According to this answer in the question "What is kosher meat?" it is said that a Jew has to slaughter an animal in order for its meat to become kosher:

This is done by Jews who are experts trained in the specifics of the laws of slaughtering, known as Shochtim. A short blessing is recited prior to killing the animal as before all Mitzvot, but it is not an essential part of the process.

What is this claim based on? Is there a verse somewhere where it says that one of the conditions is that you have to be a Jew in order for the meat to become kosher when the animal is slaughtered?

Let's assume that the one slaughtering it is fulfilling all conditions that are needed for the meat to be kosher, except he is not a Jew.

Please add references in your answer. If you do add any materials which aren't in English, please consider translating them to English.

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    There is an amusing story in Rabbi Emanuel Feldman's book, "Tales Out of Shul," in which he recalls that shortly after he came to Atlanta, one of the older non-Jewish workers at the kosher butcher, was retiring. The worker expressed his appreciation and said that one of his jobs had been to deliver live chickens to a shochet and bring back the slaughtered animals to the butcher shop. To the horror of the butcher, the shcochet and Rabbi Feldman, the goy advised his replacement to watch the shochet carefully. Sometimes the shcochet wasn't there and he had to kill the chickens himself. Commented Mar 29, 2017 at 13:57
  • See also judaism.stackexchange.com/q/26688/5323. It's not a duplicate question, but the answers are very relevant (although I probably need to dejargonify mine a little. That was one of my earliest posts.)
    – MTL
    Commented Mar 29, 2017 at 14:49
  • @Shokhet Thanks, I've read it already! That answer doesn't answer my question rather it says; "If a non-Jew slaughters an animal, it is not kosher." And my question is more asking Why is that? ( in a more fundamental level)
    – Kilise
    Commented Mar 29, 2017 at 14:51
  • 1
    Yes, I see that. I thought that you (and others looking at your question for information) might be interested in seeing that other post.
    – MTL
    Commented Mar 29, 2017 at 14:55

1 Answer 1


It is explained in the gemara that if a nonJew slaughters an animal, it is as if the animal died by itself. This is because the non-Jew is not subject to the commandments, which include ritual slaughter. The Rambam explicitly states that even if the non-Jew slaughters under the supervision of a Jew using all the correct methods, it is still invalid.

Masechet Chullin 13a

The Mishnah on today’s daf teaches that if a non-Jew performs shechita – ritual slaughter – on an animal it is not kosher.

Rabbi Hiyya the son of Rabbi Aba quotes Rabbi Yochanan as teaching that the Mishnah should be understood as forbidding eating the meat of an animal slaughtered by a non-Jew, but permitting its use for other purposes, inasmuch as we do not assume that the non-Jew had intentions to slaughter the animal for purposes of idolatry.

The reason is explained in Art Scroll Chulin, volume I, 13a3 Note 32 to the Mishnah at the bottom of the page, citing Tosfos, Rambam (Maimonides) Hilchos Shechitah 4:11 and Rashi. It is based on the Torah verse Deuteronymy 12:21 that the you reference means only someone subject to the commandments can slaughter.

Update Art Scroll gemara Chulin 13a3 Note 32:

The mishnah teaches that if an animal is slaughtered by a gentile, the meat is neveilah, even if the slaughtering was supervised and adhered fully to halachic procedure (Rashi)

A gentile's act of slaughter is not valid because the Torah states Deuteronymy 12:21 ... And you shall slaughter ... and you shall eat, which indicates that what you may eat is slaughtered by you - i.e. a Jew who is subject to the laws of eating meat only from a slaughtered animal (Tosafos to 3b קסבר) Rambam Hilchos Shechitah 4:11 advances a different scriptural source for the disqualification of a non-Jew's act of slaughter, but that source is challenged by the Rosh Par. 5

Deuteronymy 12:21

כִּי יִרְחַק מִמְּךָ הַמָּקוֹם אֲשֶׁר יִבְחַר יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ לָשׂוּם שְׁמוֹ שָׁם וְזָבַחְתָּ מִבְּקָרְךָ וּמִצֹּאנְךָ אֲשֶׁר נָתַן יְהֹוָה לְךָ כַּאֲשֶׁר צִוִּיתִךָ וְאָכַלְתָּ בִּשְׁעָרֶיךָ בְּכֹל אַוַּת נַפְשֶׁךָ:

If the place the Lord, your God, chooses to put His Name there, will be distant from you, you may slaughter of your cattle and of your sheep, which the Lord has given you, as I have commanded you, and you may eat in your cities, according to every desire of your soul.


you may slaughter… as I have commanded you: We learn [from here] that there is a commandment regarding slaughtering, how one must slaughter. [Since this commandment is not written in the Torah we deduce that] these are the laws of ritual slaughtering given orally to Moses on [Mount] Sinai. — [Sifrei ; Chul. 28a]

Rambam Hilchos Shechitah 4:11

11 When a gentile slaughters, even though he slaughters in the presence of a Jew, [using] a finely [honed] knife,23 and even if he was a minor,24 his slaughter is a nevelah. According to Scriptural Law, one is liable for lashes for partaking of it,25 as [implied by Exodus 34:15]: "[Lest] he shall call you and you shall partake of his slaughter." Since the Torah warns lest one partake of his slaughter, you can infer that his slaughter is forbidden. He cannot be compared to a Jew who does not know the laws of ritual slaughter

12 [Our Sages] established a great safeguard concerning this matter, [decreeing] that even [an animal] slaughtered by a gentile who does not serve false deities26 is a nevelah.27

Shmos 34:15

פֶּן תִּכְרֹת בְּרִית לְיוֹשֵׁב הָאָרֶץ וְזָנוּ | אַחֲרֵי אֱלֹהֵיהֶם וְזָבְחוּ לֵאלֹהֵיהֶם וְקָרָא לְךָ וְאָכַלְתָּ מִזִּבְחוֹ:

Lest you form a covenant with the inhabitant[s] of the land, and they [the gentiles] go astray after their gods, and they offer sacrifices to their gods, and they invite you, and you eat of their slaughtering,

  • Thanks for your answer, I just edited my question to make it more clear, maybe it does have a affect on your answer: "Lets assume that the one slaughtering it is using fulfilling all conditions which is needed for the meat to be kosher, except he isn't a Jew."
    – Kilise
    Commented Mar 29, 2017 at 12:12
  • @Kilise Note the Rambam (Maimonides) citation as well as the statement of the mishnah. The Rambam states that even if he has done so using the correct knife (which implies the correct method) it is still not kosher (even under the direct supervision of a Jew). Commented Mar 29, 2017 at 12:35
  • Correct me if I am wrong, the condition is taken from the verse in Deuteronomy 12:21 where it says: "If the place the Lord, your God, chooses to put His Name there, will be distant from you, you may slaughter of your cattle and of your sheep, which the Lord has given you, as I have commanded you,..." i.e the wording "you may slaughter" is then interpreted as YOU (of the Jewish fate) may slaughter (and only you)? Therefore conclusions has been drawn form that verse that only Jews may slaughter for the meat to be kosher?
    – Kilise
    Commented Mar 29, 2017 at 12:41
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    May I ask if the word "you" is in singular or plural?
    – Kilise
    Commented Mar 29, 2017 at 14:30
  • 4
    @Kilise The verse uses the singular second person suffix to each of the verbs shown by you in the translation. Commented Mar 29, 2017 at 14:40

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