical and exist to further our understanding of the law. No one is suggesting really eating the limb of a living animal - although this one does have surprising applications, e.g., to grow artificial meat, you might need some starter cells and some consider picking those off a living animal to be tearing off a limb. Maybe a non-Jew could do this off a ben pekuah (by e.g., scraping his leg)
    – mbloch
    Feb 21 at 4:21
  • @mbloch Thank you for the clarification
    – user34203
    Feb 21 at 22:56

2 Answers 2

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The Simla Chadasha (13:2) says that while there is no prohibition of Ever Min Hachai of a Ben Pekuah, there is still a problem of "Bal Tishaktsu". There is a disagreement among the Poskim of whether it is a Biblical or Rabbinical prohibition (check out Tevuot Shor 13:2 for an in depth analysis of the different opinions).

Since it is a problem of Bal Tishaksu, technically, washing off the limb before eating is should be enough to remove the prohibition. However, there is another prohibition of "Lo Tochlu al Hadam" which (among other things) is a prohibition of eating from a slaughtered animal before it is fully dead.

As such, the Simla Chadasha says that one should wait until it is dead before eating the limb that was cut off while the animal was still alive.


I would think that since the Noahides don't have a commandment to shecht, it would make things worse for them. They are not able to eat an animal as long as it is still alive, so for them, there is no such thing as a Ben Pekuah, because killing the mother does nothing for the child in the womb.

However, see Simla Chadasha 27:2, which might apply here also.

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This is a machlokes between the Mishneh Lamelech and the Pri Megadim. According to the Mishneh Lamelech (in his Parshas Derachim), the status of ben pakua for a ben noach is the same as b'nei mei'ayim, about which the Gemara applies the rule of מי איכא מידי (Chullin 33a) - since the shechita permits it for a Jew, it is permitted for a ben noach as well. The Pri Megadim, on the other hand, maintains that this rule doesn't apply to a ben pakua which is fully alive, even though the shechita of the mother permits it for a Jew. See here.

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  • Don't we say the opposite they since there's nothing that is not permitted for a non Jew and is permitted for a Jew therefore they don't permit it for a Jew either
    – Moishe
    Feb 21 at 3:46
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    Re: your comment about permissible for a Jew then permissible for a Noahide...An animal must be fully dead before anything is is removed from the carcass. For a Jew, it is enough that the signs of life were cut. They can cut up the carcass even before the animal is actually dead and that's permissible for a Jew. For a Noahide, this is forbidden. One of the few times where laws for Noahides are stricter than for Jews.
    – user34203
    Feb 21 at 3:51
  • @PaulWalker that is one opinion in the Gemara but not the halacha
    – wfb
    Feb 22 at 21:06
  • @wfb judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/38217/…
    – user34203
    Feb 23 at 21:28
  • @wfb Genesis 9:4 "Only flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat." I do appreciate having different interpretations and opinions. But if that's what the Torah says, I wouldn't be eating it.
    – user34203
    Feb 23 at 21:40

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