In Vayikra 11:39 it says:

לט. וְכִי יָמוּת מִן הַבְּהֵמָה אֲשֶׁר הִיא לָכֶם לְאָכְלָה הַנֹּגֵעַ בְּנִבְלָתָהּ יִטְמָא עַד הָעָרֶב:‏

39) If an animal that you [normally] eat, dies, one who touches its carcass shall be unclean until evening.

If a shochet improperly slaughters the animal, does the same thing apply? Is the shochet now Tamai?

This might not apply these days, but if it does make the shochet impure, what would happen if he improperly slaughtered a Korban in the Beis Hamikdash, would he have to leave the Beis Hamikdash until the evening?

Or does the dead animal only impart impurity if it dies on its own, not if it was killed?

2 Answers 2


An improperly slaughtered kosher  animal becomes a nevela. This is apparent from the term which appears several times in the Mishna (e.g. Chulin 6:2) and poskim:

השוחט ונתנבלה בידו (one who slaughters and as a result the animal becomes a nevela)

This ruling can also be deduced from this Mishna (Chulin 2:4) which comes to teach about nevelot and treifot:

כלל אמר רבי ישבב משום רבי יהושע, כל שנפסלה בשחיטתה - נבלה

This tumah is transferred through touch or carrying. The shochet is therefore likely to become tameh, but can remain tahor.

Dealing with a nevela in Beit HaMikdash is probably similar to dealing with a sheretz as described in the last mishna of Masechet Iruvin.

  • I like this answer, but do you know of any source that explicitly says this?
    – Menachem
    Commented Jul 6, 2011 at 6:32
  • Thanks, I think it is sort of an axiom. An animal that dies without shcita is a nevela. The Mishna teaches us how not to create a nevela. Commented Jul 6, 2011 at 7:39

In , Hilchos Shechitah » Chapter 3, Halacha 18, the Rambam writes:

Whenever we have used the term "unacceptable," the animal is a nevelah and if a person partakes of an olive-sized portion of it, he is liable for lashes for partaking of a nevelah. For only an acceptable slaughter as commanded by Moses our teacher of blessed memory prevents an animal from being considered a nevelah as we explained.

In Sefer Taharah » She'ar Avot haTum'ah » Chapter 2, Halacha 1, The Rambam writes:

When a non-kosher domesticated animal or wild animal was slaughtered, it does not impart the impurity of a carcass as long as it is in its death-throes unless its head is cut off. Instead, it is considered as impure food.


Similarly, when a kosher animal is slaughtered in an unacceptable manner and it is still making convulsive movements or one of its signs or the majority of one was slit, it is not considered impure at all until it dies.

Halacha 7 says:

When an animal that was tereifah was slaughtered in a proper manner, even though it is forbidden to be eaten, it is pure.

It would seem that as long as the shochet didn't touch it after it stopped convulsing, he would not become impure. If the shechita itself was proper, and the animal was later found defective, it would not be (or impart) impurity at all.

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