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25

If a non-Jew slaughters an animal, it is not kosher. (Mishna Chullin 1:1 [English on p. 36 of this .PDF], Rambam Shechita 4:11 [English translation], Shuchan Aruch YD 2:1 In fact, I know of no authority who has ever argued on this point.)


20

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. ...


19

Ben Ish Chai identifies two understandings of this aggada: (1) It's literal interpretation in which Rabba actually slaughters R' Zeira, and (2) the "explanation of the kabbalists", in which Rabba and R' Zeira were discussing esoteric secrets of the Torah, and Rabba's soul in some way triumphed over his R' Zeira's, in some sense "unraveling" his soul. (Don't ...


17

There are, of course, a lot of explanations about what happened here and what this story means. Shaloh (Torah Shebichsav, Tetzaveh) states that Rabbah brought R. Zeira to a level of Divine understanding, and with that divestment from his physical body, beyond his capabilities. As for the term "slaughtered" (שחיטה), he compares it to the phrase וישחטם במדבר ...


17

Normative halacha (SA YD 2:1, and Simla Chadasha 2:1) both state unequivocally that the shechita of a non-Jew is forbidden (biblically). See here for why I care so much about the Simla Chadasha. However, the opinion of the Rambam (mentioned in other answers, hilchos shechita in 4:11-12) is that gentile slaughter is only biblically prohibited when that ...


17

There is no description in the Torah (and to the best of my knowledge in the rest of TaNa"KH) as to how to correctly slaughter an animal. In fact, R. Yehuda HaLevi (Kuzari, 3:35) brings this as a proof to the truth of the Oral Law. How can the written Torah demands slaughter without giving any details? It must be that there exists a parallel, oral tradition ...


16

You don't need a special knife for shechitah, though it's recommended. The Simlah Chadasha (18:16) says that, in order to have a fallback option in case one's knife is lost before he could check it after (and didn't check it before), he can rely on the fact that his special knife (that was put away, and is never used for anything else) is probably free from ...


15

To get Kosher meat takes three main steps: choosing the right animal, killing it in the proper way, and removing non-kosher parts from it. (This is all an oversimplification, of course.) Choosing the right animal Kosher land mammals are those who chew their cud and have split hooves. Kosher birds are those that aren't one of the ones listed as not kosher ...


14

No. A kosher animal must be specifically slaughtered and prepared according to Jewish laws in order for its meat to be kosher. These laws are very specific, governing the knife used, the method and stroke of the knife, the method for soaking/salting properly, and checking the innards for defects which would render the animal unkosher. If any of these laws ...


14

No. In theory (see Yore Dea chapters 3, 6, 7), it's possible to kill an animal with a really sharp arrow or thrown knife and render it kosher, but not practically.


14

In America, the custom is as the custom of Europe -- to use the sefer שמלה חדשה, written by Rabbi Alexander Sender Schor (1673-1737), even though on occasion he will disagree with the שלחן ערוך. Rabbi Schor also wrote תבואת שור (an explanation to Simlah Chadasha) and בכור שור, a commentary on Shas. (see מטה אשר [commentary to שמלה חדשה] in 1:4, especially ...


13

This practice is also brought down by Simla Chadasha (11:10); see the מטה אשר there (12) who brings from the פלתי that this practice is from ר' יהודה החסיד and was only a concern then, because in his time there were many who practiced כישוף (magic) on geese, but is now no longer a concern. אין להקפיד ע"ז, כי אז בימי ר"י החסיד היה הזמן גורם, כי רבו אז ...


13

Any Jew, not necessarily a kohen or levi, can slaughter an animal, with few exceptions (Chullin 1:1): הַכֹּל שׁוֹחֲטִין וּשְׁחִיטָתָן כְּשֵׁרָה, חוּץ מֵחֵרֵשׁ, שׁוֹטֶה, וְקָטָן, שֶׁמָּא יְקַלְקְלוּ בִשְׁחִיטָתָן Anyone [may] slaughter - and his slaughter is valid - except for a deaf-mute, a shoteh [a person who exhibits signs demonstrating a lack of ...


12

The lechatchila age minimum, according to Simlah Chadasha (1:30), is 18 years old, because at that point a person is a "בר דעת" and knows how to be careful with things. This minimum can be bypassed if a person is an exceptional ירא שמים, and is considered to be a גדול (adult; see footnote for technical definition). What would happen if a minor* slaughtered? ...


11

Simla Chadasha (the book on shechita) rules (11:1) that one should not shecht in the dark/at night, because he won't be able to look at the simanim, to check whether he did what he needed to do (רוב אחד בעוף רוב שנים בבהמה; most of one "siman" (windpipe/foodpipe) for a bird, most of two "simanim" for an animal). "Dark" is defined as "too dark to see what he'...


11

A few possibilities. Ezra 1:9 מחלפים. Rashi says that מחלפים is knives and it comes from בית החלפות where the knives were kept in the Bais Hamikdash. Even Ezra and Metzudas David in Ezra 1:9 also translate מחלפים as knives. Metzudas David says the word is used for knives at you are changing the animal from life to death. מחליפים את הבהמה מחיים למיתה ...


10

Yes there are many differences. Jews are allowed to eat pieces taken from the animal immediately after shechita is performed, even while the animal is still moving מפרכס (blood must still be removed -- which is harder to do compared to regular meat, because it was taken alive-ish). Shechita kills the animal, even if it is still convulsing. (Simla Chadasha ...


10

By way of background, I am a Karaite Jew (from an actual Karaite family). I run a Karaite Jewish blog (ABlueThread.com); and I actually have an entire article on this topic. See my post here: http://wp.me/p43Sek-sm And here is an explanatory video: http://youtu.be/gARsacJ5oWs?t=2m To Summarize: Karaites require completely cutting of all four signs (two ...


10

The Rambam in Hilchot Schechitah 4:14-15 appears relevant to your case A Jew who is an apostate because of his transgression of a particular transgression who is an expert slaughterer may slaughter as an initial and preferred option. A Jew of acceptable repute must check the knife and afterwards give it to this apostate to slaughter with, for it can ...


9

Midina d'Gemara, shochtim do not need to be certified. In halacha, we may assume like 'rov,' and in shechita, the rule is that 'rov metzuyim etzel shechita,' that most people who claim to know how to slaughter indeed know how to and may be relied upon. See Simlah Chadasha 1:4-5. However, in the times of the Rishonim, there were many fraudsters who took ...


9

See this article in Hebrew for more detail. The overall concept is based on Chulin 37b: (יחזקאל ד) ואומר אהה ה' אלהים הנה נפשי לא מטומאה ונבלה וטרפה לא אכלתי מנעורי ועד עתה ולא בא בפי בשר פגול הנה נפשי לא מטומאה שלא הרהרתי ביום לבא לידי טומאה בלילה ונבלה וטרפה לא אכלתי מנעורי שלא אכלתי בשר כוס כוס מעולם ולא בא בפי בשר פגול שלא אכלתי מבהמה שהורה בה חכם ...


9

This custom couldn't have been popular in times of the Amoraim since it is brought (BT Chullin 9a): ואמר רב יהודה אמר רב תלמיד חכם צריך שילמוד ג' דברים כתב שחיטה ומילה Trans. (Soncino): Rab Judah said in the name of Rab: A scholar must learn three things, viz.: writing, shechitah, and circumcision. R. Yitzchak Lampronti (d. 1756) writes in ...


9

This is a great question, which is debated by two of the great Acharonim. The gemara in Sanhedrin 74b considers that specific details of Jewish law might apply to Bnei Noach when they intersect with their mitzvot, since they are included in the "associated rules" (avizrayhu) of those mitzvot. (The specific example there is not relevant to us.) There are ...


8

There are certain foods likely to be taken from live animals and most others would not be. So for example, I'd trust that most chicken or beef available on the market is not eiver min hachai. But snow crab legs are apparently often taken from live snow crabs. So if the ben noach knows what foods are likely to be problematic, they can avoid those or devote ...


8

In Chullin 27b, the Gemara points out that "animals, which were created from earth, are made kosher via two 'signs' [cutting the windpipe and the esophagus]; fish, which were created from the water, don't need anything to make them kosher; birds, which were created from the mud [containing both earth and water - Rashi], are made kosher via one 'sign.'" ...


8

The Lubavitcher Rebbe (Likkutey Sichos vol. 15 pg. 192 and footnote 12-13 there) asserts that (unlike Eisav who the Gemora calls an apostate Jew), Yishmael did not have the legal status of a Jew. He cites the view of many commentators, that only "in Yitzchok will be called your seed" (Genesis 21:12), whereas Yishmael was not considered the seed of Avraham ...


8

The Mishna (Zevachim 3:1) states: כל הפסולין ששחטו שחיטתן כשרה שהשחיטה כשרה בזרים בנשים ובעבדים ובטמאים אפילו בקדשי קדשים Anyone who is invalid for Temple service who slaughtered [a sacrifice], the slaughter is valid, for slaughtering [sacrifices] is valid even for non-priests, women, slaves and even impure people, even for the holiest of sacrifices. ...


8

I make chalafim for a living. Neither is feasible. Titanium is not a knife metal because it can’t be sharpened. It’s only considered to be strong in relation to its weight. Titanium is very light, so it’s useful for some industrial projects but is very difficult to grind even on professional machines. Should one attempt to sharpen it anyway, they’d find that ...


8

Shulchan Aruch Yoreh De’ah 16:6 writes that as soon as one sells an animal, he may not slaughter its offspring/parent that day, as the sale is done with the intent that the purchaser may slaughter the animal he has bought immediately. שמיד כשמכר לראשון לא היה יכול לשחוט את שנשאר בידו שהלוקח לקח על מנת לשחוט מיד Thus, the first right to slaughter resides ...


7

The Aruch HaShulchan in OH 551:25 writes, after quoting the Ramo in the question: ומובן ממילא דבעיר גדולה שיש בה תמיד כמה חולאים וכמה יולדות, והרבה חלושי הבריאות – לא שייך להצניע הסכין "And it is understood automatically that in a big city where there always many sick people and many women who have given birth and many weak people -- it is not relevant to ...


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