If one has hunted and killed a permissible wild animal with a firearm, like a deer for example, and then performed proper shechita, drained and covered the blood and done proper salting, nikur, etc., is it considered kosher for consumption?

If not, why not?

If one considers the story of Yitzchok, Yaacov and Esav in Bereshit 27:3-4, and also the practice of the descendants of Yishmael, son of Avraham as discussed by Rashi to Chullin 39b, and that all the Avot including Yitzchok kept all the 613 mitzvot even before they were given, like is found in Yoma 28b:

אמר רב קיים אברהם אבינו כל התורה כולה שנאמר (בראשית כו, ה) עקב אשר שמע אברהם בקולי וגו' א"ל רב שימי בר חייא לרב ואימא שבע מצות הא איכא נמי מילה ואימא שבע מצות ומילה א"ל א"כ מצותי ותורותי למה לי אמר (רב) ואיתימא רב אשי קיים אברהם אבינו אפילו עירובי תבשילין שנאמר תורותי אחת תורה שבכתב ואחת תורה שבעל פה

And like Rashi explains to Bereshit 32:5 in connection with Yaacov staying with Lavan, he kept all 613 commandments including these mitzvot.

It is seen that Avraham, Yitzchok and Yaacov kept all the 613 mitzvot and apparently ate meat that had been hunted and killed and that was shechted afterward.

In Bereshit 27:3-4, Yitzchok told Esav to take his quiver of arrows and his bow and to go out to the field and hunt for meat for Yitzchok to eat before he would bless him. And it would have had its throat cut with a proper shechita after Esav shot and killed it.

In the case of the descendants of Yishmael, who follow his practice, meaning the practice that Yishmael learned in his father, Avraham's house, it says in Chullin 39b:

טייעי דאתו לציקוניא יהיב דיכרי לטבחי ישראל אמרו להו דמא ותרבא לדידן משכא ובישרא לדידכו שלחה רב טובי בר רב מתנה לקמיה דרב יוסף כי האי גוונא מאי שלח ליה הכי א"ר יהודה אמר שמואל הלכה כרבי יוסי

Arabs came to the village of Tzikonia and gave rams to the Jewish butcher saying the blood and fat is ours and the skin and meat is yours.

And Rashi explains:

טייעי - ישמעאלים ואינן אוכלין אלא בשר שחוטה ואפילו היא מתה מאליה שוחט אותה לאוכלה וכן דרכן: דיכרי - אילים: דמא ותרבא לדידן - לעבודת כוכבים דמתוך שהיו טרודים בעסקיהן היו נותנין לטבחי ישראל לשחוט ולהפשיט: כרבי יוסי - ומותרין:

These Arabs were Yishmaelim who only eat meat which has had proper shechita even if it has died. In this case, the Yishmaelim told the Jewish butcher that they wanted the blood and fat to offer in their religion and because they were busy in that, they brought the rams to the Jewish butcher to shecht and to skin. The butcher was to keep the skin and meat in payment for his services. The butcher asked Rav Tuvia bar Rav Matana is this was permissible and the reply was yes, it is permissible.

Strictly speaking, an kosher, healthy animal which has been hunted and killed by a Jew does not appear to fit the definitions found in the Mishnah Torah, Laws of Forbidden Food, chapter 4, for nevelah, something which died on its own or treifah, something which a wild animal ripped apart but that hasn't died yet.

Chapter 4:1

הָאוֹכֵל כְּזַיִת מִבְּשַׂר בְּהֵמָה שֶׁמֵּתָה אוֹ חַיָּה שֶׁמֵּתָה אוֹ עוֹף שֶׁמֵּת לוֹקֶה שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (דברים יד כא) "לֹא תֹאכְלוּ כָל נְבֵלָה". וְכָל שֶׁלֹּא נִשְׁחֲטָה כָּרָאוּי הֲרֵי זוֹ מֵתָה. וּבְהִלְכוֹת הַשְּׁחִיטָה יִתְבָּאֵר הַשְּׁחִיטָה שֶׁהִיא כָּרָאוּי וְשֶׁאֵינָהּ כָּרָאוּי:

One who has eaten an olive sized piece from flesh that has died is beaten, like it says in Devarim 14:21, "You will not eat all nevelah." And everything whose throat is not cut properly is a dead animal. And it will be clarified in the laws of Shechita the cutting of the throat which is considered appropriate and that which is not appropriate.

Chapter 4:2

> אֵין אָסוּר מִשּׁוּם נְבֵלָה אֶלָּא מִינִים טְהוֹרִים בִּלְבַד מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהֵן רְאוּיִין לִשְׁחִיטָה וְאִם נִשְׁחֲטוּ שְׁחִיטָה כְּשֵׁרָה יִהְיוּ מֻתָּרִין בַּאֲכִילָה. אֲבָל מִינִין טְמֵאִין שֶׁאֵין שְׁחִיטָה מוֹעֶלֶת בָּהֶן בֵּין שֶׁנִּשְׁחֲטָה כָּרָאוּי בֵּין שֶׁמֵּתָה כְּדַרְכָּהּ בֵּין שֶׁחָתַךְ בָּשָׂר מִן הַחַי מִמֶּנָּה וַאֲכָלוֹ אֵינוֹ לוֹקֶה מִשּׁוּם נְבֵלָה וּטְרֵפָה אֶלָּא מִשּׁוּם אוֹכֵל בְּשַׂר טְמֵאָה:

The prohibition for nevelah only applies to species which are tahor because they are appropriate for shechita (the ritual cutting of their throat including trachea and esophagus); and if their throat is cut with proper shechita, they will be permitted as food.

Chapter 4:6

הָאוֹכֵל כְּזַיִת מִבְּשַׂר בְּהֵמָה אוֹ חַיָּה אוֹ עוֹף טְהוֹרִים שֶׁנִּטְרְפוּ לוֹקֶה שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (שמות כב ל) "וּבָשָׂר בַּשָּׂדֶה טְרֵפָה לֹא תֹאכֵלוּ לַכֶּלֶב תַּשְׁלִכוּן אֹתוֹ". טְרֵפָה הָאֲמוּרָה בַּתּוֹרָה זוֹ שֶׁטָּרְפָה אוֹתָהּ חַיַּת הַיַּעַר כְּגוֹן אֲרִי וְנָמֵר וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּהֶן. וְכֵן עוֹף שֶׁטָּרַף אוֹתוֹ עוֹף הַדּוֹרֵס כְּגוֹן נֵץ וְכַיּוֹצֵא בּוֹ. וְאֵין אַתָּה יָכוֹל לוֹמַר שֶׁטָּרְפָה אוֹתָהּ וְהֵמִיתָה אוֹתָהּ שֶׁאִם מֵתָה הֲרֵי הִיא נְבֵלָה. וּמַה לִּי מֵתָה מֵחֲמַת עַצְמָהּ אוֹ הִכָּה בְּסַיִף וֶהֱמִיתָהּ אוֹ שְׁבָרָהּ אֲרִי וֶהֱמִיתָהּ. הָא אֵינוֹ מְדַבֵּר אֶלָּא בְּשֶׁנִּטְרְפָה וְלֹא מֵתָה:

One who eats an olive sized piece of flesh from those species which are tahor which is treifah (meaning it has had a piece of them torn from their bodies) is beaten, as it says in Shemot 22:30, "And flesh which was torn in the field you will not eat. You will toss it to the dogs." The treifah spoken of in this Torah has had a piece ripped from it by an animal of the forest like a lion or a leopard or something similar to them. And you are not able to say that it ripped a piece of it and that it died. Because if it died, it is nevelah. Thus, it is only speaking about when a piece is torn off and it hasn't died.

It emphasizes that if the throat is not cut properly it is nevelah, meaning a dead animal from the species which are tahor. And if the throat is cut properly, they are permitted for food.


3 Answers 3


You can't get much clearer than Rambam, Hilchot Ma'achalot Assurot 4:6:

שאם מתה הרי היא נבלה ומה לי מתה מחמת עצמה או הכה בסייף והמיתה או שברה ארי והמיתה הא אינו מדבר אלא בשנטרפה ולא מתה:

for if it died, it is a nevelah. What difference does it make if it died naturally, was struck by a sword or died, or was battered by a lion and died? Thus [the term trefe] must refer to an instance when it was mortally wounded, but did not die.

"struck by a sword" is killed (הרג), not died naturally (מות), right? So the bottom line is that any non-shechitah cause of death makes the animal nevelah, and there's no reversing that.

  • The whole beginning of your quote is only excluding something which is dead from the category of treifah. It doesn't teach about the subject of treifah itself. Hilchot Ma'achalot Assurot 4:2 says, "The prohibition for nevelah only applies to species that are 'tahor' because they are fit for shechitah. And if they are shechted with 'proper shechitah', they are kosher and are permitted for food." It doesn't specify when that shechita has to be done, meaning before the Jew kills it or after the Jew kills it, only that it must be done. Commented Aug 22, 2017 at 19:09
  • Shechita means: To cut the throat. It doesn't mean to kill. Commented Aug 22, 2017 at 19:21
  • 2
    @yaacov it's excluding something which is dead from the category of treifah because it is already a nevelah
    – Double AA
    Commented Aug 23, 2017 at 0:56
  • This only underlines the point of my question. The sentence cited here from Forbidden Food 4:6 is only distinguishing between a treifah and neveilah. If a wild animal rips the limb off a Chayah Tahorah and it dies, it isn't called a treifah. It is called a neveilah. It has nothing to do with a chaya tahorah which a Jew kills and shechts. And the comment about a chaya tahorah which "dies from a sword strike", is referring to a sword strike from those people who fall unto the same definition as the other 'wild animals of the forest'. To know who that refers to requires a look at Midrash Rabbah. Commented Aug 28, 2017 at 13:02
  • 1
    You still haven't shown any source for your earlier distinction between whether a Jew or a non-Jew used a sword on it. Nor have you given any explanation for why the Torah says that a nevelah has to be given to a non-Jew to eat, rather than just shechted after the fact. And what about the cases in Rambam, Hil. Shechita 3:19, where an animal is considered nevelah while it's alive (because its hipbone is missing, or its backbone was broken, etc.) "and shechita is not effective on it."
    – Meir
    Commented Aug 31, 2017 at 19:19

No this is not kosher. An animal that is killed without a proper shehitta is considered nevelah as Rambam writes in Hilkhot Maakhalot Assurot (4:1):

האוכל כזית מבשר בהמה שמתה או חיה שמתה או עוף שמת לוקה שנאמר לא תאכלו כל נבלה, וכל שלא נשחטה כראוי הרי זו מתה

He states this there (3:18) as well:

כל מקום שאמרנו בשחיטה פסולה הרי זו נבלה, ואם אכל ממנה כזית לוקה משום אוכל נבלה שאין מוציא מידי נבלה אלא שחיטה כשרה

  • 1
    Seriously?? He says מתה which is the root מ.ו.ת. The OP is asking about ה.ר.ג. killed. The Rambam is famously careful about the difference between these! See the OP's comments elsewhere judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/59394/…
    – Double AA
    Commented Aug 22, 2017 at 17:01

You have stated that the animal was killed by hunting. Trafe and Neveila explains the definition

Neveila is an animal that was not slaughtered in accordance with Jewish law.

Thus as long as it is not a kosher sh'chita (including cutting the trachea and esophagus a fraction too little), it is considered neveila. Cutting the trachea and esophagus after it has died for any reason has accomplished nothing.

Rambam Ma'achalot Assurot - 4:1

A person who partakes of an olive-sized portion of a domesticated animal, wild beast, or fowl which dies is liable for lashes, as [Deuteronomy 14:21] states: "Do not partake of any nevelah."1 All animals that were not slaughtered in the appropriate manner are considered as if they died. In the Laws of Shechitah, we will explain which types of slaughter are appropriate and which are not.


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