The Rambam says that the Shchita of a Mumar for one aveira is Kosher, just that there needs to be a Shochet who will check his knife before he shechts (as one can assume that he won't work too hard to make the knife clean). The only debate in the Gemara is if a Mumar Lechol hatorah kula's shechita is kosher.

So why are many people so careful about the Yiras Shamayim of the Shochet? I know people who will only eat Chassidisher Shchita, some will only eat meat that was shechted by Shochtim from their Chassidus, some will not eat meat outside their house (while they will eat other products), etc. These are people that will eat national hashgachos for most items.

These people can't consider non-Chassidim to be like a mumar lechol Hatorah as if they were, they couldn't rely on their Hashgachos at all (and wouldn't be able to eat anything with an O-U, etc.)


I am looking for sources (such as, Shulchan Aruch demands ..., Simla Chadasha demands etc.)

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    Are you sure the distinctions of the various chassiduts' shechita productions are only based on their views on their adherents' special fear of Heaven? Wouldn't some of them subscribe to different technical stringencies than others?
    – Isaac Moses
    Commented Mar 15, 2012 at 18:29
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    The Rambam wasn't a chossid ;)
    – yitznewton
    Commented Mar 15, 2012 at 19:33
  • @IsaacMoses or even other more personal reasons, with little to do with actual kashrut... Politics, etc. "I don't want to give him my business!"
    – AviD
    Commented Mar 18, 2012 at 10:15
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    @AviD Those people wouldn't eat anything of the other parties hechsher. Yet, there are many people who eat other's bread, oil, wine, and not meat. Commented Mar 18, 2012 at 17:29
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    @HahuGavra I am asking why people only eat Chassidishe Shchita. The reason I heard is because a Shochet has to have more Yiras Shamayim (and Chassidim have more Yiras Shamayim). I am not asking if that is right (whether only chassidim have Yiras Shamayim) but even leshitoseihem (that they are more Yorei Shamayim), why be extra makpid on Shechita when the Rambam (and the Shulchan Aruch/Rama) said that even a Mumar Ledavar Echad is kosher. In other words, it's a Kal Vachomer. If a mumar's Shechita is kosher, all the more so one of a normal "not-chassidic" Jew. Commented Mar 19, 2012 at 20:31

5 Answers 5


My rebbi in הלכות שחיטה told me that chassidishe שחיטה used to mean that the שוחט had special intent to release the גלגול in the animal and/or to release the inherent spark נצוצות that are in every thing, but eventually that knowledge got lost even to the חסידים (as far as most people know), and now it is only a remembrance to that earlier time.

  • Hi Shokhet, welcome to Mi Yodeya! You've chosen an interesting way to transliterate the ח in שוחט. Take a look at our 31 other questions tagged slaughter-shochet-shecht which you might find interesting. Hope to see you around :)
    – Double AA
    Commented Apr 28, 2014 at 0:52
  • @DoubleAA Thanks, I think I will. Shokhet is also a last name, though not mine...I thought it would stand out! See you around ;)
    – MTL
    Commented Apr 28, 2014 at 15:16

The technicalities of shechitah create a very fine line between a kosher shechitah and one that results in neveila meat. For example, applying too much downward pressure on the knife, or pausing during the procedure, can totally invalidate the shechitah. It is basically the shochet's call as to whether the necessary parameters were fulfilled. However, the shochet obviously has a bias to pronounce his work kosher, especially in large commercial productions where a high failure rate could cost him his job. It requires a certain amount of Yiras Shamayim on the shochet's part to make an honest assessment of his shechitah. Hence the focus on a shochet's affiliation, which makes people more comfortable about his probable level of Yiras Shomayim. (Whether this is justified or not is a separate issue.) Additionally, as mentioned by Issac Moses, customs vary (sometimes in a significant ways) from community to community.

  • In addition to all said above is the Historical Perspective. When Chassidic communities left the shtetel and lives close together with other groups in NYC and Israel, the choice of supporting the Parnasah of their members versus another qualified individual stood. In regards to Chabad specifically, the Shochetim and Bodkim are required to learn Chassidus prior to working.
    – user1292
    Commented Mar 15, 2012 at 18:55
  • @mochinrechavim That's the question, why aren't normal Mashgichim required to learn Chassidus? Commented Mar 15, 2012 at 19:02
  • So how did Yehoshafat eat Achav's food? (one can assume that Achav wasn't too Chassidish) Commented Mar 15, 2012 at 19:03
  • Moreover, why isn't the Rambam/Mishna/Gemara/and AFAIK Shulchan Aruch choshesh for this possibility? Commented Mar 15, 2012 at 19:14
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    @mochinrechavim My question is that the Rambam says that a Shochet has the same requirements as a mashgiach (except when sharpening the knife). So why will Lubavitchers eat food which was supervised by people who don't learn Chassidus while they won't eat the meat shechted by a shochet who doesn't learn Chassidus? Commented Mar 15, 2012 at 19:21

While I'm late to this discussion, I'd like to straighten out and clarify the issues involved. There are a number of matters here:

1) Yiras Shamayim. This requirement in a shochet predates chasidism by a long time, and is quite mainstream. Here is a quote from Shulchan Aruch (YD 18:17):

טבח שלא הראה סכינו לחכם (ונמצאת יפה), היו מנדין אותו. ואם נמצאת פגומה, מנדין אותו ומעבירין אותו. ובנמצאת יפה, יכול החכם למחול ואין צריך לנדותו. והאידנא נהגו למנות אנשים ידועים על השחיטה והבדיקה, ולהם מחלו חכמים כבודם, כי הם זהירים וזריזים, והרבה צריך ישוב הדעת ויראת שמים לבדיקת הסכין, הלא תראה כי יבדוק אדם פעמים שלש ולא ירגיש בפגימה דקה ואחר כך ימצאנה כי הכין לבו באחרונה, ובחינת חוש המישוש כפי כוונת הלב.

See also here.

2) So-called chasidic shechita. This originally was a question of forged vs. molten steel. Rabbis in the new chasidic community maintained that forged steel was unfit and that molten steel was superior, while mitnagdim and their Rabbis took great offense at the suggestion. Thus, chasidim had to rely on known chasidic shochtim if they wanted to adhere to the chasidic standard. This detail is no longer relevant as this standard has long become mainstream. See here for a historic overview.

3) Avoiding non-chasidic shechita. Interestingly, the baal ha'Tanya, probably the first authority to go on record and advocate extensively for the so-called chasidic knives, categorically asserts that it would be unthinkable to invalidate 'traditional' shechita on this basis (see previous link):

אם לפעמים מסובים בסעודת מצוה עם אנשי עירם, חלילה לפרוש מהם להחזיקם כאוכלי נבלות ח"ו, הס מלהזכיר, ומעודי לא נזהרתי מהכלים אף מבני יומן.‏


מ"ש כבוד תורתם שנאמר להם בשמי על שחיטה שלהם שאינה בכשרות ח"ו, חלילה חלילה לי להוציא דבה על עם ה' רבבות אלפי ישראל, ונאמן עלי אבא שבשמים, וגם יעידו עלי כל המקורבים אלי, כי אינני נזהר מעולם מכלים אפילו הם בני יומן.‏

Of course, note the emphasis in the first letter on the 'occasional'.

4) Sticking to one's community. I imagine the issue here is not specifically a chasidic one at all. To oversimplify: communities used to be defined by geography. Jews living in X were X, those living in Y were Y. Every city had its demographics, its Rabbinate, and its shechita. With the advent of chasidism certain cities may have split in half, but the geographic boundaries persisted. This meant that a given city's shechita (or shechitos) belonged to, and was controlled by, solely itself/ves. If someone from 'out of town' would attempt to encroach on any community's shechita, he would be deemed an interloper, a מסיג גבול, and be excommunicated and run out of town. Today, many Jews, especially chasidim, still define themselves by European geography, and organize their communities in similar fashion. Thus, sticking to one's own community's shechita is more of an expression of a protective, exclusionary sentiment than a purely religious concern about kashrut.

ADDITION: 5) Difference between shechita and ordinary hashgacha. Here are my thoughts: a) The notion of Chasidic/community kashrus originated in Europe when the only kashrus job was shechita; applying the yiras shamayim/community argument here should necessitate similar standards for hashgacha, but perhaps this is an example of the original logic being abandoned and forgotten when the reality changes. b1) In terms of yiras shamayim, Shechita is the only instance where the act itself establishes the kashrus, whereas one could argue that all other areas of hashgacha are more about ensuring the lack of something unkosher occurring; those spiritually inclined could therefore argue that the impact of the shochet on the souls of those eating his food is profound to a much greater degree than anyone else involved in food production. b2) The laws arising every day in the slaughterhouse are more complex and costly than those typically arising in other areas of food production. b3) There may be certain chumros unique to shechita unique to each community as opposed to other areas of kashrus. c) Chasidic communities large enough to maintain their own shechita usually operate their own hechsher as well, and thus it’s possible that these communities do in fact tend to rely on their own kashrus where essential foodstuffs are concerned. d) Operating purely based on the ‘community’ explanation, one could argue that the same right that grants each community the power to preserve the strength of its shechita, allows for the relaxation of that power should they so desire it; thus, these communities apparently decided to maintain their grasp on shechita but willfully chose to allow for other kashrus powers to overlap with theirs where practically necessitated.


my father opened up a butcher store on 13th avenue in boro park called glatt pack in 1971. He chose the ou meat from the cross brothers slaugterhouse in pa. the ou supplied the shochtim and they supplied ou glatt as well as not glatt. They had no pressure to call an animal glatt. In response to this the term chassidah shecita was popularized.

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    – mbloch
    Commented May 20, 2018 at 17:53

Chasidic shechita is based on the sharpness of the knife.

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    Not anymore - judaism.stackexchange.com/q/6732/1268 Commented Mar 15, 2012 at 18:55
  • @AmHaaretzGamurMideoraysa so everybody does shechita according to the Chasidish standard today? Interesting.
    – yoel
    Commented Mar 15, 2012 at 18:58
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    This answer does not deserve negative voting. While todays standards of shechita have embraced stainless steel blades, it is a Chassidic Invention that resulting in an excommunication being issued by the Misnagdim.
    – user1292
    Commented Mar 15, 2012 at 19:02
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    @mochinrechavim I strongly suspect that this initial difference is the basis for requiring Chasidishe shechita today, even if it's no longer applicable. I could improve my answer if I could find a source or basis for this suspicion.
    – yoel
    Commented Mar 15, 2012 at 19:06
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    @yoel You're saying that we wouldn't abandon a custom of not eating at someone's house because he isn't frum even after he becomes frum?!?
    – Double AA
    Commented Jul 25, 2013 at 23:24

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