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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 ...


18

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. 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.


13

As far as I know, the above answer is correct. A neveilah conveys ritual impurity, while a treifa does not; as per the gemura in Niddah on 42b (about 3/4 of the way down the daf), which makes a drasha from the pasuk in Vayikra 22:8.


13

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 ...


13

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

As I understand it, it wasn't actually stainless steel vs. something else (stainless steel hadn't yet been invented, anyway). It's more an issue of the shape of the blade in cross-section: the "old-style" knife was the same thickness top to bottom (and then the edge of this was sharpened, so in profile it would be trapezoidal); the "new" one (called סכין ...


11

First siman in Yoreh Deah 1:1- They are kasher to shecht. The Rema quotes the Bais Yosef/Agur that we don't allow them lechatechila since we see the minhag is not to shecht. (There is discussion on why the fact that women don't shecht creates a minhag for them not to.)


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

The first Tosafot in chulin entertains the idea. The Rosh permits it. Eldad HaDani, a big forger basically prohibits it, but some Rishonim thought he was for real. More information can be found in this class by Rabbi Maybruch. Rav Soloveitchik said that the only reason that we never saw women shochtot is because it used to be a position of communal ...


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

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

Strictly speaking, there is no upper age limit, though some have the custom to impose an across-the-board limit of age 70 (perhaps to kindly retire certain aged shochtim who won't admit to their waning stamina, and who cannot be forced out due to political considerations). On the Nirbater Rav's list of policies for the Meal Mart company under his hashgacha, ...


9

A drunk person should not slaughter, but if he did anyhow, as long as the technique was proper, the slaughter would still be good. In fact, even if he was so completely drunk as to be not cognizant of his actions ("as drunk as Lot") and he'd have the same halachic status as someone insane; the halacha is if someone insane did slaughter, and used the proper ...


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

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 ...


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

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 ...


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