This question is not about the anatomical validity of the claim (I got tired)!

The Shu"A Yo"D 40:1 rules (based probably on the Gm in Hulin 45b and Rashb"a):

"הַלֵּב יֵשׁ לוֹ ג' חֲלָלִים" - there are 3 cavities of the heart (checking for Treyfah).

  1. Are there any scriptural sources for that?

  2. Can this be linked to the assertion that the heart is the dwelling of emotions (see "heart-labeled-the-seat-of-emotion"? If yes, how?

  • 1
    MY's question policy precludes "open-ended, hypothetical questions: “What if ______ happened?”" For my money, your second question falls in that category: there's absolutely no reason to think that there's a connection here, and any answers on the subject would be totally speculative. Aug 30, 2018 at 15:14

1 Answer 1


I would be very surprised if there was a scriptural source because it contradicts a Rambam (Hilchot Schechita 6:5) who speaks of two cavities

When there is a perforation of the heart to its inner cavity - whether to the larger cavity on the left or the smaller cavity to the right - [the animal] is trefe.

artscroll writes there is no contradiction as these descriptions merely represent different ways of viewing and referring to the various structures of the heart, but if there was a clear source we wouldn't be seeing this apparent contradiction.

  • Okay, now I’m curious. How can the Rambam and Shu”A argue on the anatomy of a heart? Either that third chamber is there or it isn’t.
    – DonielF
    Aug 30, 2018 at 14:53

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