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Rambam - 3 Chapters a Day

Ma'achalot Assurot - Chapter 2, Ma'achalot Assurot - Chapter 3, Ma'achalot Assurot - Chapter 4

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Ma'achalot Assurot - Chapter 2

1

Since it is written [Deuteronomy 14:6]: "Any animal that has split hooves, [whose foot] is divided into two hoofs and chews the cud, [this may you eat],"1one may derive that any animal that does not chew its cud and have split hoofs is forbidden. A negative commandment that comes as a result of a positive commandment is considered as a positive commandment.2

With regard to the camel, the pig, the rabbit, and the hare, [Leviticus 11:4]3states: "These you may not eat from those which chew the cud and have split hoofs." From this, you see that they are forbidden by a negative commandment, even though they possess one sign of kashrut. Certainly, this applies to other non-kosher domesticated animals and wild beasts that do not have any signs of kashrut.4 The prohibition against eating them involves a negative commandment in addition to the positive commandment that is derived from "This may you eat."

א

מכלל שנאמר וכל בהמה מפרסת פרסה ושוסעת שסע שתי פרסות מעלת גרה שומע אני שכל שאינה מעלת גרה ומפרסת פרסה אסורה ולאו הבא מכלל עשה עשה הוא ובגמל ובחזיר ובארנבת ובשפן נאמר את זה לא תאכלו ממעלי הגרה וממפריסי הפרסה וגו' הרי למדת שהן בלא תעשה ואף על פי שיש בהן סימן אחד וכל שכן שאר בהמה טמאה וחיה טמאה שאין בה סימן כלל שאיסור אכילתם בלא תעשה יתר על עשה הבא מכלל אותה תאכלו:

2

Therefore anyone who eats an olive sized portion5 of the meat of a non-kosher domesticated animal or wild beasts is liable for lashes according to Scriptural Law. This applies whether he partook of the meat or the fat. For the Torah did not distinguish between the meat and fat of non-kosher animals.6

ב

לפיכך כל האוכל מבשר בהמה וחיה טמאה כזית לוקה מן התורה בין שאכל מן הבשר בין שאכל מן החלב לא חלק הכתוב בטמאים בין בשרם לחלבם:

3

With regard to humans: Although [Genesis 2:7] states: "And the man became a beast with a soul," he is not included in the category of hoofed animals. Therefore, he is not included in the [above] prohibition.7 Accordingly, one who partakes of meat or fat from a man - whether alive or deceased - is not liable for lashes. It is, however, forbidden [to partake of human meat] because of the positive commandment [mentioned above].8 For the Torah [Leviticus 11:2] lists the seven species of kosher wild beasts and says: "These are the beasts of which you may partake." Implied is that any other than they may not be eaten. And a negative commandment that comes as a result of a positive commandment is considered as a positive commandment.

ג

האדם אע"פ שנאמר בו ויהי האדם לנפש חיה אינו מכלל מיני חיה בעלת פרסה לפיכך אינו בלא תעשה והאוכל מבשר האדם או מחלבו בין מן החי בין מן המת אינו לוקה אבל אסור הוא בעשה שהרי מנה הכתוב שבעת מיני חיה ואמר בהן זאת החיה אשר תאכלו הא כל שהוא חוץ מהן לא תאכלו ולאו הבא מכלל עשה עשה:

4

When one partakes of an olive-sized portion of a non-kosher fowl, he is liable for lashes according to Scriptural Law, as [Leviticus 11:13] states: "These shall you detest from the fowl. You shall not partake of them." And he violates a positive commandment, as [Deuteronomy 14:11] states: "You may partake of all kosher fowl." Implied is that the non-kosher may not be eaten.

Anyone who partakes of an olive-sized portion of a non-kosher fish is liable for lashes according to Scriptural Law, as [Leviticus 11:11] states: "They shall be detestable for you. Do not partake of their meat." And he violates a positive commandment, as [Deuteronomy 14:9] states: "All that possess fins and scales, you may eat." Implied is that those that do not possess fins and scales may not be eaten. We thus learn that anyone who partakes of a non-kosher fish, domesticated animal, wild beast, or fowl nullified a positive commandment and violated a negative commandment.9

ד

האוכל כזית מבשר עוף טמא לוקה מן התורה שנאמר ואת אלה תשקצו מן העוף לא יאכלו והרי עבר על עשה שנאמר כל צפור טהורה תאכלו הא טמאה לא תאכלו וכן האוכל כזית מדג טמא לוקה שנאמר ושקץ יהיו לכם מבשרם לא תאכלו ועבר על עשה שנאמר כל אשר לו סנפיר וקשקשת תאכלו מכלל שמי שאין לו סנפיר וקשקשת לא יאכל הא למדת שכל האוכל דג טמא או בהמה וחיה טמאה או עוף טמא בטל מצות עשה ועבר על לא תעשה:

5

A non-kosher locust is included among [the category of] flying teeming animals.10 One who partakes of an olive-sized portion11 of flying teeming animals is liable for lashes according to Scriptural Law, as [Deuteronomy 14:19] states: "All flying teeming animals are non-kosher for you. They may not be eaten."12

What is meant by a flying teeming animal? For example, a fly, a mosquito, a hornet, a bee, or the like.

ה

חגב טמא הרי הוא בכלל שרץ העוף והאוכל כזית משרץ העוף לוקה שנאמר כל שרץ העוף טמא הוא לכם לא יאכלו ואי זהו שרץ העוף כגון זבוב או יתוש וצרעה ודבורה וכיוצא בהן:

6

When one partakes of an olive-sized portion of a teeming animal of the land, he is liable for lashes, as [Leviticus 11:41] states: "Any teeming animal that swarms on the ground is detestable to you. It should not be eaten."13

What is meant by a teeming animal of the land? Snakes, scorpions, beetles, centipedes, and the like.

ו

האוכל כזית משרץ הארץ לוקה שנאמר וכל השרץ השורץ על הארץ שקץ הוא לא יאכל ואי זהו שרץ הארץ כגון נחשים ועקרבים וחפשית ונדל וכיוצא בהן:

7

The eight teeming animals that are mentioned in the Torah14 are: the weasel, the mouse, the ferret, the hedgehog, the chameleon, the lizard, the snail, and the mole. A person who eats a lentil-sized portion of their meat is liable for lashes. The minimum measure that one is prohibited to partake of their meat is the same as the minimum measure that conveys ritual impurity. They all may be combined together to reach the measure of a lentil.

ז

ושמנה שרצים האמורים בתורה שהן:

החולד והעכבר והצב והאנקה והכח והלטאה והחומט והתנשמת האוכל מבשרם כעדשה לוקה שיעור אכילתן כשיעור טומאתן וכולם מצטרפין זה עם זה בכעדשה:

8

When does the above apply? When one partakes of them after they have died.15 If, however, one cuts off a limb from a living creature from one of these species and eats it, he does not receive lashes unless he [partakes of] an olive-sized portion of meat. They all may be combined together to reach the measure of an olive.

One who eats an entire limb of a teeming animal after it dies does not receive lashes unless it contains a lentil-sized amount of meat.16

ח

במה דברים אמורים בשאכל מהן אחר מיתתן אבל החותך אבר מן החי מן אחד מהן ואכלו אינו לוקה עליו עד שיהיה בו כזית בשר וכולן מצטרפין לכזית אבל אבר שלם מן השרץ אחר שמת אינו לוקה עד שיהיה בו כעדשה:

9

The blood of these eight teeming animals and their flesh can be combined to reach the minimum measure of a lentil, provided the blood is still attached to their flesh.17 Similarly, the blood of a snake18 is combined with its flesh to reach the measure of an olive and one receives lashes for it. The rationale is that its flesh is not separate from its blood, even though it does not impart ritual impurity.19 Similar concepts apply with regard to other teeming animals that do not convey ritual impurity.

ט

דם שמנה שרצים ובשרן מצטרף לכעדשה והוא שיהיה הדם מחובר לבשר וכן דם הנחש מצטרף לבשרו לכזית ולוקה עליו לפי שאין בשרו חלוק מדמו ואף על פי שאינו מטמא וכן כל כיוצא בו משאר שרצים שאינן מטמאין:

10

When a person collects the blood of teeming animals that has been separated [from their bodies] and partakes of it, he receives lashes if he partakes of a portion the size of an olive.20 [This applies] provided he was warned against partaking of it because [of the prohibition against partaking of] a teeming animal. If, however, he is warned against partaking of it because [of the prohibition against partaking of] blood, he is not liable. For we are liable only for the blood of domesticated animals, wild beasts, and fowl.21

י

דם שרצים שפרש וכנסו ואכלו לוקה עליו בכזית והוא שיתרו בו משום אוכל שרץ אבל אם התרו בו משום אוכל דם פטור שאין חייבין אלא על דם בהמה חיה ועוף:

11

All these measures - and the distinctions between them22 - are halachot received by Moses at Sinai [and transmitted via the Oral Tradition].

יא

כל השעורין ומחלקותם הלכה למשה מסיני:

12

One who partakes of an olive-sized portion of a aquatic teeming animal is liable for lashes according to Scriptural Law, as [Leviticus 11:43] states: "Do not make your souls detestable [by partaking] of any teeming animal that swarms... and do not become impure because of them." Included in this prohibition are teeming animals of the land, that fly, and of the water.23

What is meant by a aquatic teeming animal? Both small creatures like worms and leeches that inhabit the water24 and larger creatures that are beasts of the sea. To state a general principle: Any aquatic creature that does not have the characteristics of a fish, neither a non-kosher fish or a kosher fish, e.g., a seal, a dolphin, a frog, or the like.

יב

האוכל כזית משרץ המים לוקה מן התורה שנאמר אל תשקצו את נפשותיכם בכל השרץ השורץ ולא תטמאו בהם הרי כלל בלאו זה שרץ הארץ ושרץ העוף ושרץ המים אי זהו שרץ המים אלו הבריות הקטנות כמו התולעים והעלוקה שבמים והבריות הגדולות ביתר שהן חיות הים כללו של דבר כל שאינו בצורת הדגים לא דג טמא ולא דג טהור כגון כלב המים והדלפון והצפרדע וכיוצא בהן:

13

The species that come into existence in garbage heaps and the carcasses of dead animals, e.g., maggots, worms, and the like which are not brought into being from male-female [relations],25 but from filth that decays and the like are called "those which creep on the earth." A person who partakes of an olive-sized portion [of these creations] is liable for lashes,26 as [Leviticus 11:44] states: "Do not make your souls impure with any teeming animal that creeps on the earth," even thought they do not reproduce. Teeming animals that swarm on the earth, by contrast, are those that reproduce from male-female [relations].

יג

אלו המינין שנבראין באשפות ובגופי הנבלות כגון רמה ותולעת וכיוצא בהן שאינן נבראין מזכר ונקבה אלא מן הגללים שהסריחו וכיוצא בהן הן הנקראין רומש על הארץ והאוכל מהן כזית לוקה שנאמר ולא תטמאו את נפשותיכם בכל השרץ הרומש על הארץ ואע"פ שאין פרין ורבין אבל השרץ השורץ על הארץ הוא שפרה ורבה מזכר ונקבה:

14

[The following laws apply with regard to] species that come into being from fruits and other foods.27 Should they depart from [the source from where they came into being] and go to the earth,28 a person who partakes of an olive-sized portion of them is liable for lashes,29 as [Leviticus 11:42] states: "With regard to any teeming animal that swarms on the earth, [do not eat them]." This forbids those that departed to the earth, even though they returned to the food. If, however, they did not depart, it is permitted to eat the fruit together with the worm in it.

יד

אלו המינין הנבראין בפירות ובמאכלות אם פרשו ויצאו לארץ אע"פ שחזרו לתוך האוכל מי שאכל מהן כזית לוקה שנאמר לכל השרץ השורץ על הארץ לאסור אלו שפרשו לארץ אבל אם לא פרשו מותר לאכול הפרי והתולעת שבתוכו:

15

When does the above apply? When the food became worm-ridden after it was uprooted from the earth.30 If, however, it became worm-ridden while it was connected [to its source of nurture], that worm is forbidden as if it became departed to the earth. For it was created on the earth. One is liable for lashes [for partaking of it]. If there is a doubt, it is forbidden.

Therefore all fruits that commonly become worm-ridden31 when connected [to their source of nurture] should not be eaten until one checks the fruit from its inside,32 for perhaps it contains a worm. If the fruit remains twelve months after being severed [from its source], it may be eaten without being inspected. For a worm inside of it will not endure for twelve months.33

טו

בד"א שהתליע האוכל אחר שנעקר מן הארץ אבל אם התליע והוא מחובר אותה התולעת אסורה כאילו פירשה לארץ שעל הארץ נבראת ולוקין עליה ואם ספק אסורה לפיכך כל מיני פירות שדרכן להתליע כשהן מחוברין לא יאכל עד שיבדוק הפרי מתוכו שמא יש בו תולעת ואם שהה הפרי אחר שנעקר שנים עשר חדש אוכל בלא בדיקה שאין תולעת שבו מתקיימת שנים עשר חדש:

16

If [the worm] departed to the atmosphere, but did not reach the earth, or only a portion of it reached the earth, it departed after it died, the worm was found on the seed on the inside, or it departed from one food to another, [in] all these [situations, the worm] is forbidden because of the doubt, but lashes are not administered [if one partakes of it].

טז

פרשו לאויר ולא נגעו לארץ או שפרשו מקצתן לארץ או שפרשו אחר שמתו או שנמצאת תולעת על הגרעינה מבפנים או שיצאו מתוך האוכל לתוך אוכל אחר כל אלו אסורין מספק ואין לוקין עליהן:

17

A worm found in the stomach of a fish, in the brain within the head of an animal, and one found in meat are forbidden. When, however, salted fish becomes worm-ridden, the worms in it are permitted.34 This is comparable to fruit which has become worm-ridden after it has been separated from the earth. It is permitted to eat them together with the worm that is in them.

Similarly, if water35 in a utensil produces teeming animals, those teeming animals are permitted to be drunken together with the water, as [can be inferred from Leviticus 11:9]: "All that possess fins and scales in the water, seas, and rivers, they you may eat." Implied is that you may eat those that possess [fins and scales] in the water, seas, and rivers and those that do not possess them, you may not eat. But those creatures [that come into existences] in utensils are permitted whether they possess [fins and scales] or not.

יז

תולעת הנמצאת במעי הדגים ובמוח שבראש הבהמה והנמצאת בבשר אסורה אבל דג מליח שהתליע הרי התולעת שבו מותרת שהן כפירות שהתליעו אחר שנעקרו מן הארץ שמותר לאכלן כולן כאחת בתולעת שבתוכן וכן המים שבכלים שהשריצו הרי אותן שרצים מותר לשתותן עם המים שנאמר וכל אשר לו סנפיר וקשקשת במים בימים ובנחלים אותם תאכלו כלומר במים ובימים ובנחלים הוא שאתה אוכל את שיש לו ואין אתה אוכל את שאין לו אבל בכלים בין שיש לו בין שאין לו מותר:

18

[Since the water found] in cisterns, trenches and caves is not flowing water, but instead is collected there,36 it is comparable to water found in containers. [Hence], aquatic teeming animals that are created [in these places] are permitted. A person may bend down and drink37 without holding back even though he swallows these flimsy teeming animals when drinking.38

יח

שרץ המים הנברא בבורות ובשיחין ובמערות הואיל ואינן מים נובעין והרי הן עצורים הרי הן כמים שבכלים ומותר ושוחה ושותה ואינו נמנע ואף על פי שבולע בשעת שתייה מאותן השרצים הדקים:

19

When does the above apply? When the teeming animals did not depart from the place where they came into being. If they did, even though they later return to the container or the cistern, they are forbidden. If they went out to the walls of the barrel and then fell back into the water or the beer, they are permitted.39 Similarly, if they went out to the walls of the cistern and the cave and returned to the water, they are permitted.

יט

במה דברים אמורים שלא פרשו ממקום ברייתן אבל אם פירש השרץ אע"פ שחזר לתוך הכלי או לתוך הבור אסור פרש לדפני החבית וחזר ונפל לתוך המים או לתוך השכר מותר וכן אם פרש לדפני הבור או המערה וחזר למים מותר:

20

When a person strains wine, vinegar, or beer and eats the insects, bugs, and worms that he strains, he is liable for lashes for partaking of an aquatic teeming animal or [for partaking of] a flying teeming animal and an aquatic teeming animal.40 [This applies] even if they returned to the container after they were strained, for they departed from the place where they came into existence. If, however, they did not depart, one may drink without holding back, as we explained.41

כ

המסנן את היין או את החומץ או את השכר ואכל את היבחושים או את היתושין והתולעות שסנן לוקה משום שרץ המים או משום שרץ העוף (ושרץ המים) אפילו חזר לכלי אחר שסננן שהרי פרשו ממקום ברייתן אבל אם לא סננן שותה ואינו נמנע כמו שפירשנו:

21

When, in this chapter, we have spoken about partaking of an olive-sized portion, [the intent is that] one ate an olive-sized portion of a large creature or one collected some from one species and some from another similar species42 until one partakes of an olive sized portion. If, however, one eats an entire forbidden creature by itself, one is liable for lashes according to Scriptural Law even if it is smaller than a mustard seed.43

[This applies] whether one partook of it after it died or while it was alive. Even if the creature decayed and lost its form,44 one is liable for lashes since one consumed it in its entirety.

כא

זה שאמרנו בפרק זה האוכל כזית כשאכל כזית מבריה גדולה או שצרף מעט מבריה זו ומעט מבריה זו שבמינה עד שיאכל כזית אבל האוכל בריה טמאה בפני עצמה כולה הרי זה לוקה מן התורה ואפילו היתה פחותה מן החרדל בין שאכלה מתה בין שאכלה חיה ואפילו סרחה הבריה ונשתנית צורתה הואיל ואכלה כולה לוקה:

22

When an ant has lost even one of its legs,45 one is not liable for lashes for partaking of it unless one eats an olive-sized portion. For this reason,46 one who eats an entire fly or an entire mosquito whether alive or dead is worthy of lashes for partaking of a flying teeming animal.

כב

נמלה שחסרה אפילו אחת מרגליה אינה לוקה עליה אלא בכזית לפיכך האוכל זבוב שלם או יתוש שלם בין חי ובין מת לוקה משום שרץ העוף:

23

[The following laws apply if] a particular creature is [included in the categories of] a flying teeming animal, an aquatic teeming animal, and a teeming animal of the earth, e.g., it has wings, it walks on the earth like other [earthbound] teeming animals, and it reproduces in the water. If one partakes of it, he is liable for three [sets of] lashes.47

If, in addition to the above, it is one of the species which are brought into being in the earth in fruit, he is liable for a fourth [set of] lashes. If it is one of the species that reproduce,48 he is liable for a fifth [set of] lashes. If it also can be considered as a non-kosher fowl in addition to being considered a flying teeming animal,49 he is liable for six [sets of] lashes: [for partaking of] a non-kosher fowl, a flying teeming animal, a teeming animal of the earth, an aquatic teeming animal, an animal that swarms on the earth, and a worm from fruit.

[This applies whether] he partook of the entire creature or he partook of an olive-sized portion of it. Therefore one who eats an ant that flies that breeds in the water is liable for five [sets of] lashes.

כג

הרי שהיתה הבריה משרץ העוף ומשרץ המים ומשרץ הארץ כגון שהיו לה כנפים והיא מהלכת על הארץ כשאר שרצים והיתה רבה במים ואכלה לוקה שלש מלקיות ואם היתה יתר על זה מן המינין שנבראו בפירות לוקה עליה ארבע מלקיות ואם היתה מן המינין שפדין ורבין לוקה חמש ואם היתה מכלל עוף טמא יתר על היותה משרץ העוף לוקה עליה שש מלקיות:

משום עוף טמא ומשום שרץ העוף ומשום שרץ הארץ ומשום שרץ המים ומשום רומש על הארץ ומשום תולעת הפירות בין שאכלה כולה בין שאכל ממנה כזית לפיכך האוכל נמלה הפורחת הגדילה במים לוקה חמש מלקיות:

24

When one crushed ants, added another complete ant to those that were crushed so that the entire quantity was equal to an olive-sized portion, and partook of it, he is liable for six [sets of] lashes: five [for partaking of] the one ant50 and an additional one, because he partook of an olive-sized portion of dead non-kosher animals.51

כד

ריסק נמלים והביא אחת שלימה וצרפה לאלו שנתרסקו ונעשה הכל כזית ואכלו לוקה שש מלקיות חמש משום הנמלה האחת ואחת משום כזית מנבלת הטמאים:

Footnotes
1.

Similar verses are also stated in that passage with regard to fish, fowl, and locusts. Like verses are also stated in Leviticus, except that in Leviticus, there is no such commandment with regard to a kosher fowl. To include that as well, the Rambam refers to the passage in Deuteronomy.

2.

I.e., it does not have the severity of a negative commandment. Hence its violation is not punishable by lashes.

The Rambam is explaining that the Torah is not commanding us to eat kosher species, for there is no obligation to partake of them. Instead, it is commanding us to take precautions - through checking distinguishing signs - against partaking of non-kosher ones. See Sefer HaMitzvot (General Principle 6) where the Rambam elaborates in the explanation of the concept of a prohibition derived from a positive commandment. See also Chapter 1, Halachah 1, and notes which deals with this issue.

3.

Here the Rambam cites the verses from Leviticus - although like verses also appear in Deuteronomy - for Leviticus comes first in the Torah.

4.

The commentaries have raised a question concerning the Rambam's statements. There is a general principle (Pesachim 24a, et al): "We do not issue a warning on the basis of logical deduction." Implied is that a person is not given lashes when a prohibition is not explicitly mentioned in the Torah, but instead derived through logic. Why then, these commentaries ask, are lashes given for partaking of non-kosher species other than the four mentioned specifically by the Torah?

The Rambam offers a resolution to this question in his Sefer HaMitzvot (negative commandment 172). There he explains that in this instance, we are not deriving the prohibition on the basis of logic, for it is already stated in the positive commandment. We are using logic only to derive that this prohibition is also included in the negative commandment.

5.

Approximately, an ounce in contemporary measure.

6.

Such a distinction is made with regard to the meat and fat of kosher animals. With regard to non-kosher animals, by contrast, the two are included in the same category and the same prohibition applies to both of them.

7.

For the prohibition mentions the animal's hoofs.

8.

The Ra'avad and the Rashba differ with the Rambam's ruling, maintaining that there is no prohibition at all against partaking of meat from a human. The Rama (Yoreh De'ah 80:1) follows the Rambam's ruling.

The Maggid Mishneh explains the Rambam's position, noting that - as stated in Chapter 3, Halachah 2, and in Chapter 6, Halachot 1-2 - there is no Scriptural prohibition against partaking of milk and blood from a human. Now these leniencies are derived from the exegesis of verses from the Torah. Were the meat of a human not to be forbidden, why would it be necessary to teach that his milk and blood are permitted? Who would have thought otherwise?

9.

Sefer HaMitzvot (negative commandment 172, 173, 174) and Sefer HaChinuch (mitzvot 154, 156, 157) include these among the 613 mitzvot of the Torah.

10.

I.e., there is no separate commandment not to partake of a non-kosher locust. Instead, this is included in the general prohibition against partaking of non-kosher teeming animals. The Lechem Mishneh and others note that, in contrast, to the previous halachot, the Rambam does not mention the fact that there is a prohibition against partaking of locusts that results from the positive commandment to partake of them.

11.

Or an entire teeming animal even if it is smaller than an olive; see Halachah 21.

12.

Sefer HaMitzvot (negative commandment 175) and Sefer HaChinuch (mitzvah 471) include this as one of the 613 mitzvot of the Torah.

As explained in the halachot that follow and summarized in Halachah 23, there are five prohibitions in the Torah that refer to teeming animals. The categories are not mutually exclusive and it is possible that one particular creature may be included in several - or all - of these categories.

13.

Sefer HaMitzvot (negative commandment 176) and Sefer HaChinuch (mitzvah 162) include this as one of the 613 mitzvot of the Torah.

14.

Leviticus 11:29-30. The translation of the names of these eight species is a matter of debate among both Torah commentaries and zoologists. Our translation is taken from Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan's Living Torah. Consult the notes there for a detailed discussion of the matter.

The Torah singles these teeming animals out from others and states that they convey ritual purity. It does not mention anything about them with regard to the prohibition against partaking of their flesh. Nevertheless, since this quantity of their flesh is significant in another halachic context, it is also considered significant with regard to this prohibition (Meilah 16b). This explains why the minimum measure for which they are liable is less than that associated with other prohibitions.

15.

For their flesh only conveys ritual impurity after they have died.

16.

Hilchot Shaar Avot HaTumah 4:3 states that there is no minimum measure with regard to the limbs of a teeming animal within the context of ritual impurity. A person who touches an entire limb of a such an animal after its death becomes impure even if the limb is smaller than the size of a lentil. Nevertheless, we do not rule that one is liable if he eats such a limb.

Meilah, loc. cit., explains that although the limbs of other animals also convey ritual impurity no matter what their size, one is not liable unless he partakes of an olive-sized portion. Hence, there is no reason to extend the stringency that applies with regard to these teeming animals any further.

17.

If not, one is not liable until he partakes of an olive-sized portion, as stated in the following halachah.

18.

Which is not one of the teeming animals explicitly mentioned by the Torah.

19.

In contrast to the blood of the eight teeming animals that were singled out by the Torah.

20.

The Maggid Mishneh (in his gloss to Halachah 9) states that this applies even to the eight teeming animals mentioned explicitly in the Torah. Once their blood is separated from their bodies, the minimum measure is the same as that of other species.

21.

As stated in Chapter 6, Halachah 1.

22.

That for some one is liable for an olive-sized portion and for others, for a lentil-sized portion.

23.

Sefer HaMitzvot (negative commandment 179) and Sefer HaChinuch (mitzvah 164) include this as one of the 613 mitzvot of the Torah. As obvious from the Rambam's words here and as explained in greater length in Sefer HaMitzvot, this is not a specific commandment relating to aquatic teeming creatures, but a general commandment relating to all teeming animals. Accordingly, when a person partakes of a teeming animal of the land or a flying teeming animal, he is liable for two transgressions.

The Ramban (Hasagot to Sefer HaMitzvot, General Principle 9) and the Maggid Mishneh differ with the Rambam and maintain that this is not considered as a separate mitzvah.

24.

See Halachot 18-19.

25.

The Rambam is stating - based on Midrashic and Talmudic sources - that there are creatures which spontaneously regenerate. It is not our place to defend these concepts against the findings of science. It must, however, be said that many Rabbinical leaders who are aware of the work of Pasteur and others did not doubt the teachings of the Torah and accepted these laws.

26.

Sefer HaMitzvot (negative commandment 177) and Sefer HaChinuch (mitzvah 165) include this as one of the 613 mitzvot of the Torah.

27.

See Halachot 18-19.

28.

The Rambam's wording is borrowed from the prooftext cited. Even if these crawling animals do not reach the earth, but merely appear on the surface of the fruit, they become forbidden., as stated in Sefer HaMitzvot (negative commandment 178). Note, however, Halachah 16.

29.

Sefer HaMitzvot (negative commandment 178) and Sefer HaChinuch (mitzvah 163) include this as one of the 613 mitzvot of the Torah.

30.

Or removed from its tree.

31.

This is a halachic issue that is given much attention today. We find certain Jewish groups who have taken it upon themselves to grow vegetables without any exposure to insects. There is a heightened consciousness with regard to the need to check and many books and tools have been produced with this purpose in mind. It must be emphasized, however, that although there are no vegetables that are absolutely insect and larvae free, the common halachic approach is not to show concern for any insects and/or larvae that are not visible to the naked eye. Conversely, we assume that all insects we discover came from male-female relationships or came into being while the fruit was connected to its source and do not permit any because they might have come from the fruit itself after it was detached.

32.

I.e., an external search is not sufficient and one must cut the fruit or vegetable open and search from the inside.

33.

Since a crawling animal will not live for more than twelve months inside produce and the produce has been detached for more than twelve months, it follows that the animal came into being from the produce itself and thus the produce and the animal can be eaten together.

Nevertheless, the Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 84:8) states that the produce should be checked lest there be crawling animals that have left the produce. One of the ways to select grains, legumes, and the like is to soak them first. Any ones with holes will float to the top. They should be discarded, lest they be worm-ridden.

34.

Provided they have not departed from the fish itself (Maggid Mishneh).

The Maggid Mishneh explains the Rambam's approach as follows: All worms that are found in both meat and fish while the animals are alive are forbidden, for we assume that they entered from the outside. Even after a fish dies, we can assume that the worms in its stomach were swallowed when it was alive. Similarly, those in an animal's brain can be assumed to have entered its nose from the outside and are hence, forbidden. Those found in the body of a fish are considered to have been spontaneously generated are hence permitted. Those found in the meat of an animal are not permitted. The rationale is that anything that comes from an animal is permitted to be eaten only after it has been slaughtered according to law. Even though the animal itself was slaughtered, since that slaughter preceded the existence of the worms, they are not permitted.

The Ra'avad and many other Rishonim differ with the Rambam's understanding and permit worms that came into being in meat from animals that were ritually slaughtered, e.g., in meat that was salted to be used at a later time. The Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 84:16) quotes both views, but appears to favor the more lenient one. The Rama states that it is customary to follow the more lenient view. In practice, in the present age, this problem is far less prevalent, for because of refrigeration and freezing, it is less likely for worms to exist in meat.

35.

Or other beverages (Siftei Cohen 84:1). This is evident from Halachot 19-20.

36.

I.e., water that is stored in storage compartments dug into - or naturally found within - the earth.

The Maggid Mishneh states that irrigation ditches and breeding ponds which water flows through are not included in this category, because - in contrast to water found in containers - the water in them does not stand still. The Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 84:1) quotes a difference of opinion on this issue.

37.

Commenting on the citation of this ruling by the Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 84:2), the Rama states that if one finds worms in a bucket of water drawn from such bodies, the worms are forbidden, because we fear that the worms came from the bucket and not from the water.

38.

Or other beverages (Siftei Cohen 84:1). This is evident from Halachot 19-20.

39.

For the walls are still considered as "the place where the teeming animals came into existence."

40.

If the insect has the characteristics of both the prohibited species, as stated in Halachah 23.

41.

Halachah 18. I.e., he need not worry that perhaps they became separated (Maggid Mishneh).

42.

For the portions of forbidden insects to be combined, they need not be of the same species. They must, however, be included in the same prohibition. See Chapter 4, Halachah 17.

43.

This is a general principle applying in many contexts in the laws of kashrut. The creature must, however, be visible to the naked eye.

44.

If, however, it has decayed to the extent that it is no longer fit for human consumption, one is not liable, as stated in Chapter 14, Halachah 11.

45.

For it is no longer considered as a complete creation.

46.

This phrase refers to the previous halachah.

47.

The Rambam's statements are based on Makkot 16b: "If one eats a potisa, one is liable for four [sets of] lashes, an ant, five [sets of] lashes." As he explains in Sefer HaMitzvot (negative commandment 179), the intent is not that one is liable for additional sets of lashes because several prohibitions are stated with regard to a particular creature. Instead, the intent is that if one creature falls into several forbidden categories, one is liable for a set of lashes for every forbidden category. See Maggid Mishneh.

It must be emphasized that the Ra'avad, Rav Moshe HaCohen, the Ramban, and other Rishonim do not accept the Rambam's interpretation and instead, maintain that the prohibitions mentioned in Makkot, loc. cit., refer to the repetition of prohibitions concerning a single creature.

48.

I.e., although this particular creature was spontaneously generated, it was brought into being in a manner that it could reproduce and bear offspring.

49.

In Sefer HaMitzvot (loc. cit.), the Rambam is sensitive to the question that might arise and states: "Do not wonder how it is possible for a fowl to come into being from the decay of fruits, for we have seen this take place frequently." In that source, he also explains that it is possible for a single creature to have the characteristics of a non-kosher fowl and a flying teeming animal.

50.

As stated in the previous halachah.

51.

The Rambam is not referring to the prohibition against partaking of an animal that is not ritually slaughtered. For that prohibition applies only with regard to kosher animals, as stated in Chapter 4, Halachah 2. For this reason, the Maggid Mishneh (in his gloss to that halachah) raises questions with the Rambam's statement here. The Kessef Mishneh and others attempt to offer resolutions.

Ma'achalot Assurot - Chapter 3

1

Any food that is produced from forbidden species for which lashes are given for partaking of1 is forbidden to be eaten according to Scriptural Law, e.g., milk from a forbidden species of domesticated animal or wild beast or the eggs of a forbidden species of birds or fish. [This is derived from Leviticus 11:16 which mentions]: "the bat of the ostrich." [Our Sages2 commented:] "This refers to its egg." The same law applies to all species that are forbidden like an ostrich and all entities [that are produce] like eggs.

א

כל מאכל היוצא ממין מן המינין האסורין שלוקין על אכילתן הרי אותו המאכל אסור באכילה מן התורה כגון חלב בהמה וחיה הטמאים וביצי עוף ודג הטמאים שנאמר ואת בת היענה זו ביצתה והוא הדין לכל האסור כיענה ולכל הדברים הדומין לביצה:

2

Human milk is permitted to be eaten,3 although the meat of a human is forbidden to be eaten. We have already explained4 that it is forbidden by virtue of a positive commandment.5

ב

חלב האדם מותר באכילה אף על פי שבשר האדם אסור באכילה וכבר ביארנו שהוא בעשה:

3

Honey produced by bees and hornets6 is permitted. [The rationale is that] it is not a product of their bodies. Instead, it is collected in their mouths from herbs and then expelled in their hive so that they will be able to partake of it in the rainy season.

ג

דבש דבורים ודבש צרעים מותר מפני שאינו מתמצית גופן אלא כונסין אותו מן העשבים בתוך פיהן ומקיאין אותו בכורת כדי שימצאו אותו לאכול ממנו בימות הגשמים:

4

Although human milk is permitted, our Sages prohibited an adult to nurse from [a woman's] breasts. Instead, the woman should express it into a container7 and the adult should partake of it. An adult who nurses from [a woman's] breast is like one who nurses from a teeming animal.8 He is given stripes for rebellious conduct.

ד

אע"פ שחלב אדם מותר אסרו חכמים לגדול לינק אותו מן השדים אלא חולבת אשה לתוך הכלי ושותה וגדול שינק מן השד כיונק שרץ ומכין אותו מכת מרדות:

5

An infant may continue to nurse for even four or five years. If, however, he was weaned for three days or more in a state of health and not because of sickness, he should not be allowed to nurse again.9 [The above applies] provided he was weaned after 24 months. If he was weaned within that time, even if he was weaned for a month or two, it is permitted to have him nurse again until the conclusion of 24 months.10

ה

יונק תינוק והולך אפילו ארבע או חמש שנים ואם גמלוהו ופרש שלשה ימים או יתר מחמת בוריו לא מחמת חוליו אינו חוזר ויונק והוא שגמלוהו אחר כ"ד חדש אבל בתוך זמן זה אפילו גמלוהו חדש או שנים מותר לחזור ולינק עד סוף כ"ד חדש:

6

Although the milk of a non-kosher animal and the egg of a non-kosher fowl are forbidden according to Scriptural Law, [one is] not [liable for] lashes [for partaking of them. [This is derived from Leviticus 11:8] which states: "You may not eat from their flesh." [Implied is that] one is liable for lashes for [partaking of] their flesh, but is not liable for lashes for [partaking of] their eggs and milk. One who partakes [of these substances] is like one who eats half the minimum measure [of a forbidden substance]. This is forbidden according to Scriptural Law, but one is not liable for lashes. Instead, he receives stripes for rebellious conduct.11

ו

אף על פי שחלב בהמה טמאה וביצי עוף טמא אסורין מן התורה אין לוקין עליהם שנאמר מבשרם לא תאכלו על הבשר הוא לוקה ואינו לוקה על הביצה ועל החלב והרי האוכל אותן כאוכל חצי שיעור שהוא אסור מן התורה ואינו לוקה אבל מכין אותו מכת מרדות:

7

It appears to me that eating the eggs of non-kosher species of fish that are found in their bellies is comparable to eating the insides of the forbidden fish themselves12 and one is liable for lashes according to Scriptural Law. Similarly, when a person partakes of the eggs of a non-kosher fowl that are hanging in a cluster without being separated from the mother's body or completed, he is liable for lashes as if he ate the insides of [the fowl itself].13

ז

יראה לי שהאוכל ביצי דגים טמאים הנמצאים במעיהם כאוכל קרבי דגים טמאים ולוקה מן התורה וכן ביצי העוף הטמא התלויות באשכול שעדיין לא פירשו ונגמרו האוכל אותן לוקה כאוכל בני מעים שלהן:

8

When one partakes the egg of a non-kosher fowl inside of which an embryo has begun to take form, he is liable for eating a flying teeming animal.14If, however, one partakes of the egg of a kosher fowl inside of which an embryo has begun to take form, he is liable for stripes for rebellious conduct.15

ח

ביצת עוף טמא שהתחיל האפרוח להתרקם בה ואכלו לוקה משום אוכל שרץ העוף אבל ביצת העוף טהור שהתחיל האפרוח להתרקם בה ואכלה מכין אותו מכת מרדות:

9

[The following laws apply if] a blood spot is found on an egg.16 If it is found on the white, one should discard the blood and eat the remainder of the egg.17 If it is found on the yolk, the entire egg is forbidden.18 Unfertilized eggs - a refined person partakes of them.19

ט

נמצא עליה קורט דם אם על החלבון זורק את הדם ואוכל את השאר ואם על החלמון אסורה כולה ביצה המוזרת הנפש היפה תאכלנה:

10

When a chick is hatched, even if its eyes have not opened, it is permitted [to slaughter it and] eat it.20

When a kosher animal became trefe,21 its milk is forbidden like the milk of a non-kosher animal.22 Similarly, the egg of a kosher fowl that became trefe is comparable to the egg of a non-kosher fowl and is forbidden.23

י

אפרוח שנולד אף על פי שלא נתפתחו עיניו מותר לאכלו בהמה טהורה שנטרפה חלבה אסור כחלב בהמה טמאה וכן ביצת עוף טהור שנטרף כביצת עוף טמא ואסור:

11

When a chick is hatched from an egg from a trefe fowl, it is permitted, for it is not from a non-kosher species.24 When there is an unresolved question whether a fowl is trefe or not, we retain25 all the eggs it lays in its first batch.26 If it grows another batch and begins laying them, the first ones are permitted.27 For if it was trefe, it would no longer lay eggs. If it does not lay eggs, [the first batch] are forbidden.

יא

אפרוח שנולד מביצת טרפה מותר שאין מינו טמא היה העוף ספק טרפה כל הביצים שתלד בערימה ראשונה משהין אותן אם טענה ערימה שניה והתחילה לילד הותרו הראשונות שאם היתה טריפה לא היתה יולדת עוד ואם לא ילדה הרי הן אסורות:

12

The milk of a non-kosher animal will not congeal and solidify as the milk of a kosher animal does. If the milk of a non-kosher animal is mixed together with the milk of a kosher animal, when the mixture is [set aside for cheese to be made], the kosher milk will solidify and the non-kosher milk will be expelled together with the whey of the cheese.

יב

חלב בהמה טמאה אינו נקפה ועומד כחלב הטהורה ואם נתערב חלב טמאה בחלב בהמה טהורה כשתעמיד אותו יעמוד חלב הטהורה ויצא חלב הטמאה עם הקום של גבינה:

13

Accordingly, logic would dictate that any milk found in the possession of a gentile is forbidden, lest the gentile have mixed the milk of a non-kosher animal with it. And the cheese of the gentiles should be permitted, for the milk of a non-kosher animal will not form cheese. Nevertheless, during the age of the Sages of the Mishnah, they issued a decree against gentile cheese and forbade it, lest they use the skin of the stomach of an animal they slaughtered - which is forbidden as a nevelah28 - to cause it to solidify.29

If one would say: The stomach skin is a very small entity when compared to the milk that it is used to solidify. Why is it not nullified because of its insignificant size?30 Because it is used as the catalyst to cause the cheese to curdle. Since the catalyst which causes it to curdle is forbidden, everything is forbidden, as will be explained.31

יג

ומפני זה יתן הדין שכל חלב הנמצא ביד עכו"ם אסור שמא ערב בו חלב בהמה טמאה וגבינת העכו"ם מותרת שאין חלב בהמה טמאה מתגבן אבל בימי חכמי משנה גזרו על גבינת העכו"ם ואסרום מפני שמעמידין אותה בעור קיבה של שחיטתן שהיא נבלה ואם תאמר והלא עור הקיבה דבר קטן הוא עד מאד בחלב שעמד בו ולמה לא יבטל במיעוטו מפני שהוא המעמיד הגבינה והואיל ודבר האסור הוא שהעמיד הרי הכל אסור כמו שיתבאר:

14

[The following laws apply when] cheese is left to solidify with herbs or fruit juice, e.g., fig syrup, and it is apparent [that these substances were used for] the cheese. There are some of the Geonim who have ruled that it is forbidden, for [our Sages] already decreed that all the cheeses of gentiles are forbidden, whether they caused them to solidify with a forbidden entity or with a permitted entity.32This is a decree, [instituted] because they cause them to solidify using forbidden entities.

יד

גבינה שמעמידין אותה העכו"ם בעשבים או במי פירות כגון שרף התאנים והרי הן ניכרין בגבינה הורו מקצת הגאונים שהיא אסורה שכבר גזרו על כל גבינת העכו"ם בין שהעמידוה בדבר אסור בין שהעמידוה בדבר המותר גזירה משום שמעמידין אותה בדבר האסור:

15

When a person partakes of cheese from gentiles or milk that was milked by a gentile without a Jew observing him, he is given stripes for rebellious conduct.33 With regard to butter produced by gentiles, some of the Geonim permit it, for [our Sages] did not decree against butter and some of the Geonim forbid it,34 because of the drops of milk that remain in it. For the whey in the butter is not mixed with the butter35 so that it will be nullified because of its minimal quantity. And we suspect that any milk [from gentiles] is mixed with the milk of a non-kosher animal.

טו

האוכל גבינת העכו"ם או חלב שחלבו עכו"ם ואין ישראל רואהו מכין אותו מכת מרדות החמאה של עכו"ם מקצת הגאונים התירוה שהרי לא גזרו על החמאה וחלב הטמאה אינו עומד ומקצת הגאונים אסרוה מפני צחצוחי חלב שישאר בה שהרי הקום שבחמאה אינו מעורב עם החמאה כדי שיבטל במיעוטו וכל חלב שלהן חוששין לו שמא עירבו בו חלב בהמה טמאה:

16

It appears to me36 that if one purchased butter from gentiles and cooked it until the drops of milk in it disappeared, it is permitted.37 For if one will say that [drops of non-kosher milk] were mixed with the butter and it was all cooked together, they became insignificant because of the small quantity [involved].38 When, however, the butter is cooked by gentiles themselves,39 it is forbidden because of the effusion of gentile [foods], as will be explained.40

טז

יראה לי שאם לקח חמאה מן העכו"ם ובשלה עד שהלכו להן צחצוחי חלב הרי זו מותרת שאם תאמר נתערבו עמן ונתבשלו כולן בטלו במיעוטם אבל החמאה שבשלו אותה עכו"ם אסורה משום גיעולי עכו"ם כמו שיתבאר:

17

When a Jew sits near a herd belonging to a gentile and the gentile brings him milk from the herd, it is permitted [for him to partake of it] even though there are non-kosher animals in the herd. [This applies] even though he did not see him milk the animal, provided he could have seen him were he to stand.41 [The rationale is that] the gentile is afraid to milk the non-kosher animal lest [the Jew] stand and see him.42

יז

ישראל שישב בצד העדר של נכרי ובא הנכרי והביא לו חלב מן העדר אע"פ שיש בעדר בהמה טמאה הרי זו מותר ואע"פ שלא ראה אותו חולב והוא שיכול לראותו כשהוא חולב כשיעמוד שהנכרי מתיירא לחלוב מן הטמאה שמא יעמוד ויראה אותו:

18

When both of the ends of an egg are rounded, both are pointed, or the yolk is on the outside and the white is on the inside, it is certainly from a non-kosher species. If one end is pointed, the other rounded, and the white is on the outside and the yolk is on the inside, it is possible that it is the egg of a non-kosher species and it is possible that it is the egg of a kosher species.43 Accordingly, the Jew should inquire of the Jewish44 hunter who sells them. If he tells him that they are from such-and-such a fowl and that this fowl is kosher, he may rely on him.45 If, however, he tells him that they are from a kosher fowl, but does not mention its name, he may not rely on him.46

יח

ביצה ששני ראשיה כדין או ששני ראשיה חדין או שהיה חלמון מבחוץ וחלבון מבפנים בידוע שהוא ביצת עוף טמא ראשה אחד כד וראשה אחד חד וחלבון מבחוץ וחלמון מבפנים אפשר שהיא ביצת עוף טמא ואפשר שהיא ביצת עוף טהור לפיכך שואל לצייד ישראל שמוכרה אם אמר לו של עוף פלוני הוא ועוף טהור הוא סומך עליו ואם אמר של עוף טהור ולא אמר לו שמו אינו סומך עליו:

19

For this reason, we do not purchase eggs from gentiles unless one recognizes the eggs and can identify them as being from a particular kosher species of fowl.47 We do not suspect that they came from a fowl that was trefe or nevelah.48 And we do not purchase an [unshelled and] stirred egg from a gentile at all.49

יט

לפיכך אין לוקחים ביצים מן העכו"ם אלא אם היה מכיר אותן ויש לו בהן טביעות עין שהן ביצי עוף פלוני הטהור ואין חוששין להן שמא הן ביצי טרפה או ביצי נבלה ואין לוקחין מן העכו"ם ביצה טרופה כלל:

20

The distinguishing signs of fish eggs are the same as those for fowl. When both of the ends of an egg are rounded or both are pointed, it is non-kosher. If one end is pointed and the other rounded, he should inquire of the Jew who sells them.50 If he tells him that he salted them51 and removed them from a kosher species,52 he may partake of them on the basis of his statements. If he tells him that they are kosher, he may not rely on him unless he is a person who has an established reputation for observance.

כ

ביצי דגים סימניהם כסימני ביצי העוף אם היו שני ראשיה כדין או חדין טמאה אחד כד ואחד חד שואל לישראלי המוכר אם אמר לו אני מלחתים והוצאתים מדג טהור אוכל על פיו ואמר אמר לו טהורין הם אינו נאמן אא"כ היה אדם שהוחזק בכשרות:

21

Similarly, we may not purchase cheese and pieces of fish that do not have distinguishing signs except from a Jew who has an established reputation for observance. In Eretz Yisrael, at the time it was populated primarily by [observant] Jews,53 one could purchase these items from any Jew located there. And it is permitted to purchase milk from any Jew, anywhere.

כא

וכן אין לוקחין גבינה וחתיכת דג שאין בה סימן אלא מישראלי שהוחזק בכשרות אבל בארץ ישראל כשהיתה רובה ישראל לוקחין מכל ישראלי שבה והחלב לוקחין אותו מכל ישראל מכל מקום:

22

When a person pickles non-kosher fish, the brine produced is forbidden. The brine produced by non-kosher locusts, by contrast, is permitted, because they do not possess any moisture.54 Accordingly, we do not purchase brine from gentiles unless there is a kosher fish floating in it.55 Even one fish is sufficient.

כב

הכובש דגים טמאים צירן אסור אבל ציר חגבים טמאים מותר מפני שאין בהם לחלוחית לפיכך אין לוקחין ציר מן העכו"ם אלא אם כן היה בו דג טהור משוטט בו אפילו דג אחד:

23

When a gentile brings a trough filled with open barrels of brine and there is a kosher fish in one of them, they are all permitted.56 If they are closed, one opens one and finds a kosher fish and one opens a second and finds a kosher fish, they are all permitted.57 [This applies] provided the head of the fish and its backbone are present so that it is recognizable that they are from a kosher species of fish.58

For this reason, we do not purchased crushed, salted fish from gentiles which are called terit terufah.59 If, however, the head and the backbone of a fish is recognizable, even though it is crushed, it is permitted to purchase it from a gentile.60

כג

עכו"ם שהביא עריבה מליאה חביות פתוחות של ציר ודג אחד טהור באחת מהם כולן מותרות היו סתומות פתח אחת ונמצא בה דג טהור שניה ונמצא בה טהור כולן מותרות והוא שיהיה ראשו של דג ושדרו קיים כדי שיהא ניכר שהוא דג טהור לפיכך אין לוקחין דגים מרוצצין מלוחין מן העכו"ם והם הנקראים טרית טרופה ואם היה ראש הדג ושדרו ניכר אף על פי שהוא מרוצץ מותר ליקח אותו מן העכו"ם:

24

When a gentile brings a keg of pieces of evenly cut up fish and it is obvious that they are from one fish,61 they are all permitted if he finds scales on one of the pieces.62

כד

עכו"ם שהביא גרב של חתיכות דג שחתוכן שוה והן ניכרין שכולן מדג אחד ומצא בחתיכה אחת מהן קשקשין הרי כולן מותרות:

Footnotes
1.

I.e., foods that are forbidden by a negative commandment.

2.

Chullin 64b. The term literally means "the daughter of the ostrich." Our Sages, however, expanded the interpretation of the term as the Rambam explains.

3.

I.e., even by an adult. Note, however, Halachah 4.

4.

Chapter 2, Halachah 3.

5.

Thus it does not contradict the general principle mentioned in the previous halachah.

6.

As the Maggid Mishneh mentions, there is a difference of opinion among the Sages in Bechorot 7b whether the honey of hornets is forbidden. This difference of opinion is perpetuated among the later authorities. See the Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 81:9).

7.

Or into a person's hands. She may not, however, express it into the person's mouth [the Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 81:7)].

8.

The Ra'avad and the Turei Zahav 81:9 explains that these words of censure were issued because an observer might think that the milk of a non-kosher animal is also permitted.

9.

Needless to say, if there is a danger to the child's life, he may be allowed to nurse again regardless of the amount of time for which he had been weaned [the Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 81:7)].

10.

When an infant has never been weaned, he may continue past the 24 month limit as the Rambam states at the beginning of the halachah. If, however, he has been weaned, he is bound by this restriction [Beit Yosef (Yoreh De'ah 81)].

11.

See Chapter 4, Halachah 16, Hilchot Shivitat Esor 2:3, et al.

12.

For they are part of the fish's body and are not separated by a shell.

13.

For this instance as well, the eggs are not a distinct entity, but instead are considered part of the fowl's body. The Maggid Mishneh brings proof of this concept from Chapter 9, Halachot 4-5, which states that it is forbidden to eat such eggs together with milk and from Hilchot Sha'ar Avot HaTumah 3:10 which states that they convey ritual impurity like the meat of the fowl itself.

14.

The embryo is not considered as a non-kosher fowl. Nevertheless, it is already a distinct entity. Hence it is considered as a non-kosher teeming animal. The Maggid Mishneh mentions that there are other Rishonim who do not accept the Rambam's position.

The Siftei Cohen 15:1 explains that while the embryo is within the egg, it has the characteristics of a teeming animal.

15.

From Chullin 64a, it appears that there is only a Rabbinic prohibition against partaking of this embryo. Hence, this punishment is given.

16.

This refers to an egg that could have been fertilized. If, however, we know that an egg was not fertilized, it is acceptable no matter where the blood spot is found. The blood itself, however, must be discarded [the Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 66:7)]. Most of the eggs commercially sold are not fertilized.

17.

For the embryo has not begun to form and has not affected the entire egg.

18.

At this stage of development, the entire egg has been affected. See the Shulchan Aruch and Rama (Yoreh De'ah 66:2-3) which also mention other halachic perspectives with regard to blood found in fertilized eggs.

19.

Even though they could be considered spoiled [see Rashi, Chullin 77a; Rama (Yoreh De'ah 66:7)].

20.

Until it is hatched, however, it is forbidden is indicated by Halachah 8. See also Siftei Cohen15:2 who mentions authorities who suggest that one should wait until its wings start to develop before slaughtering it.

21.

Forbidden because it contracted a wound that will cause it to die within a year.

22.

Although the milk comes from a kosher species, since the animal itself is unacceptable, its milk is also deemed unacceptable.

23.

According to Rabbinic decree, this law applies to eggs that are found within a fowl that died without being ritually slaughtered [Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 86:3)].

24.

Chulin 31a states that the fact that the egg from which the embryo is formed is trefe does not present a halachic problem. The rationale is that, for the embryo to form, the egg must decompose. Hence its halachic status does not affect that of the embryo.

25.

For 21 days [Bechorot 8a; the Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 86:99]. This is the amount of time our Sages thought necessary for a fowl to begin laying a new batch of eggs.

26.

I.e., the eggs it was carrying when it first became trefe. Although Chulin 58a states that a fowl which is trefe will not lay eggs, the intent is that it will not lay a new batch of eggs. It will, however, lay the batch it is presently carrying.

27.

There are opinions in the Ashkenazic halachic tradition that forbid such a chick. The Rama (Yoreh De'ah 86:7) states that the initial and preferred option is to respect these views.

28.

This term refers to an animal from a kosher species which died without being ritually slaughtered.

29.

For milk to solidify as cheese, it needs a catalyst, rennin, to cause it to curdle. One of the most common sources of rennin was the digestive organs of an animal. For the enzymes that facilitate the digestion of food also produce such an effect. Using the skin of a non-kosher organ causes the cheese to be non-kosher for the reasons the Rambam proceeds to explain. See also Chapter 4, Halachah 19, and Chapter 9, Halachah 15.

As the Ra'avad and Maggid Mishneh mention, Avodah Zarah 35a gives several additional reasons for these prohibitions. The Rambam, however, does not mention them because the factors causing the prohibition could be nullified as explained in the following note. The Maggid Mishneh mentions that there are opinions that maintain that the motivating factor behind the prohibition against non-Jewish cheese is to prevent social interaction between Jews and non-Jews. Hence the prohibitions are never nullified even if there is a substantially larger quantity of the kosher substance.

30.

As will be explained, according to Scriptural Law, when a forbidden substance is mixed together with a kosher substance, it is nullified - i.e, considered as if it has become part of the permitted substance - if the quantity of the permitted substance is greater than it. According to Rabbinic Law, this is true when the quantity of the permitted substance is so great that the taste of the forbidden substance would not be detected. That would certainly be true in the instance at hand. Nevertheless, the forbidden substance is not nullified for the reason explained by the Rambam.

31.

Chapter 9, Halachah 16; Chapter 16, Halachah 26.

32.

This is also the Rambam's view. It is quoted by the the Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 115:2. The Rama states that it is customary to follow this view. The Rama continues, stating that when a Jew observes a gentile milking the cows and making the cheese, it is permitted to partake of it even though the cheese belongs to the gentiles. He continues, stating that even if the Jew does not observe the gentile milking the cow, as long as he observes him making the cheese, the cheese is acceptable after the fact. The Turei Zahav 115:11 and the Siftei Cohen 115:22 quote opinions that differ and maintain that the prohibition should be observed even if a Jew did not observe the milking.

This difference of opinion is relevant today, reflecting the difference between chalav Yisrael cheese and ordinary kosher cheese. In both instances, the cheesemaking process is supervised. Chalav Yisrael cheese uses milk that was supervised when milked, while ordinary kosher cheese does not.

33.

For his behavior is in violation of an explicit Rabbinic prohibition. Even though the rationale for the original decree is no longer applicable, the prohibition established by our Rabbis is still in force. (See Hilchot Mamrim 2:2.)

In the present era, there are certain Rabbis (see Rav Moshe Feinstein, Igros Moshe) who give a rationale for leniency with regard to this prohibition, stating that government supervision makes it impossible for gentiles to mix non-kosher milk together with cow's milk and thus there is no necessity to heed that prohibition. It must be emphasized, however, that this responsum was authored before the time when it became relative easy to procure chalav Yisrael and that many other Rabbinical authorities never accepted this decision. On the contrary, basing themselves on the ruling of Hilchot Mamrim 2:2, they explain that the original decree must still be observed. As a result of their forceful stance, at present, it is possible to obtain chalav Yisrael products in almost every major Jewish community.

34.

The Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 115:3) states that one should not rebuke those who permit the use of such butter, but if the local custom is to forbid it, that custom should be respected. At present, since it is possible to obtain chalav Yisrael butter in almost every major Jewish community, many Rabbis urge that this prohibition be observed.

35.

We are speaking about homemade butter which always has some small drops of whey within it. These drops, however, are not mixed with the butter itself, but instead remain as a separate entity. Hence, they cannot be nullified. See Kessef Mishneh.

36.

This expression connotes a law derived by the Rambam through his deductive reasoning without an existing prior Rabbinic source.

37.

The Kessef Mishneh explains that not only is this permitted after the fact, one may do so at the outset (lechatchilah). For it is possible that there is no forbidden substance present at all.

The Rama (Yoreh De'ah 115:3) quotes this ruling. Nevertheless, most of the authorities who forbid using non-Jewish butter maintain that, in practice, one should refrain from cooking it as well.

38.

I.e., the amount of non-kosher milk is surely insignificant in relation to the quantity of the mixture as a whole. Hence it is nullified.

39.

I.e., in their own utensils.

40.

As explained in Chapter 17, Halachah 2, it is forbidden to cook food in utensils belonging to gentiles, for the utensil will have absorbed some of the non-kosher food cooked in it previously and will discharge it into the kosher food during the cooking process.

The Kessef Mishneh and the Rama (loc. cit.) differ with the Rambam regarding this issue. See the notes to Chapter 17 Halachah 18, for a discussion of this matter.

41.

Similarly, if the Jew walks in and out of the place where the milking is taking place, it is acceptable. For the gentile will fear that any moment, the Jew will return (Turei Zahav 115:3).

42.

The Rambam is explaining that although our Sages require that a Jew observe the milking of an animal, it is not necessary that he watch the actual milking. As long as he is present and could see what the gentile is doing, the gentile will refrain from mixing in a non-kosher substance.

The Rama (Yoreh De'ah 115:1) states that this ruling applies only after the fact. At the outset, the Jew must observe the milking and also check the container into which the gentile is milking.

The Maggid Mishneh clarifies that this ruling applies only when the gentile is milking the animal for the Jew and knows that the Jew will not drink the milk of the non-kosher animal. If he is not aware of the prohibition, we suspect that he will give the Jew milk from any animal in his herd.

43.

I.e., all kosher eggs have these characteristics, but not all eggs with these characteristics are kosher.

44.

But not a non-Jewish hunter, as evident from the following halachah.

45.

We are certain that he will not lie, because it is possible to bring other eggs from that species and see that they are not alike (Turei Zahav 86:1; Siftei Cohen 86:3).

46.

For the method of verification mentioned in the previous note does not apply.

The Ra'avad rules that if the hunter has an established reputation for observance, we may rely on his word, even though he does not name the species of the fowl. The Maggid Mishneh states that, as indicated by the conclusion of Halachah 20, the Rambam would also accept that ruling. According to this understanding, the hunter we are speaking about is not known for his observance. Nevertheless, we rely on his statements.

In his notes to Halachah 20, the Rashba emphasizes that we are not speaking about a person who is known to sell non-kosher food as kosher. As evident from Hilchot Maaserot 12:16, such a person is considered as a gentile and his word is not accepted at all. Instead, the intent is someone whose reputation for observance has not been established, but is also not suspect to cause others to transgress.

47.

The Maggid Mishneh quotes the Ramban who differs with the Rambam and maintains that there is no difference between a Jew whose reputation for observance is not established and a gentile. Just like we accept the Jew's word, we accept that of the gentile. For we assume that he will not risk his reputation by making false statements. The Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 86:1) quotes the Rambam's ruling, while the Tur and the Rama cite that of the Ramban.

The Maggid Mishneh also quotes Rashba who states that in the present age, we purchase eggs from gentiles without compunction, because non-kosher species are uncommon and the overwhelming proportion of eggs sold are from chickens or geese. This ruling is quoted by the Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 86:2).

48.

I.e., that died without being ritually slaughtered; see Chapter 4, Halachah 1. We rule leniently, because it is very uncommon to have eggs from fowl in such a condition (Maggid Mishneh).

49.

For we fear that it came from an egg that was trefe (Maggid Mishneh).

50.

For the distinguishing signs themselves are not sufficient for the eggs to be considered kosher. The Maggid Mishneh explains that although Avodah Zarah 40a would appear to indicate that the distinguishing signs are sufficient, since Chullin 64a compares fish eggs to fowl eggs, we assume that all the laws that apply to one apply to the other.

In his Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 83:8), Rav Yosef Caro quotes the Rambam's ruling, but states that at present, it has become customary to buy any red fish eggs, even from gentiles. Black fish eggs, however, may not be purchased. In his Beit Yosef 81:12, he explains that the Rabbinic authorities of the earlier ages researched the matter and discovered that there are no common non-kosher fish that lay red eggs. See Siftei Cohen 83:27 who quotes other sources from which it is not clear whether or not this ruling was accepted in all communities.

51.

I.e., to preserve them, for it is common to bring fish eggs from distant places.

52.

Naming the species as in Halachah 18.

53.

As indicated by Chapter 11, Halachah 25, today, the same principles that apply in the Diaspora apply in Eretz Yisrael. 54. In the Rambam's Commentary to the Mishnah (Terumot 10:9), he states that they possess very little moisture. The Ra'avad differs with the Rambam's ruling and forbids brine from non-kosher locusts.

55.

For then we assume that the brine came from this species of fish.

56.

For we consider all the open barrels as a single entity and the one fish indicates that the entire quantity is acceptable. See Kessef Mishneh. This represents the Rambam's understanding of Avodah Zarah 39b-40a. The rulings of the Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 83:6) quotes the Rambam's ruling, but also those of others who interpret that passage differently.

57.

The intent is not that all the barrels are considered as a single entity, but that since two barrels are discovered to be kosher, we assume that the others are also kosher (Kessef Mishneh).

58.

I.e., by looking at the head and the backbone, the person is able to recognize that the fish comes from a kosher species. One alone, i.e., either the head or the backbone, is not sufficient (Avodah Zarah 40a).

59.

In his Commentary to the Mishnah (Avodah Zarah 2:6), the Rambam explains that it was customary to crush and stir the fish until it produces a mixture like dough that was used as a dip.

60.

I.e., if we discover the head and the backbone of one fish, we may purchase a larger quantity, because we do not expect that kosher fish and non-kosher fish were salted together (Maggid Mishneh).

61.

The Siftei Cohen 83:4 notes that the Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 83:4) does not quote the Rambam's wording and explains that according to that source, it is not necessary for it to be obvious that they all come from one fish.

If it is not obvious that they come from one fish, the the Shulchan Aruch (loc. cit.) rules that only the piece with scales is permitted.

62.

For every fish that has scales will also have fins.

Ma'achalot Assurot - Chapter 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.

א

האוכל כזית מבשר בהמה שמתה או חיה שמתה או עוף שמת לוקה שנאמר לא תאכלו כל נבלה וכל שלא נשחטה כראוי הרי זו מתה ובהלכות השחיטה יתבאר השחיטה שהיא כראוי ושאינה כראוי:

2

Only animals from kosher species are forbidden as a nevelah, for they are the species that are fit to be ritually slaughtered and if they are slaughtered in a kosher manner, it is permitted to partake of them. [When,] by contrast, one partakes of [meat from] a non-kosher species, [since] ritual slaughter is of no consequence with regard to them, whether they are slaughtered in a kosher manner, whether they died in a natural manner, or whether one cut meat from a living animal and ate it, one does not receive lashes for partaking of a nevelah or partaking of trefe meat,2 only because one ate the meat of a non-kosher animal.3

ב

אין אסור משום נבילה אלא מינים טהורים בלבד מפני שהן ראויין לשחיטה ואם נשחטו שחיטה כשרה יהיו מותרין באכילה אבל מינין טמאין שאין שחיטה מועלת בהן בין שנשחטה כראוי בין שמתה כדרכה בין שחתך בשר מן החי ממנה ואכלו אינו לוקה משום נבלה וטרפה אלא משום אוכל בשר טמאה:

3

When a person eats an [entire] kosher fowl4 of any size, he is liable for lashes for partaking of a nevelah, even though he ate less than an olive-sized portion. [The rationale is that] he consumed it in its entirety.5 If he ate it after it died, it must be the size of an olive [for him to be liable].6 Even though it does not have an olive-sized portion of meat on it, since as a whole, it is the size of an olive, he is liable for [partaking of] a nevelah.7

ג

האוכל עוף טהור חי כל שהוא לוקה משום אוכל נבלה ואע"פ שאין בו כזית הואיל ואכלו כולו ואם אכלו אחר שמת עד שיהיה בו כזית ואף על פי שאין בכולו בשר כזית הואיל ויש בכולו כזית חייב עליו משום נבלה:

4

When a person partakes of an olive-sized portion of a stillborn fetus8of a kosher animal, he is liable for lashes for partaking of a nevelah.

It is forbidden to partake of a newborn animal until the night of the eighth day [of its life].9 For whenever an animal has not lived for eight days, we consider it as stillborn, but lashes are not administered [for partaking] of it.10 [Moreover,] if it is known that the animal was born after a full term period of gestation, i.e., nine months for a large domesticated animal and five months for a small domesticated animal, it is permitted on the day that it was born.11

ד

האוכל כזית מבשר נפל בהמה טהורה לוקה משום אוכל נבלה ואסור לאכול מן הבהמה שנולדה עד ליל שמיני שכל שלא שהה שמונה ימים בבהמה הרי זה כנפל ואין לוקין עליו ואם נודע לו ושכלו לו חדשיו בבטן ואחר כך נולד שהן תשעה חדשים לבהמה גסה וחמשה לדקה הרי זה מותר ביום שנולד:

5

The placenta that is expelled together with the newborn is forbidden to be eaten. A person who eats it, however, is not liable,12 because it is not [considered] meat.13

ה

השליא שיצאת עם הולד אסורה באכילה והאוכלה פטור שאינה בשר:

6

When a person eats an olive-sized portion of a kosher14 domesticated animal, wild beast, or fowl that was mortally wounded is liable for lashes, as [Exodus 22:30] states: "Do not eat meat [from an animal that was] mortally wounded (trefe) in the field. Cast it to the dogs."15

The term trefe employed by the Torah refers to [an animal] mortally wounded by a wild beast, e.g., a lion, a tiger, or the like, or a fowl mortally wounded by a bird of prey, e.g., a hawk or the like.16 We cannot say that the term trefe refers to an animal that was attacked and killed, 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.

ו

האוכל כזית מבשר בהמה או חיה או עוף טהורים שנטרפו לוקה שנאמר ובשר בשדה טרפה לא תאכלו לכלב תשליכון אותו טרפה האמורה בתורה זו שטרפה אותה חית היער כגון ארי ונמר וכיוצא בהן וכן עוף שטרף אותו עוף הדורס כגון נץ וכיוצא בו ואין אתה יכול לומר שטרפה אותה והמיתה אותה 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:

7

If an animal that is mortally wounded is forbidden, shall we say that if a wolf or a lion comes and drags a kid by its foot, its tail, or its ear, and a man pursues [the beast] and saves [the kid], it will be forbidden, because it was attacked?17The Torah states: "Do not eat meat [from an animal that was] mortally wounded (trefe) in the field. Cast it to the dogs." [An animal is not considered trefe] unless it was brought to a state that its meat is fit [only] for the dogs. Thus we have learned that the term trefe employed by the Torah refers to [an animal] that was attacked by a wild beast and battered by it that has not died yet. Even if the person hurries and slaughters it before it dies, it is forbidden as trefe. For it is impossible that it will live after suffering such wounds.

ז

ואם הטרפה שלא מתה אסורה יכול אם בא זאב וגרר הגדי ברגלו או בזנבו או באזנו ורדף אדם והצילו מפיו יהיה אסור שהרי נטרף תלמוד לומר ובשר בשדה טרפה וגו' לכלב תשליכון אותו עד שיעשה אותה בשר הראויה לכלב הא למדת שהטריפה האמורה בתורה היא שטרפה אותו חית היער ושברה אותה ונטה למות ועדיין לא מתה אף על פי שקדם ושחטה קודם שתמות הרי זו אסורה משום טריפה הואיל ואי אפשר שתחיה ממכה זו הבאה עליה:

8

Thus we have learned that the Torah forbade [an animal] that died, a nevelah, and it forbade one that was on the verge of death because of its wounds even though it has not died yet, i.e., a trefe.

Now we do not make a distinction with regard to an animal that has died regardless of whether it died naturally, it fell and died, it was strangled until it died, or it was attacked by a wild beast who killed it. Similarly, we do not make a distinction between an animal that is on the verge of death, regardless of whether it was attacked by an animal and battered, fell from the roof and broke the majority of its ribs,18fell and crushed its limbs, it was shot with an arrow and its heart or lung pierced, it developed an illness that caused its heart or lung to be perforated, one broke the majority of its ribs, or the like. Since it is on the verge of death regardless of the cause, it is a trefe. [This applies] whether [its wound] was caused by flesh and blood or by God's hand.

If so, why does the Torah use the term trefe? For Scripture speaks with regard to prevalent situations.19 [We are forced] to say this. If not, only an animal that was mortally wounded in the field would be forbidden.20 One that is mortally wounded in a courtyard would not be forbidden. Thus we learn that Scripture [is employing this example,] only because it speaks with regard to prevalent situations.

ח

נמצאת למד שהתורה אסרה המתה והיא הנבלה ואסרה הנוטה למות מחמת מכותיה ואע"פ שעדיין לא מתה והיא הטריפה וכשם שלא תחלוק במיתה בין מתה מחמת עצמה בין שנפלה ומתה בין שחנקה עד שמתה בין שדרסתה חיה והרגתה כך לא תחלוק בנוטה למות בין שטרפתה חיה ושברתה בין שנפלה מן הגג ונשתברו רוב צלעותיה בין שנפלה ונתרסקו איבריה בין שזרק בה חץ ונקב לבה או ריאתה בין שבא לה חולי מחמת עצמה ונקב לבה או ריאתה או שיבר רוב צלעותיה וכיוצא בהן הואיל והיא נוטה למות מכל מקום הרי זו טרפה בין שהיה הגורם בידי בשר ודם בין שהיה בידי שמים אם כן למה נאמר בתורה טרפה דבר הכתוב בהווה שאם לא תאמר כן לא תאסר אלא אותה שנטרפה בשדה אבל אם נטרפה בחצר לא תאסר הא למדת שאין הכתוב מדבר אלא בהווה:

9

The intent of the verse is that [an animal] that is mortally wounded and will not live21 because of these wounds is forbidden. On this basis, our Sages said:22 "This is the general principle: Whenever [an animal] in this condition will not live, it is trefe." In Hilchot Shechitah,23 we will explain which conditions cause an animal to be deemed trefe and which do not cause it to be deemed trefe.

ט

וענין הכתוב שהנוטה למות מחמת מכותיה ואי אפשר לה לחיות מחמת מכה זו אסורה מכאן אמרו חכמים זה הכלל כל שאין כמוה חיה טריפה ובהלכות שחיטה יתבאר אי זה חולי עושה אותה טריפה ואי זה חולי אין עושה אותה טרפה:

10

Similarly, when one cuts meat from a living kosher24 animal, one receives lashes for partaking of a trefe.25 For this meat comes from an animal that has not been ritually slaughtered and has not died. [Hence it is comparable to a trefe.] What difference does it make to me if it was attacked by an animal or cut by a knife? And what difference does it make if [the animal] was [wounded] in its totality or only a portion of it was wounded?26 For the verse states: "Do not eat meat [from an animal that was] trefe in the field." Since [a portion of] the animal was made meat in the field,27 it is trefe.

י

וכן החותך בשר מן החי מן הטהורים הרי אותו הבשר טריפה והאוכל ממנו כזית לוקה משום אוכל טריפה שהרי בשר זה מבהמה שלא נשחטה ולא מתה מה לי טרפה אותו חיה מה לי חתכה בסכין מה לי בכולה מה לי במקצתה הרי הוא אומר ובשר בשדה טרפה לא תאכלו כיון שנעשית הבהמה בשר בשדה הרי היא טריפה:

11

When an animal is sick because it is weakened and is on the verge of death, it is permitted, because it did not suffer a wound in any one of the limbs and organs that will cause it to die. For the Torah forbade only those situations resembling an animal mortally wounded by a preying wild beast. In that situation, the animal wounded it with a blow that caused it to die.28

יא

בהמה שהיא חולה מחמת שתשש כחה ונטתה למות הואיל ולא אירעה מכה באבר מאביריה הממיתים אותה הרי זו מותרת שלא אסרה תורה אלא כעין טריפת חית היער שהרי עשה בה מכה הממיתה אותה:

12

Although it is permitted, the great sages would not partake [of the meat] of an animal which people were hurrying to slaughter before it died.29 [This applies] even if it makes convulsive movements after being slaughtered.30 This is a matter that does not involve a prohibition. Nevertheless, whoever desires to accept this stringency upon himself is praiseworthy.31

יב

אף על פי שהיא מותרת גדולי החכמים לא היו אוכלין מבהמה שממהרין ושוחטין אותה כדי שלא תמות ואע"פ שפרכסה בסוף שחיטה ודבר זה אין בו איסור אלא כל הרוצה להחמיר על עצמו בדבר זה הרי זה משובח:

13

When a person slaughters a domesticated animal, wild beast, or fowl and blood does not flow out from them, they are permitted. We do not say: perhaps they were dead already. Similarly, when one slaughters a healthy animal and it does not make convulsive movements, it is permitted.

Different [rules apply with regard to an animal that] is dangerously ill, i.e., one which cannot maintain itself when others cause it to stand it up.32 [It is placed in this category] even if it eats the food of healthy animals. If [such an animal] is slaughtered and does not make any convulsive movements at all, it is a nevelah33and one is liable for lashes [for partaking] of it. If it makes convulsive movements, it is permitted.

The convulsive movements must be made at the end of the slaughter. If they are made at the beginning, they are of no consequence.

יג

השוחט בהמה חיה ועוף ולא יצא מהן דם הרי אלו מותרין ואין אומרין שמא מתים היו וכן השוחט את הבריאה ולא פרכסה הרי זו מותרת אבל המסוכנת והיא כל שמעמידין אותה ואינה עומדת אף על פי שהיא אוכלת מאכל בריאות אם שחטה ולא פרכסה כלל הרי זו נבלה ולוקין עליה ואם פרכסה הרי זו מותרת וצריך שיהיה הפרכוס בסוף השחיטה אבל בתחלתה אינו מועיל:

14

What is meant by convulsive movements? For a small domesticated animal and for both a small and a large wild beast, the intent is that it extended its foreleg and returned it, extended its hind leg even though it did not return it, or merely bent its hind leg.34 This is considered a convulsive movement and [the animal] is permitted. If, however, it merely extended its foreleg and did not return it, it is forbidden. [This movement is] merely a result of the expiration of the soul.

With regard to a large domesticated animal, [more lenient laws apply]. If it either extended its foreleg or its hind leg without bending it or bent its foreleg or hind leg without extending it, it is considered as a convulsive movement and it is permitted. If, however, it neither extended or bent its foreleg or its hind leg at all, it is considered as a nevelah.

With regard to a fowl, even if it only blinked its eyelid35 or swatted its tail, it is considered a convulsive movement.36

יד

כיצד הוא הפרכוס בבהמה דקה ובחיה גסה ודקה בין שפשטה ידה והחזירה או שפשטה רגלה אע"פ שלא החזירה או שכפפה רגלה בלבד הרי זה פרכוס ומותר אבל אם פשטה ידה ולא החזירתה הרי זו אסורה שאין זו אלא הוצאת נפש בלבד ובבהמה גסה אחד היד ואחד הרגל בין שפשטה ולא כפפה בין כפפה ולא פשטה הרי זו פרכוס ומותרת ואם לא פשטה לא יד ולא רגל ולא כפפה כלל הרי זו נבלה ובעוף אפילו לא ריפרף אלא בעינו ולא כישכש אלא בזנבו הרי זה פרכוס:

15

When one slaughters an animal that is dangerously ill at night and does not know37 whether or not it made convulsive movements, it is forbidden, because of the possibility that it is a nevelah.38

טו

השוחט את המסוכנת בלילה ולא ידע אם פרכסה או לא פרכסה הרי זו ספק נבלה ואסורה:

16

None of the substances prohibited by the Torah can be combined with each other [to reach the minimum measure for which one is liable for lashes] with the exception of the prohibitions that apply to a nazarite, as explained in that source.39 Therefore when a person takes a small amount of fat, a small amount of blood, a small amount of the meat of a non-kosher animal, a small amount of the meat of a nevelah, a small amount of the meat of a non-kosher fish, a small amount of the meat of a non-kosher fowl, or the like from other prohibited substances, although he collects an olive-sized portion from the entire mixture and partakes of it, he is not liable for lashes. He is bound by the laws that apply when one eats half the minimum measure [of a forbidden] substance.40

טז

כל איסורין שבתורה אין מצטרפין זה עם זה חוץ מאיסורי נזיר כמו שיתבאר שם לפיכך הלוקח מעט חלב ומעט דם ומעט בשר בהמה טמאה ומעט בשר נבלה ומעט בשר דג טמא ומעט בשר עוף טמא וכיוצא באלו משאר האיסורין וצירף מן הכל כזית ואכלו אינו לוקה ודינו כדין אוכל חצי שיעור:

17

All [types of] nevelot may be combined together. A nevelah may be combined with a trefe. All the non-kosher animals and wild beasts may be combined with each other. But the meat of a nevelah and the meat of a non-kosher animal may not be combined.

What is implied? When one takes [some meat] from a nevelah of an ox, some from the nevelah of a deer, some from the nevelah of a chicken and combined it so that he has an olive-sized portion of meat, he is liable for lashes if he eats it. Similarly, if he collected half of an olive-sized portion from the nevelah of a kosher animal and half of an olive-sized portion from a trefe, or half of an olive-sized portion from the meat of a nevelah and half from meat taken from a living kosher animal,41 he is liable if he eats it. Similarly, if he collects an olive-sized portion [by combining] the meat of a camel, a pig, and a hare,42 he is liable if he eats it.

If, by contrast, he takes half of an olive-sized portion of a nevelah of an ox and half an olive-sized portion of a camel [an eats it], they are not combined.43Similar principles apply in all analogous situations. Similarly, the meat of a non-kosher animal, fowl, or fish are not combined for they involve different prohibitions. For each one is forbidden by a separate negative commandment, as we explained.44 Nevertheless, all the forbidden species of fowl can be combined as may all the forbidden species of domesticated animals and wild beasts.

This is the general principle: Whenever substances are included in the same prohibition, they may be combined. [If they are included] in two [separate] prohibitions, they are not combined. The [only] exceptions are a nevelah and a trefe. [The rationale is that] a trefe is the beginning of [an animal] becoming a nevelah.

יז

כל הנבלות מצטרפות זו עם זו ונבלה מצטרפת עם טריפה וכן כל בהמה וחיה הטמאים מצטרפין זה עם זה אבל בשר נבילה עם בשר בהמה טמאה אין מצטרפין כיצד הלוקח מנבלת השור ונבלת הצבי ונבלת התרנגול וקבץ מן הכל כזית בשר ואכלו לוקה וכן אם קבץ חצי זית מנבלת בהמה טהורה וחצי זית מן הטרפה או חצי זית מבשר נבלה וחצי זית מבשר מן החי מן הטהורה ואכלו לוקה וכן בשר הגמל והחזיר והארנבת שקבץ מכולם כזית ואכלו לוקה אבל אם צירף חצי זית מנבלת השור וחצי זית מבשר הגמל אינן מצטרפין וכן כל כיוצא בזה וכן בהמה טמאה ועוף טמא או דג טמא אין בשר שניהן מצטרף לפי שהן שני שמות שהרי כל אחד מהן בלאו בפני עצמו כמו שביארנו אבל כל העופות הטמאין מצטרפין כמו שמצטרפין כל בהמה וחיה הטמאין זה הכלל כל שאיסורן בלאו אחד מצטרפין בשני לאוין אין מצטרפין חוץ מנבלה וטריפה הואיל והטריפה תחלת נבלה היא:

18

When a person eats the skin, the bones, the sinews,45 the horns, or the hoofs46 of a nevelah, a trefe, or a non-kosher domesticated animal or wild beast, from the nails of a non-kosher fowl in the places where blood would spurt through when they are cut off, or from their placenta,47 although this is forbidden, he is not liable. [The rationale is that] they are not fit to be eaten. They cannot be combined with meat [in the measure of] an olive-sized portion.

יח

האוכל מנבלה וטריפה או מבהמה וחיה הטמאים מן העור ומן העצמות ומן הגידים ומן הקרנים ומן הטלפים ומן הצפרנים של עוף ממקומות שמבצבץ משם הדם כשיחתכו ומן השליא שלהן אף על פי שהוא אסור ה"ז פטור מפני שאלו אינן ראויין לאכילה ואין מצטרפין עם הבשר לכזית:

19

[Milk found in] the stomach of a nevelah and the stomach of a non-kosher animal48 is permitted, for it is like other waste products of the body. Therefore, it is permitted to use [milk found in] the stomach of an animal slaughtered by a gentile or the stomach of a non-kosher domesticated animal or wild beast to cause cheese to solidify.49 The skin of the stomach, by contrast, is like the other digestive organs and is forbidden.

יט

קיבת הנבלה וקיבת הטמאה מותרת מפני שהיא כשאר טנופת שבגוף ולפיכך מותר להעמיד הגבינה בקיבת שחיטת העכו"ם ובקיבת בהמה וחיה טמאה אבל עור הקיבה הרי הוא כשאר המעים ואסור:

20

The placenta of a donkey50 is permitted to be eaten because it is like dung and urine which is permitted. There is skin which is considered like meat and one who partakes of an olive-sized portion is considered like one who eats an olive-sized portion of meat, provided one partakes of it when it is soft.51

כ

עור הבא כנגד פניו של חמור מותר באכילה מפני שהוא כמו הפרש ומי רגלים שהן מותרין יש עורות שהן כבשר והאוכל מהן כזית כאוכל מן הבשר והוא כשיאכל אותן כשהן רכים:

21

The following [types of] skins are considered like meat: the skin of a human, the skin of a domesticated pig,52 the skin of a camel's hump upon which a burden has never been loaded, [because] it has not reached the age [to serve as a beast] of burden, for then it is still soft, the skin of genital area, the skin that is below the tail, the skin of a fetus, the skin of the hedgehog, the chameleon, the lizard, the snail.53 When all of these skins are soft, they are considered like meat with regard to all matters, whether with regard to [liability54 for] the prohibition against partaking of them or with regard to the laws of ritual purity.55

כא

ואלו שעורותיהן כבשרן:

עור האדם ועור החזיר של ישוב ועור חטוטרת של גמל שלא טענו עליו משא מעולם ולא הגיע למשא שעדיין היא רכה ועור בית הבושת ועור שתחת האליה ועור השליל ועור האנקה והכח והלטאה והחומט כל אלו העורות כשהן רכות הרי הן כבשר לכל דבר בין לאיסור אכילה בין לטומאה:

22

With regard to an ox condemned to be stoned,56 [Exodus 21:28] states: "Its meat shall not be eaten." Now, how could one think that it would be eaten after it was stoned to death, for it is a nevelah?57 Instead, the Torah is coming to teach you that once it has been sentenced to execution by stoning, it becomes forbidden; it becomes like a non-kosher animal. [Even] if one hurried and slaughtered it in an acceptable manner [before it was executed], it is forbidden to benefit from it.58 If one eats an olive-sized portion of its meat, he is liable for lashes. And when it is executed by stoning, its [meat] should not be sold or given to the dogs or to a gentile, [as implied by the phrase]: "shall not be eaten."59 It is permitted [to benefit from] the dung of an ox condemned to be stoned.60

If it is discovered that [a condemned ox] is not liable to be stoned after it was sentenced, e.g., the witnesses who testified against it were disqualified, it may be sent out to pasture with the herd. If this was discovered after it was executed, it is permitted to benefit from [its meat].

כב

נאמר בשור הנסקל ולא יאכל את בשרו והיאך היה אפשר לאכלו אחר שנסקל והרי הוא נבילה אלא לא בא הכתוב אלא להודיעך שכיון שנגמר דינו לסקילה נאסר ונעשה כבהמה טמאה ואם קדם ושחטו שחיטה כשירה הרי זה אסור בהנייה ואם אכל מבשרו כזית לוקה וכן כשיסקל לא ימכר ולא יתננו לכלבים ולא לעכו"ם לכך נאמר לא יאכל את בשרו ופרש של שור הנסקל מותר בהנאה נודע שהוא פטור מסקילה אחר שנגמר דינו כגון שהוזמו העדים יצא וירעה בעדר ואם נודע אחר שנסקל הרי זה מותר בהנייה:

Footnotes
1.

Sefer HaMitzvot (negative commandment 180) and Sefer HaChinuch (mitzvah 472) include this among the 613 mitzvot of the Torah.

2.

See Halachah 10.

3.

From Chullin 100b, it would appear that the rationale for this ruling is the general principle: "One prohibition does not fall upon another prohibition." Since the meat is already prohibited because it is from a non-kosher species, the prohibition of nevela does not apply to it. The Rambam's wording, however, is slightly different and may be alluding to a slightly different rationale.

4.

Which was not correctly slaughtered.

5.

This reflects a general concept with regard to the laws of kashrut. As stated in Chapter 2, Law 21, whenever "one eats an entire forbidden creature by itself, one is liable for lashes according to Scriptural Law even if it is smaller than a mustard seed."

The commentaries (Maggid Mishneh, Rav Moshe HaCohen) question why the Rambam states that the person is liable for eating a nevelah. Seemingly, the prohibition he transgresses is eating a limb from a living animal (see Chapter 5). The Meiri explains the Rambam's position, stating that an entire creature cannot be considered as "a limb."

6.

For the conception of being liable for an entire creature even though it is not the size of an olive, applies only when that creature is inherently forbidden (Meiri). While alive, the bird is considered as an entire forbidden entity, like a non-kosher species. After its death, that distinction does not apply.

7.

For we include the bones and the sinews as well (Chullin 102b).

8.

The same laws apply if the fetus is born alive, but it is obvious that the birth is not viable. Even if the animal is slaughtered in the appropriate manner, we are forbidden to partake of it.

9.

I.e., even if the animal is slaughtered properly, it is forbidden because it is possible that the birth is not viable. Although our Sages (Chulin 136a) spoke of the eighth day of an animal's life, their intent was the beginning of the eighth day (Maggid Mishneh).

10.

Since it is not a definite matter, lashes are not administered (ibid.).

11.

In contrast, an animal may not be offered as a sacrifice until the eighth day of its life (Exodus 22:29; Turei Zahav 15:3).

12.

I.e., he is not considered to have partaken of a nevelah.

13.

For as stated in Halachah 18, these are not considered meat, but rather comparable to an animal's wastes. For that reason, the Ra'avad (in his gloss to Chapter 5, Halachah 13) states that there is no prohibition against partaking of a placenta.

14.

I.e., like the prohibition of nevelah, the prohibition of trefe does not apply with regard to non-kosher species.

15.

I.e., even if it was slaughtered properly before it died, the meat is, nevertheless, forbidden, as stated in the following halachah. Sefer HaMitzvot (negative commandment 181) and Sefer HaChinuch (mitzvah 73) include this among the 613 mitzvot of the Torah.

16.

As the Rambam proceeds to explain in Halachah 8, the term trefe also applies in other situations. Nevertheless, there is an added dimension of severity to the laws applying to animals that are mortally wounded by beasts, as stated in Hilchot Shechitah 5:3 (Maggid Mishneh; Kessef Mishneh).

17.

The term trefe literally means "preyed upon." Our translation "mortally wounded" is the halachic definition as the Rambam proceeds to explain.

18.

This and the following examples are specifically mentioned by the Rambam in Hilchot Shechitah 10:1, 9:8, 11:4, 6:1.

19.

This is a general principle employed by our Sages with regard to the interpretation of the Torah's language. When it mentions a specific situation, it is not confining itself to the limited setting mentioned in the verse, but applies to other circumstances as well. Why is that situation mentioned? Because it is common.

20.

For only that is in the direct scope of the verse.

21.

Longer than twelve months (Hilchot Shechitah 11:1).

22.

Chulin 42a.

23.

From Chapter Five to Chapter Eleven. A concise list is found in Chapter 10, Halachah 9.

24.

For as mentioned above, the prohibition against partaking of a trefe applies only with regard to kosher animals.

25.

See Chapter Five, Halachot 2-3, where the Rambam distinguishes between this prohibition and the prohibition against partaking of a limb from a living animal. Note, however, Hilchot Melachim 9:10-11 where the Rambam includes eating the meat from an animal and eating a limb from an animal as a single prohibition for a gentile.

26.

I.e., just as we forbid the meat of an animal that was mortally wounded, we should forbid a portion of meat that was cut off with a knife.

27.

I.e., the meat was cut off from its natural place. See also Chapter 5, Halachah 9.

28.

With this explanation, the Rambam is clarifying the distinction Chulin 37a makes between an animal which is misukenet (dangerously ill) and trefe. The trefe condition is a result of wound, while in the case of a misukenet, all of its limbs and organs are sound. Nevertheless, as stated in Hilchot Trefot 5:2, there are other physical conditions which render an animal trefe even if it has not been attacked by an animal. These conditions were communicated as halachot to Moses at Sinai.

29.

The Maggid Mishneh (based on Chullin 37b) interprets this as a gesture of pious conduct. Note, however, Siftei Cohen 17:8.

30.

Such a convulsive movement is a sign that it was alive at the time that it was slaughtered, as the Rambam continues to explain in the following halachah.

31.

The Maggid Mishneh quotes opinions that maintain that this leniency was granted only to alleviate the financial loss a Jewish owner of an animal would suffer. Therefore, meat from an animal belonging to a gentile which is in such a condition should not be eaten. The Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 116:7) quotes this ruling.

32.

It must be able to stand up on its own when called or hit with a switch. If it is stood up by hand, it is still considered dangerously ill even if it is able to remain standing [Rama (Yoreh De'ah 17:1); Siftei Cohen 17:1].

33.

I.e., we assume that it died before the slaughter was completed (see Chulin 38a).

34.

The Maggid Mishneh and the Siftei Cohen 17:4 quote opinions that rule that if a small domesticated animal's foreleg was extended and it bent it, that is sufficient to render it acceptable.

35.

Note the Siftei Cohen 17:5 which quotes different versions of Chullin 38b that state that a fowl must move its wing. Winking its eyes is not sufficient.

36.

The Maggid Mishneh (and the Turei Zahav 17:4 and the Siftei Cohen 17:6) quote opinions that maintain that swishing its tail is also sufficient for an animal to be considered as having made a convulsive movement.

37.

I.e., because he cannot see. Needless to say, if the room is illuminated, this law does not apply.

38.

I.e., we follow the principle that when a doubt concerning a Scriptural prohibition is involved, we rule stringently.

39.

As stated in Hilchot Nazirut 5:3, although there are separate prohibitions against eating raisins, grape peels, grape seeds, and partaking of wine, if one combined all these substances together, one is liable.

40.

In which instance, the prohibition is Scriptural in origin, but lashes are not given (Chapter 3, Halachah 6).

The Rambam's statements in this and th following halachah touch on an issue of general significance. Rabbi Meir (Avodah Zarah 66a) maintains that forbidden substances of different types can be combined together to make a person liable for lashes. The Sages differ and maintain that they cannot be combined, but instead are judged individually. If there is enough of the one substance to make one liable, he is liable. If not, he is exempt.

The principle stated in Halachot 18-19 is a correlory to these concepts. Since the forbidden substances are not combined with each other, but are instead considered as discrete entities, they help nullify each other, as explained there.

41.

For this is included in the prohibition against a trefe, as stated in Halachah 10.

42.

Although each one of these species is mentioned separately in the Torah, they are all included in the same prohibition.

43.

The Ra'avad mentions that this point is the subject of a difference of opinion among the Sages of the Talmud, seemingly implying that the opinion which maintains that they should be combined should be followed. The Maggid Mishneh justifies the Rambam's position.

44.

See Chapter 2.

45.

Note the Rambam's Commentary to the Mishnah (Chulin 9:1) which interprets the Hebrew term giddim as also referring to veins, arteries, and nerves.

46.

This applies even if the portions eaten were soft and blood spurts from them.

47.

As stated in Halachah 5.

48.

The Rambam does not distinguish between milk that has coagulated and milk that is fluid. For even if it is fluid, it is already considered as a waste product. (Kessef Mishneh).

49.

I.e., since the digestive juices from the animal's stomach have already mixed with this milk, it will be an effective catalyst to cause the large quantity of milk to curdle and harden into cheese. See also Chapter 3, Halachah 13, and Chapter 9, Halachah 15.

The Rama (Yoreh De'ah 81:6) differs and quotes Rabbenu Tam's opinion states that liquid milk found in the stomach of a forbidden species is forbidden. Moreover, at the outset, one should not use even dried milk found in the stomach of a non-kosher animal as a catalyst because of the impression it will create. After the fact, it is permitted.

50.

Our translation is based on the glosses of Rashi and Tosafot, Bechoros 7b. The Ra'avad differs with the Rambam's ruling and maintains that this placenta is forbidden. The Maggid Mishneh justifies the Rambam's ruling.

51.

And not processed so that it becomes hard like leather.

52.

That of a wild boar, by contrast, is too tough to be eaten.

53.

As mentioned in the notes to Chapter 2, Halachah 7, the names of these species are a matter of debate.

54.

This addition is necessary, for there is a prohibition against partaking of any skin, as stated in Halachah 18.

55.

For an olive-sized portion of the meat of a nevelah can convey ritual impurity, while a hide or a piece of leather that size does not.

56.

For goring a human being. See Hilchot Nizkei Mammon, ch. 10, which explains the pertinent laws.

57.

For it died without ritual slaughter.

58.

Sefer HaMitzvot (negative commandment 188) and Sefer HaChinuch (mitzvah 52) include this among the 613 mitzvot of the Torah.

Instead, the corpse of the executed animal should be buried (Hilchot Pesulei HaMukdashim 19:11).

59.

As stated in Chapter 8, Halachah 15, unless there is a teaching that states otherwise, this phrase implies both a prohibition against eating and a prohibition against deriving benefit.

60.

As stated in Hilchot Ishut 5:2, the rationale is that the dung is considered of negligible importance with regard to the ox itself. As implied by Halachah 20, the dung of an animal is not considered as part of the animal itself, nor is it included in the prohibitions applying to it.

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The Mishneh Torah was the Rambam's (Rabbi Moses ben Maimon) magnum opus, a work spanning hundreds of chapters and describing all of the laws mentioned in the Torah. To this day it is the only work that details all of Jewish observance, including those laws which are only applicable when the Holy Temple is in place. Participating in the one of the annual study cycles of these laws (3 chapters/day, 1 chapter/day, or Sefer Hamitzvot) is a way we can play a small but essential part in rebuilding the final Temple.
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