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Rambam - 3 Chapters a Day

Ma'achalot Assurot - Chapter 17, Shechitah - Chapter 1, Shechitah - Chapter 2

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Ma'achalot Assurot - Chapter 17

1

When the meat of a nevelah or a crawling animal or teeming animal was cooked in an earthenware pot,1 one should not cook the meat of a ritually slaughtered animal in that pot on that same day. If he cooked a type of meat [in the pot that day], the dish is forbidden.2 If he cooked another substance in it, [it is forbidden if] its flavor can be detected.3

א

קדרה של חרס שנתבשל בה בשר נבלה או בשר שקצים ורמשים לא יבשל בה בשר שחוטה באותו היום ואם בישל בה מין בשר התבשיל אסור בישל בה מין אחר בנותן טעם:

2

The Torah forbade only [the use of] a pot that was [cooked with the forbidden substance] on that day.4 For [in that time,] the flavor of the fat absorbed in the pot had not been impaired.5

According to Rabbinic Law, one should never cook in it again.6 For this reason, one should never purchase used earthenware utensils from gentiles to use them for hot foods, e.g., pots and plates. This applies even when they are coated with leaded. If one purchased such a utensil and cooked in it from the second day onward, the food is permitted.7

ב

ולא אסרה תורה אלא קדרה בת יומה בלבד הואיל ועדיין לא נפגם השומן שנבלע בקדרה ומדברי סופרים לא יבשל בה לעולם לפיכך אין לוקחין כלי חרס ישנים מן העכו"ם שנשתמשו בהן בחמין כגון קדרות וקערות לעולם ואפילו היו שועין באבר ואם לקח ובישל בהן מיום שני והלאה התבשיל מותר:

3

[The following rules apply when] a person purchases metal or glass dinnerware from a gentile. Utensils that [the gentile] did not use at all should be immersed in the waters of a mikveh. Afterwards, it is permitted to eat and drink with them.8

Utensils that he used for cold [food and drink], e.g., cups, flasks, and pitchers, he should wash them thoroughly9 and immerse them. [Afterwards,] they are permitted. Utensils that he used for hot food: large pots, kettles, and pots used to heat foot, should be purged through hagaalah,10 and immersed in the mikveh.11 Afterwards, they are permitted. Utensils that he used by exposing them to fire, e.g., spits and grills, should be exposed to fire12 until they become white-hot and their outer surface falls off.13 They may then be immersed and become permitted for use.

ג

הלוקח כלי תשמיש סעודה מן העכו"ם מכלי מתכות וכלי זכוכית דברים שלא נשתמש בהן כל עיקר מטבילן במי מקוה ואחר כך יהיו מותרין לאכול בהן ולשתות ודברים שנשתמש בהן ע"י צונן כגון כוסות וצלוחיות וקיתוניות מדיחן ומטבילן והן מותרות ודברים שנשתמש בהן על ידי חמין כגון יורות וקומקמוסין ומחממי חמין מגעילן ומטבילן והן מותרין ודברים שנשתמש בהן ע"י האור כגון שפודין ואסכלאות מלבנן באור עד שתנשר קליפתן ומטבילן והן מותרין:

4

How is [the purging process of] hagaalah achieved? A small pot is placed into a large pot and they are filled with water until the smaller one is submerged.14 Then one must boil it very thoroughly.15

If a large pot was [forbidden],16 one should place dough or mud along its edge [so that] he could fill it with water so that it will flow over its edge.17He [then] boils it.

In all instances, if he used them before boiling [water in them for hagaalah], washing them thoroughly, making them white hot, or immersing them, [the food] is kosher. For any fat [absorbed] in them imparts an unpleasant flavor, as explained.18

ד

כיצד מגעילן נותן יורה קטנה לתוך יורה גדולה וממלא עליה מים עד שיצופו על הקטנה ומרתיחה יפה יפה ואם היתה יורה גדולה מקיף על שפתה בצק או טיט וממלא מים עד שיצופו המים על שפתה ומרתיח וכולן שנשתמש בהן עד שלא הרתיח או עד שלא הדיח ועד שלא הלבין ועד שלא הטביל מותר שכל השומן שבהן נותן טעם לפגם הוא כמו שביארנו:

5

The immersion of the dinnerware that is purchased from gentiles to allow it to be used for eating and drinking is not associated with ritual purity and impurity. Instead, it is a Rabbinic decree.19

There is an allusion20 to this [in Numbers 31:23 that describes Moses' instructions with regard to the spoils taken from Midian:] "Everything that can be passed through fire, you shall pass through fire and it will become pure." According to the Oral Tradition, we learned that the verse is speaking only about purifying [the utensils] from gentile cooking, not from ritual impurity. For there is no ritually impurity that is dispelled by fire. All those who are impure ascend from their impurity through immersion and the impurity stemming from [contact with] a human corpse is [dispelled] through the sprinkling [of water and the ashes of the red heifer]. There is no concept of fire [employed in this context], rather [it is employed] with regard to purification from gentile cooking. Since the verse states "and it will become pure," our Sages said: "Add to it another dimension of purity after passing it through fire to cause it to be permitted because [of its contact] with gentile cooking."21

ה

טבילה זו שמטבילין כלי הסעודה הנלקחים מן העכו"ם ואח"כ יותרו לאכילה ושתיה אינן לענין טומאה וטהרה אלא מדברי סופרים ורמז לה כל דבר אשר יבא באש תעבירו באש וטהר ומפי השמועה למדו שאינו מדבר אלא בטהרתן מידי גיעולי עכו"ם לא מידי טומאה שאין לך טומאה עולה על ידי האש וכל הטמאים בטבילה עולין מטומאתן וטומאת מת בהזאה וטבילה ואין שם אש כלל אלא לענין גיעולי עכו"ם וכיון שכתוב וטהר אמרו חכמים הוסיף לו טהרה אחר עבירתו באש להתירו מגיעולי עכו"ם:

6

[Our Sages] obligate this immersion only for metal22 dinnerware utensils23 that were purchased from a gentile. When, however, a person borrows [such utensils] from a gentile or a gentile left him such utensils as security, it is only necessary to wash them thoroughly, boil them, or expose them to fire. He does not have to immerse [them].24 Similarly, if one purchased wooden or stone utensils, it is only necessary to wash them thoroughly, boil them, or expose them to fire. Similarly, earthenware utensils need not be immersed.25 If, however, they are coated with lead, they are considered as metal utensils and require immersion.26

ו

לא חייבו בטבילה זו אלא כלי מתכות של סעודה הנלקחין מן העכו"ם אבל השואל מן העכו"ם או שמשכן העכו"ם אצלו כלי מתכות מדיח או מרתיח או מלבן ואינו צריך להטביל וכן אם לקח כלי עץ או כלי אבנים מדיח או מרתיח ואינו צריך להטביל וכן כלי חרשים אינו צריך להטביל אבל השועין באבר הרי הן ככלי מתכות וצריכין טבילה:

7

When a person purchases a knife from a gentile, he must expose it to fire until it become white hot or have it honed in its sharpener.27 If it was a perfectly [smooth] knife without any blemishes, it is sufficient to insert it in hard earth ten times.28 [Afterwards,] one may eat cold food with it.29 If it had blemishes or it was perfectly [smooth], but one desired to use it to eat hot food or to slaughter with it, he should expose it to fire until it becomes white hot or hone it in its entirety.30 If he slaughtered [an animal] with such a knife before purifying it, he should wash thoroughly the place of slaughter.31 If he removes the surface [of the meat around the place of slaughter], it is praiseworthy.32

ז

הלוקח סכין מן העכו"ם מלבנה באש או משחיזה בריחים שלה ואם היתה סכין יפה שאין בה פגימות די לו אם נעצה בקרקע קשה עשר פעמים ואוכל בה צונן ואם היו בה פגימות או שהיתה יפה ורצה לאכול בה חמין או לשחוט בה מלבנה או משחיזה כולה שחט בה קודם שיטהרנה מדיח מקום השחיטה ואם קלף הרי זה משובח:

8

When a knife was used to slaughter an animal that was trefe, one should not slaughter with it [again] until it is washed thoroughly, even with cold water or wiped clean with worn-out clothes.33

ח

סכין ששחט בה טרפה לא ישחוט בה עד שידיחה אפילו בצונן או מקנחה בבליות של בגדים:

9

There are other substances which are forbidden by the Sages. Even though there is not a basis for their prohibition in Scriptural Law, they decreed against their use34 to separate from the gentiles so that Jews will not intermingle with them and intermarry. They are: It is forbidden to drink [alcoholic beverages] with them35even in a place where there was no suspicion that the wine was poured as a libation. And they forbade eating from their bread or cooked dishes36even in a place where there is no suspicion that the food was forbidden.37

ט

ויש שם דברים אחרים אסרו אותן חכמים ואף על פי שאין לאיסורן עיקר מן התורה גזרו עליהן כדי להתרחק מן העכו"ם עד שלא יתערבו בהן ישראל ויבאו לידי חתנות ואלו הן:

אסרו לשתות עמהן ואפילו במקום שאין לחוש ליין נסך ואסרו לאכול פיתן או בישוליהן ואפילו במקום שאין לחוש לגיעוליהן:

10

A person should not drink at a party of gentiles even though boiled wine which is not forbidden38 [is being served] or he is drinking from his own utensils. If the majority of the attendants of the party are Jewish, it is permitted.39We may not drink the beer that they make from dates, figs, or the like. [This is forbidden] only in the place where they are sold.40 If, however, one brought the beer home and drank it there, it is permitted. For the fundamental point of the decree is that one should not feast with [a gentile].

י

כיצד לא ישתה אדם במסיבה של עכו"ם ואע"פ שהוא יין מבושל שאינו נאסר או שהיה שותה מכליו לבדו ואם היה רוב המסיבה ישראל מותר ואין שותין שכר שלהן שעושין מן התמרים והתאנים וכיוצא בהן ואינו אסור אלא במקום מכירתו אבל אם הביא השכר לביתו ושתהו שם מותר שעיקר הגזירה שמא יסעוד אצלו:

11

It is permitted to drink wine from apples, pomegranates, and the like in every place. [Our Sages] did not institute a decree in an uncommon situation. Raisen wine is like ordinary wine and is used for libations.41

יא

יין תפוחים ויין רמונים וכיוצא בהן מותר לשתותן בכל מקום דבר שאינו מצוי לא גזרו עליו יין צמוקים הרי הוא כיין ומתנסך:

12

Although [our Sages] forbade bread [baked] by gentiles, there are places were leniency is shown regarding this matter and bread baked by a gentile baker is purchased in a place where there is no Jewish baker and it is in a field, because this is a pressing situation.42 There is, by contrast, no one who will rule that leniency may be shown with regard to bread baked by a homeowner.43 For the primary reason for [our Sages'] decree was [to prevent] intermarriage. If one will eat the bread of a [gentile] homeowner, [it is likely that] he will feast with him.

יב

אף על פי שאסרו פת עכו"ם יש מקומות שמקילין בדבר ולוקחין פת הנחתום העכו"ם במקום שאין שם נחתום ישראל ובשדה מפני שהוא שעת הדחק אבל פת בעלי בתים אין שם מי שמורה בה להקל שעיקר הגזירה משום חתנות ואם יאכל פת בעלי בתים יבוא לסעוד אצלן:

13

[The bread] is permitted [in the following situations]: A gentile lit the oven and a Jew baked within it, a Jew lit the oven and the gentile baked within it, the gentile both lit the oven and baked, but the Jew stirred the fire or reduced it, since he was involved in the baking tasks, [we rule leniently]. Even though he did not do more than throw one piece of wood into the oven, he caused all the bread in it to be permitted. [The rationale is that this requirement] is only to make a distinction that [a gentile's] bread is forbidden.44

יג

הדליק העכו"ם את התנור ואפה בו ישראל או שהדליק ישראל ואפה עכו"ם או שהדליק העכו"ם ואפה העכו"ם ובא ישראל וניער האש מעט או כבשו לאש הואיל ונשתתף במלאכת הפת הרי זו מותרת ואפילו לא זרק אלא עץ לתוך התנור התיר כל הפת שבו שאין הדבר אלא להיות היכר שהפת שלהן אסורה:

14

When a gentile cooks wine, milk, honey, quince,45 or the like, i.e., any entity that is usually eaten raw, it is permitted. [Our Sages] issued their decree only with regard to entities that are not eaten at all raw, e.g., meat, unsalted fish, an egg, and vegetables. If a gentile were to cook them from the beginning to the end without the Jew participated in the cooking at all, they are forbidden because they were cooked by gentiles.

יד

עכו"ם שבישל לנו יין או חלב או דבש או פרישין וכיוצא באלו (מכל) דבר הנאכל כמות שהוא חי הרי אלו מותרין ולא גזרו אלא על דבר שאינו נאכל כמות שהוא חי כגון בשר ודג תפל וביצה וירקות אם בישלן העכו"ם מתחלה ועד סוף ולא נשתתף ישראל עמו בבשולן הרי אלו אסורין משום בשולי עכו"ם:

15

When does the above apply? To [food] that would be served on the table of kings46 to be eaten together with bread,47 e.g., meat, eggs, fish, and the like. When, by contrast, [food] would not be served on the table of kings to be eaten together with bread, e.g., vetch48 cooked by gentiles, it is permitted despite the fact that it is not eaten uncooked. Similar laws apply in all analogous situations. For the fundamental purpose of the decree was to prevent intermarriage, by [hindering] a gentile from inviting [the Jew] to a feast. And when [food] would not be served on the table of kings to be eaten together with bread, a person would not invite a friend [to share a meal] of it.

טו

במה דברים אמורים בדבר שהוא עולה על שולחן מלכים לאכול בו את הפת כגון בשר וביצים ודגים וכיוצא בהם אבל דבר שאינו עולה על שלחן מלכים לאכול בו את הפת כגון תורמוסין ששלקו אותן עכו"ם אע"פ שאינן נאכלין חיין הרי אלו מותרין וכן כל כיוצא בהן שעיקר הגזרה משום חתנות שלא יזמנו העכו"ם אצלו בסעודה ודבר שאינו עולה על שולחן מלכים לאכול בו את הפת אין אדם מזמן את חבירו עליו:

16

When small fish were salted by a Jew or a gentile,49 it is as if they have undergone part of their cooking process. [Therefore] if a gentile roasted them afterwards, they are permitted.50 [Similarly,] whenever a Jew performs a small part of the cooking process, whether at the beginning or at the end, [the food] is permitted. Accordingly, if a gentile placed meat or a pot on the fire and the Jew turned over the meat or stirred the pot or, conversely, the Jew placed [the food on the fire] and the gentile completed [the cooking process], [the food] is permitted.51

טז

ודגים קטנים שמלחן ישראל או עכו"ם הרי הן כמו שנתבשלו מקצת בשול ואם צלאן עכו"ם אחר כן מותרין וכל שבשלו ישראל מעט בשולו בין בתחלה בין בסוף מותר לפיכך אם הניח העכו"ם בשר או קדרה על גבי האש והפך ישראל בבשר והגיס בקדרה או שהניח ישראל וגמר העכו"ם הרי זה מותר:

17

When a gentile salts fish or smokes fruit and in this way prepares them to be eaten, they are permitted. With regard to this decree,52 salted food is not considered as if it were boiling hot, nor is smoking considered as cooking. Similarly, kernels of grain roasted by a gentile are permitted. They were not included in the decree, for a person will not invite a colleague53 to [come and eat] roasted kernels of grain.

יז

דג שמלחו עכו"ם ופירות שעישנן עד שהכשירן לאכילה הרי אלו מותרין מליח אינו כרותח בגזירה זו והמעושן אינו כמבושל וכן קליות של עכו"ם מותרין ולא גזרו עליהם שאין אדם מזמן חבירו על הקליות:

18

Beans, peas, lentils, and the like that have been cooked by gentiles and are sold are forbidden because of [the decree against] gentile cooking in places where they are served on the tables of kings54 as a relish. [They are also forbidden,] because of prohibited foods in all places for perhaps they were cooked together with meat55 or in a pot in which meat had been cooked.56 Similarly, doughnuts that are fried by gentiles in oil are forbidden because of prohibited foods.57

יח

פולין ואפונין ועדשים וכיוצא בהן ששולקין אותן העכו"ם ומוכרין אותן אסורין משום בישולי עכו"ם במקום שעולין על שלחן מלכים משום פרפרת ומשום גיעולי עכו"ם בכ"מ שמא יבשלו אותן עם הבשר או בקדרה שבישלו בה בשר וכן הסופגנין שקולין אותן העכו"ם בשמן אסורין אף משום גיעולי עכו"ם:

19

When a gentile cooked without intending to cook, [the product] is permitted.58 What is implied? A gentile lit a fire in a swamp to clean away the overgrowth and grasshoppers were roasted, it is permitted to eat them. [This applies] even in places where they are served on the tables of kings as a relish. Similarly, if he scorches a [kosher animal's] head to remove its hair, it is permitted to partake of the strings of meat and the tips of the ears that were roasted at the time of the scorching.

יט

עכו"ם שבישל ולא נתכוון לבשול הרי זה מותר כיצד עכו"ם שהצית אור באגם כדי להעביר החציר ונתבשלו בה חגבים הרי אלו מותרין ואפילו במקום שהן עולין על שלחן מלכים משום פרפרת וכן אם חרך הראש להעביר השער מותר לאכול מן הדלדולין ומן ראש אזנים שנצלו בשעת חריכה:

20

[The following rules apply to] dates that were cooked by gentiles. If, initially, they were sweet, they are permitted.59 If they were bitter and the cooking sweetened them, they are forbidden. If they were of intermediate sweetness, they are forbidden.

כ

תמרים ששלקו אותן עכו"ם אם היו מתוקין מתחלתן הרי אלו מותרין ואם היו מרין ומתקנין הבשול הרי אלו אסורין היו בינוניים הרי אלו אסורין:

21

Roasted lentils that were kneaded with water or with vinegar are forbidden.60 When, however, roasted kernels of wheat or barley are kneaded with water, they are permitted.

כא

קלי של עדשים שלשו בין במים בין בחומץ הרי זה אסור אבל קלי של חטים ושעורים שלשין אותן במים הרי זה מותר:

22

The oil of gentiles is permitted. One who forbids it commits a great sin, for he rebels61 against [the teachings] of the [High] Court who permitted it.62 Even if the oil was cooked, it is permitted. It is not forbidden because of gentile cooking, because we partake of oil uncooked. Nor is it forbidden, because of prohibited foods,63 because meat impairs [the flavor of] oil and spoils it.

כב

שמן של עכו"ם מותר ומי שאוסרו הרי זה עומד בחטא גדול מפני שממרה על פי בית דין שהתירוהו ואפילו נתבשל השמן הרי זה מותר ואינו נאסר לא מפני בישולי עכו"ם מפני שנאכל כמות שהוא חי ולא מפני גיעולי עכו"ם מפני שהבשר פוגם את השמן ומסריחו:

23

Similarly, when gentile honey was cooked and sweets were made from it, it is permitted for the same reason.64

כג

וכן דבש של עכו"ם שנתבשל ועשו ממנו מיני מתיקה מותר מטעם זה:

24

Date dregs65 of gentiles that were heated in hot water, whether in a large pot or a small pot, are permitted.66 For the [flavor of forbidden meat absorbed in the pot] impairs its flavor. Similarly, pickled foods to which it is not customary to add vinegar or wine or pickled olives or pickled grasshoppers that are brought from the storehouse are permitted.67 Nevertheless, grasshoppers and pickled foods over which wine is sprinkled are forbidden.68 Similarly, they are forbidden if vinegar - even vinegar made from beer - is sprinkled over them.69

כד

כוספן של עכו"ם שהוחמו חמין בין ביורה גדולה בין ביורה קטנה מותר מפני שנותן טעם לפגם הוא וכן כבשין שאין דרכן לתת לתוכן חומץ או יין או זיתים הכבושין וחגבים הכבושין שבאין מן האוצר מותרין אבל חגבים וכבשים שמזלפין עליהן יין אסורין וכן אם היו מזלפין עליהן חומץ ואפילו חומץ שכר אסורין:

25

Why is gentile vinegar made from beer forbidden? Because they cast the dregs of wine into it. Therefore [vinegar] taken from a storage room is permitted.70

כה

ומפני מה אסרו חומץ שכר של עכו"ם מפני שמשליכין לתוכו שמרי יין לפיכך הנלקח מן האוצר מותר:

26

[Gentile] fish brine, in places where it is customary to mix wine into it, is forbidden. If the wine is more expensive than the fish brine, it is permitted. We rule this way in all instances where we suspect that the gentiles mixed a forbidden substance [into a permitted substance]. For a person will not mix something expensive into something that is low-priced, for he will lose. He will, however, mix the low-priced into the expensive, for then he profits.

כו

המורייס במקום שדרכן לתת לתוכו יין אסור ואם היה היין יקר מן המורייס מותר וכזה מורין בכל דבר שחוששין לו שמא עירבו בו העכו"ם דבר אסור שאין אדם מערב דבר היקר בזול שהרי מפסיד אבל מערב הזול ביקר כדי להשתכר:

27

When a child eats forbidden foods or performs a forbidden labor on the Sabbath,71 the Jewish court is not commanded to make him cease, because he is not intellectually capable.72

When does the above apply? When he acts on his own initiative.73 It is, however, forbidden [for an adult] to give him [non-kosher food] by hand. [This applies even] to foods forbidden by Rabbinic decree. Similarly, it is forbidden to make him accustomed to desecrating the Sabbath and the festivals.74 [This applies even] to even [performing] activities forbidden as a shvut.75

כז

קטן שאכל אחד ממאכלות אסורות או שעשה מלאכה בשבת אין בית דין מצווין עליו להפרישו לפי שאינו בן דעת בד"א בשעשה מעצמו אבל להאכילו בידים אסור ואפילו דברים שאיסורן מדברי סופרים וכן אסור להרגילו בחילול שבת ומועד ואפילו בדברים שהן משום שבות:

28

Although the Jewish court is not commanded to separate a child from transgressions, his father is commanded to rebuke him so that he withdraws in order to train him in holy conduct, as [Proverbs 22:6] states: "Educate a child according to his way."76

כח

אף על פי שאין בית דין מצווין להפריש את הקטן מצוה על אביו לגעור בו ולהפרישו כדי לחנכו בקדושה שנאמר חנוך לנער על פי דרכו וגו':

29

Our Sages77 forbade [a person from partaking of] food and drink from which the souls of most people are revolted, e.g., food and drink that were mixed with vomit, feces, foul discharges, or the like.78 Similarly, our Sages forbade eating and drinking from filthy utensils from which a person's soul languishes, e.g., the utensils of a lavatory, the glass79 utensils of medical attendants that are used to let blood, and the like.

כט

אסרו חכמים מאכלות ומשקין שנפש רוב בני אדם קיהה מהן כגון מאכלות ומשקין שנתערב בהן קיא או צואה ולחה סרוחה וכיוצא בהן וכן אסרו חכמים לאכול ולשתות בכלים הצואים שנפשו של אדם מתאוננת מהם כגון כלי בית הכסא וכלי זכוכית של ספרין שגורעין בהם את הדם וכיוצא בהן:

30

Similarly, they forbade eating with unclean and soiled hands and with dirty utensils. All of these matters are included in the general [prohibition]: "Do not make your souls detestable." A person who partakes of these foods is given stripes for rebellious conduct.80

ל

וכן אסרו לאכול בידים מסואבות מזוהמות ועל גבי כלים מלוכלכים שכל דברים אלו בכלל אל תשקצו את נפשותיכם והאוכל מאכלות אלו מכין אותו מכת מרדות:

31

Similarly, it is forbidden for a person to delay relieving himself at all, whether through defecation or urination.81 Anyone who delays relieving himself is considered among those who make their souls detestable in addition to the severe illnesses he brings upon himself and becoming liable for his life. Instead, it is appropriate for a person to train himself [to eliminate] at specific times so that he will not have to separate himself in the presence of others and not have to make his soul detestable.

לא

וכן אסור לאדם שישהה את נקביו כלל בין גדולים בין קטנים וכל המשהה נקביו הרי זה בכלל משקץ נפשו יתר על חלאים רעים שיביא על עצמו ויתחייב בנפשו אלא ראוי לו להרגיל עצמו בעתים מזומנים כדי שלא יתרחק בפני בני אדם ולא ישקץ נפשו:

32

Whoever is careful concerning these matters82 brings an additional measure of holiness and purity to his soul and purges his soul for the sake of the Holy One, blessed be He, as [Leviticus 11:44] states: "And you shall sanctify yourselves and you will be holy, for I am holy."

לב

וכל הנזהר בדברים אלו מביא קדושה וטהרה יתירה לנפשו וממרק נפשו לשם הקדוש ברוך הוא שנאמר והתקדשתם והייתם קדושים כי קדוש אני:

Blessed be God who grants assistance.

בריך רחמנא דסייען מריש ועד כען:

Footnotes
1.

If the pot was made out of metal, it is possible to purge the flavor of the non-kosher food the pot absorbed through hagaalah. This process is not effective with regard to an earthenware pot.

2.

Since the dish contains meat and the flavor of the forbidden meat was absorbed in the pot, the laws applying to a forbidden substance mixed with its own type apply. Since we do not know how much of the forbidden substance is absorbed in the pot, we assume that the entire pot is forbidden. For this reason, the Rambam does not mention that if there is 60 times the amount of the forbidden food in the kosher food, the kosher food is permitted. For it is very rare that a pot be able to contain sixty times its own volume (Radbaz).

3.

According to the Rambam, it should be tasted by a gentile to determine whether the forbidden flavor is detectable or not, as stated in Chapter 15, Halachah 30. As mentioned, the Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 98:1) accepts the Rambam's premise, but the Rama states that in the present age, we do not rely on the statements of a non-Jew who tasted food to determine whether it is kosher or not.

4.

The meaning of the Rambam's words is not clear. Rashi (Avodah Zarah 75b) interprets the term as meaning "which has not been left overnight." Tosafot, by contrast, states that it means "that has not been left for 24 hours." The Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 103:5) follows the latter view.

5.

After that time, however, the flavor is impaired and thus will not cause a substance cooked in the pot to become forbidden.

6.

This is a safeguard less cooking in a pot that had not been used for non-kosher food for a day lead to cooking in one that had been used for non-kosher food that day (Avodah Zarah, loc. cit.).

7.

Our Sages did not enforce their decree after the fact. Nevertheless, at the outset, an earthenware pot that was used for non-kosher food may never be used.

8.

See Halachah 5 regarding the obligation for this immersion.

9.

Lest any forbidden food be stuck to them.

10.

This will purge any forbidden food that was absorbed in them. There should be at least one day between the last time a pot was used for non-kosher food and the time when hagaalah is performed.

11.

See Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 121:2 which discusses what must be done if they were immersed in the mikveh before hagaalah was performed.

12.

That the forbidden article and the utensil were in direct contact with fire without a medium of water or any other liquid.

13.

Only then will the forbidden flavor that was absorbed be purged.

14.

In that way, there will not be any portion of it that is not exposed to the water.

15.

I.e., we follow the principle: "As it absorbed a forbidden flavor, so it purges it." Hence boiling it thoroughly will cause any forbidden taste that is absorbed to be purged.

16.

And thus it would be difficult to submerge it a larger pot.

17.

And thus the boiling water will also cover the edge.

18.

In Halachah 2.

19.

As the Jerusalem Talmud (Avodah Zarah 5:15) states, this immersion was instituted to mark the article's transition from the impurity of the gentiles.

20.

Most commentaries understand the Rambam as explaining that the requirement for immersion is an asmachta, i.e., an obligation that is essentially Rabbinic in origin. Although our Sages cited a verse that can be seen to allude to it, the intent is not that the obligation is derived from the verse. Instead, the verse is merely a hint which the Rabbis found to allude to their teaching (Rabbenu Nissim).

There are, however, others who note that the Rambam occasionally employs the term he employs here - midvrei sofrim - to refer to obligations and laws that are of Scriptural origin. They are not explicitly stated in the verse, but instead derived through the principles of Biblical exegesis. According to this view, the obligation is of Scriptural origin (the Rashba, Vol. III, Responsum 255, 259).

21.

I.e., after you have purged it from the taste absorbed because of gentile cooking, add another dimension of purity through immersion.

22.

This requirement also applies to glass dinnerware, as stated in Halachah 3.

Avodah Zarah 75b explains the association with metal utensils as follows. Our Sages associated this obligation with the purification of the spoil taken in the war against Midian and the verse which mentions those spoils (Numbers 31:22) refers to metal utensils. Glass utensils are also included, because, halachically, they share similarities to metal utensils.

23.

I.e., utensils used to prepare, serve, or partake of food. Even utensils that are used in the preliminary phases of preparation of food, e.g., a knife used to slaughter or skin an animal, are required to be immersed according to certain authorities [Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 120:5)].

24.

For even though he has permission to use them, he has not become their owner. The Kessef Mishneh quotes certain opinions that maintain that utensils taken as security must be immersed, because if the debt is not repaid, they are considered as payment [see Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 120:5).

In this context, there are many authorities who question why the utensils that are "purchased" by a gentile before Pesach are not required to be immersed.

25.

Needless to say, plastic utensils need not be immersed.

26.

The Rama ((Yoreh De'ah 120:1) states that they should be immersed without a blessing.

27.

By exposing the knife to fire, the person will burn away any non-kosher substances. By honing it, he will grind away its surface and together with it, the taste of the forbidden substance it absorbed.

28.

One must insert it in ten different places in the earth. It is not sufficient to insert it in the same place ten times [Tur and Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 121:7)].

29.

For sticking it into the earth will remove any traces of forbidden fat on its surface and the taste of forbidden food that is absorbed will not be released when it is used for cold food.

30.

These activities may cause any forbidden taste absorbed by the knife to be released. Hence before the knife is used, the traces of the forbidden flavor must be removed as above.

The Rama (Yoreh De'ah 121:7) quotes opinions that maintain that honing the knife is not sufficient to allow it to be used for hot foods. He states that this is accustomed practice. Even so, after the fact, if a person slaughtered an animal with a knife that was honed in a grinder, thre is no prohibition involved (Siftei Cohen 121:20).

31.

To remove any traces of forbidden fat that might be present.

This is permitted only after the fact. At the outset, it is forbidden to slaughter with such a knife unless measures are taken to remove the absorbed fat (Siftei Cohen 10:8).

32.

For according to some opinions, through the slaughter of the animal, the forbidden fat on the knife can become absorbed in the surface of the meat where the animal was slaughtered. Hence it is necessary that it be removed. The Rama (Yoreh De'ah 10:1) rules that it is necessary to take this measure and remove the surface of the meat.

33.

To remove any trace of forbidden blood or fat. Nothing more is necessary, we do not say that the blood or fat became absorbed in the knife.

The Turei Zahav 10:15 states that unlike a knife used by gentiles mentioned in the previous halachah, it was not used frequently with a non-kosher substance. Hence washing it thoroughly is sufficient.

34.

These decrees were about the eighteen decrees passed when the students of the School of Shammai outnumbered the students of the School of Hillel, as related in Shabbat 1:3 (the Rambam's Commentary to the Mishnah, Avodah Zarah 2:6).

35.

See the following halachah.

36.

See Halachot 12-24.

37.

E.g., the food was cooked by gentiles on Jewish premises (the Rambam's Commentary to the Mishnah, loc. cit.).

38.

See Chapter 11, Halachah 9.

39.

The Tur and the Shulchan Aruch do not mention this restriction or the accompanying leniency. The Beit Yosef (Yoreh De'ah 112) explains the Rambam's logic as follows: Avodah Zarah 30a relates that one of the Sages, Shmuel was sitting with Abalat, a gentile. They were served boiled wine. Abalat withdrew, lest he touch the wine and cause it to become forbidden. Shmuel called him back, telling him there was no prohibition against boiled wine.

Rabbenu Asher asks: Since the prohibition against gentile wine was instituted as a protection against intermarriage, what difference does it make whether the wine is boiled or not? He answers that boiled wine is not common. Hence our Sages did not include it in their decree.

Rambam maintains that boiled wine is common and hence included in our Sages' decree. For this reason, it is forbidden to drink it together with gentiles. How then could Shmuel drink with Abalat? Because there were a majority of Jews at the gathering and such a situation is not included in our Sages' decree.

40.

Thus according to the Rambam [and the Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 114:1) who quotes his ruling, it is forbidden to drink at a bar frequented primarily by gentiles. The Rama mentions that it is customary in the Ashkenazic community to rule leniently with regard to alcoholic beverages made from honey and grain.

41.

Hence a gentile's touch renders it forbidden.

42.

Because bread is a staple of life and there is no Jewish bread available, our Sages allowed for leniency when purchasing bread from a commercial baker. For buying from him will not lead to close personal relationships. Nevertheless, according to the Rambam, this leniency is granted only: where there is no Jewish bakers and in the fields, not in the cities. The Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 112:2) rules more leniently and does not forbid this in a city. The Rama rules even more leniently and allows the purchase of bread from a gentile baker even in places where bread from a Jewish baker is available.

43.

There are opinions which maintain when there is no bread from a commercial baker available, one may even use bread baked by a gentile homeowner [Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 112)]. The Rama states that one may accept this leniency.

44.

The Radbaz states that this leniency applies only with regard to baking bread. With regard to cooking, a Jew must take a more active role in the cooking process. This ruling is quoted by the Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 113:7). The Rama, however, differs and maintains that kindling the oven is sufficient for cooking as well.

45.

There is a slight difficulty with the Rambam's statements, because quince are only edible when cooked.

46.

Today, when monarchy is a point of history, the phrase "fit to be served on the table of kings" refers to food served at a dinner for the President or dignitaries of similar status.

47.

Avodah Zarah 38a gives this and the leniency mentioned in the previous halachah as alternate explanations when food cooked by gentiles is permitted. Since the matter is left unresolved by the Talmud, the Rambam and the subsequent authorities rule leniently in both situations.

48.

A legume used as cattle fodder, but also served to humans on occasion.

49.

The Radbaz that this is speaking about fish that are frequently served salted even without being cooked (e.g., sardines or herring served in brine). It is permitted to eat such fish for, as the Rambam states in the following halachah, in this context, salting is not considered as cooking. This leniency does not apply to large fish, for they are unfit to be eaten unless they are cooked or roasted. The Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 103:12) mentions this ruling, but also a dissenting view that allows leniency even with regard to large fish.

50.

Since they were fit to be eaten before they were roasted, the fact that they were roasted by a gentile afterwards does not cause them to be forbidden. This applies even when a gentile performed the salting. For that salting did not cause the fish to become forbidden and yet, it made it fit to be eaten (ibid.).

51.

In his Kessef Mishneh, R. Yosef Caro rules that this applies only when the cooking process would have been completed without the gentile's activity; the gentile merely hastened it. He does not, however, quote this ruling in his Shulchan Aruch. The Rama (Yoreh De'ah 113:6) rules that even if the food would not have cooked without the gentile's activity, it is permitted. The Turei Zahav 113:6 and the Siftei Cohen 113:8, however, raise questions concerning that leniency.

52.

In contrast to certain other halachic contexts.

53.

See the conclusion of Halachah 15.

54.

Implied is that the designation of a food as important enough to be served on the tables of kings is a relative matter, determined by each locale in accordance with its own practice (Makor Mayim Chayim).

55.

For this is frequently done in order to flavor beans.

56.

I.e., cooked that day. The Kessef Mishneh states that, according to the Rambam, we assume that a pot owned by a gentile had been used to cook non-kosher food that day. This is not the view of the majority of Halachic authorities.

57.

For we fear that the gentile used non-kosher fat or that the fryer in which they are prepared was used that day for non-kosher meat.

58.

When quoting this law, Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 113:5) emphasizes that if the gentile intends to cook, even if he did not intend to cook a particular substance, that substance is forbidden. For example, when a gentile lit an oven with the intent of cooking food without realizing that there was meat in the oven, the meat is forbidden.

59.

Since they can be eaten fresh, they are not forbidden when cooked (Halachah 14).

60.

Avodah Zarah 38b relates that it was customary to eat a dish made from roasted lentils mixed with vinegar. This was considered like cooking. As a safeguard against partaking of such a mixture, they also forbade roasted lentils mixed with water. It was not, however, customary to partake of grain mixed with vinegar. Hence, there was no reason to forbid grain mixed with water.

61.

The wording the Rambam uses alludes to the Biblical prohibition of the rebellious elder (see Deuteronomy, ch. 17, and Hilchot Mamrim, ch. 3). The Jerusalem Talmud (Avodah Zarah 2:8) relates that Rav once refused to partake of gentile oil. Shmuel ordered him to do so. "If not," he threatened, "I will have you labeled a rebellious elder."

62.

Avodah Zarah 35b states that Rabbi Yehudah HaNasi and his court permitted gentile oil to be used.

63.

I.e., the flavor of forbidden meat absorbed in the pot.

64.

I.e., because it is ordinarily eaten raw and because meat spoils its flavor.

65.

Which would be boiled to make beer.

66.

Avodah Zarah 38b originally postulates that only date dregs cooked in small pots with openings to narrow to put in non-kosher meat are forbidden. The conclusion of the passage, however, permits even date dregs cooked in large pots for the reason mentioned by the Rambam.

67.

In some halachic contexts, pickling is considered as cooking. Nevertheless, with regard to this prohibition, our Sages ruled leniently. We do not forbid them because of the suspicion that wine or vinegar will be sprinkled over them, because wine or vinegar would not be sprinkled over them in the storeroom, only in a retail outlet [Rashi (Avodah Zarah 39b)].

68.

Because of the gentile wine.

69.

As stated in Chapter 11, Halachah 13, vinegar made from gentile wine is forbidden. And as indicated in the next halachah, other types of vinegar are also forbidden.

70.

For if wine dregs were cast into the vinegar in the storage room, it would spoil (Avodah Zarah 32b). In a store, however, we assume that it will be sold quickly and in that brief time, it will not spoil (Turei Zahav 114:5).

71.

Although the Rambam's wording in Hilchot Shabbat 24:11 might lead one to think that one must rebuke a child for performing a task forbidden by Scriptural Law, both the Maggid Mishneh and the Kessef Mishneh explain that his statements there should be interpreted within the context of his statements here.

72.

Hence, he is not responsible for his actions.

73.

Note, however, the Rama (Orach Chayim 243:1) which quotes opinions that maintain that once a child has reached the age where he is fit to be educated in the observance of the mitzvot, the court - and every individual person - is obligated to rebuke for transgressing.

74.

To give a contemporary example, a parent cannot have a child turn lights on and off on the Sabbath.

75.

As the Rambam explains in Hilchot Shabbat 21:1, the term shvut refers to activities forbidden by Rabbinic Law, because they resemble forbidden labors or because they might lead one to commit a forbidden labor.

Note, however, the Shulchan Aruch HaRav 243:1 which rules that when there is a necessity, not even a severe necessity, Rabbinic prohibitions can be overstepped with regard to a child.

76.

This is a general charge, applying to the Torah and its mitzvot in their totality.

77.

See the notes to the following halachah with regard to whether these restrictions are of Scriptural or Rabbinic origin.

78.

The Radbaz states that one partake of such foods for curative purposes if necessary.

79.

The Bayit Chadash (Yoreh De'ah 116) states that this also applies to metal utensils. The Rambam mentions glass only because that was the ordinary practice at that time.

80.

See the Beit Yosef (Yoreh De'ah 116) who debates whether the prohibition mentioned in this and the previous halachah are of Rabbinic or Scriptural origin. It is possible to explain that the restrictions were instituted by the Rabbis and they employed the Biblical verse merely as an asmachta, an allusion and a hint, but not a source per se.

The wording of the Rambam here and his statements in Sefer HaMitzvot (negative commandment 179) imply that the prohibition itself is Scriptural in origin. The only reason a person is not given lashes is because the simple meaning of the verse refers to the prohibition against teeming animals.

81.

See Shulchan Aruch HaRav, Mahadura Basra 3:11 which mentions several points concerning this restriction:

a) Our Sages did not, however, require their ordinance to override considerations of public embarrassment. For example, [a person is allowed to wait] until he finds a private place to relieve himself or until he will not be causing an interruption in prayer.

b) The Rashba maintains that the prohibition "not [to] make your souls detestable" does not apply to deferring urination. c) Whenever one can contain himself, whether from urinating or from eliminating, for the length of time it takes to walk a parsah (a Persian measure equal to approximately four kilometers), all opinions agree that the prohibition "not [to] make yourselves loathsome" does not apply.

82.

It would appear that the Rambam's intent is not only the subjects spoken about in the last halachot, but also the totality of the laws of kashrut.

Shechitah - Chapter 1

Introduction to Hilchos Shechitah

They contain 5 mitzvot: three positive commandments and two negative commandments. They are:

1. To slaughter an animal and then to partake of it;
2. Not to slaughter an animal and its offspring on the same day;
3. To cover the blood of [slaughtered] beasts and fowl;
4. Not to take a mother bird together with her young;
5. To send away the mother when taking her together with her young.

These mitzvot are explained in the ensuing chapters.

רמב"ם הלכות שחיטה - הקדמה

הלכות שחיטה. יש בכללן חמש מצות, שלש מצות עשה, ושתים מצות לא תעשה. וזה הוא פרטן:

)א) לשחוט ואחר כך יאכל.
(ב) שלא לשחוט אותו ואת בנו ביום אחד.
(ג) לכסות דם חיה ועוף.
(ד) שלא ליקח האם על הבנים.
(ה) לשלח האם אם לקחה על הבנים.

וביאור מצות אלו בפרקים אלו.

1

It is a positive commandment1 for one who desires to partake of the meat of a domesticated animal, wild beast, or fowl to slaughter [it] and then partake of it,2 as [Deuteronomy 12:21] states: "And you shall slaughter from your cattle and from your sheep." And with regard to a firstborn animal with a blemish,3 [ibid.:22] states: "As one would partake of a deer and a gazelle." From this, we learn that a wild beast is [governed by] the same [laws] as a domesticated animal with regard to ritual slaughter.

And with regard to a fowl, [Leviticus 17:13] states: "that will snare a beast or a fowl as prey... and shed its blood." This teaches that shedding the blood of a fowl is analogous to shedding the blood of a wild beast.4

א

מצות עשה שישחוט מי שירצה לאכול בשר בהמה חיה ועוף ואחר כך יאכל שנאמר וזבחת מבקרך ומצאנך, ונאמר בבכור בעל מום אך כאשר יאכל את הצבי ואת האיל, הא למדת שחיה כבהמה לענין שחיטה, ובעוף הוא אומר אשר יצוד ציד חיה או עוף וגו' ושפך את דמו מלמד ששפיכת דם העוף כשפיכת דם החיה.

2

The laws governing ritual slaughter are the same in all instances.5Therefore one who slaughters a domesticated animal, beast, or fowl should first6 recite the blessing: "[Blessed...] who sanctified us with His commandments and commanded us concerning7 ritual slaughter." If he did not recite a blessing, either consciously or inadvertently, the meat is permitted.8

It is forbidden to partake of a slaughtered animal throughout the time it is in its death throes.9 When a person partakes of it before it dies, he transgresses a negative commandment. [This act] is included in the prohibition [Leviticus 19:26]: "Do not eat upon the blood." He does not, however, receive lashes.10

It is permitted to cut meat from it after it has been ritually slaughtered, but before it dies. That meat should be salted thoroughly, washed thoroughly,11 and left until the animal dies. Afterwards, it may be eaten.

ב

והלכות שחיטה בכולן אחת הן, לפיכך השוחט בהמה או חיה או עוף מברך תחלה אקב"ו על השחיטה ואם לא בירך בין בשוגג בין במזיד הבשר מותר, ואסור לאכול מן השחוטה כל זמן שהיא מפרכסת, והאוכל ממנה קודם שתצא נפשה עובר בלא תעשה, והרי הוא בכלל לא תאכלו על הדם ואינו לוקה ומותר לחתוך ממנה אחר שחיטה קודם שתצא נפשה ומולחו יפה יפה ומדיחו יפה יפה ומניחו עד שתמות ואח"כ יאכלנו.

3

Fish and locusts need not be slaughtered. Instead, gathering them causes them to be permitted to be eaten. [This is indicated by Numbers 11:22]: "Can sheep and cattle be slaughtered for them that will suffice them? If all the fish of the sea would be gathered for them...." This indicates that gathering fish is like slaughtering cattle and sheep. And with regard to locusts, [Isaiah 33:4] states: "the gathering of the locusts," i.e., gathering alone [is sufficient]. Therefore if fish die naturally in the water, they are permitted.12 And it is permitted to eat them while they are alive.13

ג

דגים וחגבים אינן צריכים שחיטה אלא אסיפתן היא המתרת אותן, הרי הוא אומר הצאן ובקר ישחט להם ומצא להם אם את כל דגי הים יאסף להם אסיפת דגים כשחיטת בקר וצאן, ובחגבים נאמר אוסף החסיל באסיפה לבדה, לפיכך אם מתו מאיליהן בתוך המים מותרין, ומותר לאכלן חיים.

4

The slaughter which the Torah mentions without elaboration must be explained so that we know: a) which place in the animal is [appropriate] for ritual slaughter?, b) what is the measure of the slaughtering process?, c) with what do we slaughter?, d) when do we slaughter?, e) in which place [on the animal's neck] do we slaughter? f) how do we slaughter, g) what factors disqualify the slaughter? h) who can slaughter?14

We were commanded concerning all of these factors in the Torah with the verse [Deuteronomy 12:21]: "And you shall slaughter from your cattle... as I commanded you." All of these factors were commanded to us orally as is true with regard to the remainder of the Oral Law which is called "the mitzvah," as we explained in the beginning of this text.15

ד

זביחה זו האמורה בתורה סתם צריך לפרש אותה ולידע באי זה מקום מן הבהמה שוחטין, וכמה שיעור השחיטה, ובאי זה דבר שוחטין, ומתי שוחטין, והיכן שוחטין, וכיצד שוחטין, ומה הן הדברים המפסידין את השחיטה, ומי הוא השוחט, ועל כל הדברים האלו צונו בתורה ואמר וזבחת מבקרך וגו' כאשר צויתיך ואכלת בשעריך וגו' שכל הדברים האלו על פה צוה בהן כשאר תורה שבעל פה שהיא הנקראת מצוה כמו שביארנו בתחלת חבור זה.

5

The place where an animal should be slaughtered is the neck. The entire neck is acceptable for slaughtering.

What is implied? With regard to the gullet,16 from the beginning of the place where when it is cut, it contracts until the place where hair grows17 and it begins appearing fissured like the stomach, this is the place of slaughter with regard to the gullet.

ה

מקום השחיטה מן החי הוא הצואר וכל הצואר כשר לשחיטה, כיצד בושט מתחלת המקום שכשחותכין אותו מתכווץ עד מקום שישעיר ויתחיל להיות פרצין פרצין ככרס, זה הוא מקום השחיטה בושט.

6

If one slaughters above this place - in the area called the entrance to the gullet18 - or below this place - i.e., the beginning of the digestive system, the slaughter is unacceptable.19

The measure of the entrance to the gullet above which is unfit for slaughter in an animal or a beast is so one can grab it with two fingers.20 With regard to a fowl, it depends on its size. The lower limit extends until the crop.21

ו

שחט למעלה ממקום זה והוא הנקרא תרבץ הושט או למטה ממקום זה והוא מתחלת בני מעים שחיטתו פסולה, ושיעור תרבץ הושט שאינו ראוי לשחיטה למעלה בבהמה וחיה כדי שיאחז בשתי אצבעותיו ובעוף הכל לפי גדלו וקטנו, ולמטה עד הזפק.

7

Where is the place of slaughter with regard to the windpipe? From the slant of its cap22 downward until the beginning of the flank of the lung when the animal extends its neck to pasture,23 this is the place of slaughter with regard to the windpipe. The area opposite this place on the outside is called the neck.

ז

ואי זה הוא מקום שחיטה בקנה משיפוי כובע ולמטה עד ראש כנף הריאה כשתמשוך הבהמה צוארה לרעות, זה הוא מקום השחיטה בקנה, וכל שכנגד המקום הזה מבחוץ נקרא צואר.

8

When the animal strained itself and extended its neck exceedingly or the slaughterer applied exertion to the signs and extended them upward, but slaughtered in the neck at the place of slaughter, there is an unresolved doubt24 whether [the animal] is a nevelah. For the place where the gullet and windpipe were cut is not the place where [the animal] is [usually] slaughtered.25

ח

אנסה הבהמה עצמה ומשכה צוארה הרבה או שאינס השוחט את הסימנין ומשכן למעלה ושחט במקום שחיטה בצואר ונמצאת השחיטה בקנה או בושט שלא במקום שחיטה הרי זה ספק נבלה.

9

The slaughterer must slaughter in the center of the neck. If he slaughters to the side, it is acceptable.26

What is the measure of slaughter? That one [cut] the two identifying marks, the windpipe and the gullet.27 Superior slaughter involves cutting both of them, whether for an animal or a fowl and a slaughterer should have this intent. [After the fact,] if one cut the majority of one of them for a fowl and the majority of both of them for an animal or a beast, the slaughter is acceptable.

ט

וצריך השוחט שישחוט באמצע הצואר, ואם שחט מן הצדדין שחיטתו כשרה, וכמה הוא שיעור השחיטה שני הסימנין שהן הקנה והושט השחיטה המעולה שיחתכו שניהן בין בבהמה בין בעוף, ולזה יתכוין השוחט, ואם שחט רוב אחד מהן בעוף ורוב השנים בבהמה ובחיה שחיטתו כשרה.

10

When one cut one sign entirely and half28 of the other sign when slaughtering an animal, his slaughter is unacceptable. If he cut the majority of both signs, even though in each instance he cuts only a hair's breadth more than half, it is acceptable. Since he cut even the slightest amount more than half,29 he has cut the majority.

י

שחט האחד כולו וחציה השני בבהמה שחיטתו פסולה, רובו של זה ורובו של זה אע"פ שלא שחט מכל אחד מהן אלא יתר על חציו כחוט השערה הרי זו כשרה, כיון ששחט יתר על חציו כל שהוא רובו הוא.

11

If he cut half30 of one and half of the other - even in a fowl - the slaughter is unacceptable. When a windpipe is half slit31 and one cut a little more on the place of the slit, making the cut a majority, the slaughter is acceptable. [This applies] whether one begins [on a portion of the windpipe] that is intact and reaches the slit or one inserts the knife into the slit and [increases its size until it] reaches the majority.

יא

שחט חציו של זה וחציו של זה אפילו בעוף שחיטתו פסולה, קנה שהיה חציו פסוק ושחט על מקום החתוך מעט והשלימו לרוב בין שהתחיל לשחוט במקום השלם ופגע בחתך בין שהכניס את הסכין בחתך והשלימו לרוב שחיטתו כשרה.

12

Every slaughterer must check the signs after he slaughters.32 If he did not check and the animal's head was cut off before he could check,33 [the animal] is [considered] a nevelah.34 [This applies even] if the slaughterer was adroit and expert.

יב

כל השוחט צריך לבדוק הסימנין לאחר שחיטה, ואם לא בדק ונחתך הראש קודם שיבדק הרי זו נבלה ואפילו היה השוחט זריז ומהיר.

13

During its lifetime, every animal is considered to be forbidden until it is definitely known that it was slaughtered in an acceptable manner.35

יג

כל בהמה בחייה בחזקת איסור עומדת עד שיודע בודאי שנשחטה שחיטה כשרה.

14

With what can we slaughter? With any entity, with a metal knife, a flint, glass, the edge of a bulrush,36 or the like among the entities that cut. [This applies] provided its edge is sharp and does not have a barb. If, however, there was a spike at the edge of the entity with which one slaughters, even if the spike is very small,37 the slaughter is unacceptable.38

יד

ובאי זה דבר שוחטין, בכל דבר בין בסכין של מתכת בין בצור או בזכוכית או בקרומית של קנה האגם וכיוצא בהן מדברים החותכין, והוא שיהיה פיה חד ולא יהיה בה פגם, אבל אם היה כמו תלם בחודו של דבר ששוחטין בו ואפילו היה התלם קטן ביותר שחיטתו פסולה.

15

If the spike was on only one side of the knife, one should not slaughter with it [at the outset]. [After the fact,] if one slaughtered with it using the side on which the blemish was not detectable, the slaughter is acceptable.

טו

היה התלם הזה מרוח אחת לא ישחוט בה, ואם שחט דרך הרוח שאין הפגימה ניכרת בה שחיטתו כשרה.

16

What is implied? There was a knife that was checked by passing it [over one's finger] and no blemish was felt on it, but when one drew it back, one felt that it had a blemish. If one slaughtered with it by passing it forwards and did not draw it back, the slaughter is acceptable. If one drew it back, the slaughter is unacceptable.39

טז

כיצד סכין שתבדק בהולכה ולא תרגיש שיש בה פגם וכשתחזיר אותה בהבאה תרגיש שיש בה פגם, אם שחט בה דרך הולכה ולא הביא שחיטתו כשרה, ואם הביא שחיטתו פסולה.

17

When a knife ascends and descends [in a curve] like a snake40 but does not have a blemish, one may slaughter with it as an initial and preferred option. When the edge of a knife is smooth, but is not sharp, one may slaughter with it, since it does not have a blemish.41 Even though one passes it back and forth the entire day until the slaughter [is completed], the slaughter is acceptable.42

יז

סכין שהיא עולה ויורדת כנחש ואין בה פגם שוחטין בה לכתחלה, וסכין שפיה חלק ואינה חדה הואיל ואין בה פגם שוחטין בה ואע"פ שהוליך והביא בה כל היום עד ששחטה שחיטתו כשרה.

18

When a sharp knife has been whetted, but its [blade] is not smooth, instead, touching it is like touching the tip of an ear of grain which becomes snarled on one's finger, [nevertheless,] since it does not have a blemish, one may slaughter with it.43

יח

סכין חדה שהושחזה והרי אינה חלקה אלא מגעתה כמגע ראש השיבולת שהוא מסתבך באצבע, הואיל ואין בה פגם שוחטין בה.

19

When a person uproots a reed or a tooth or cuts off a flint or a nail, if they are sharp and do not have a blemish, one may slaughter with them.44 If one stuck them into the ground, one should not slaughter with them while they are stuck into the ground. [After the fact,] if one slaughtered [in such a situation],45 one's slaughter is acceptable.46

יט

התולש קנה או שן או שקצץ צור או צפורן והרי הן חדין ואין בהן פגם שוחטין בהן, ואם נעצן בקרקע לא ישחוט בהן כשהן נעוצין, ואם שחט שחיטתו כשרה.

20

When one slaughtered with these entities when they were connected from the beginning of their existence, before they were uprooted, the slaughter is unacceptable47 even if they do not have a blemish.

כ

שחט בהן כשהן מחוברין מתחלת ברייתן קודם שיעקור אותן שחיטתו פסולה, ואע"פ שאין בהם פגם.

21

If one took the jawbone of an animal that had sharp teeth and slaughtered with it, it is unacceptable, for they are like a sickle.48 When, however, only one tooth is fixed in a jaw, one may slaughter with it as an initial and preferred option, even though it is set in the jaw.49

כא

לקח לחי בהמה שיש בו שינים חדות ושחט בהן שחיטתו פסולה, מפני שהן כמגל, אבל בשן אחת הקבועה בלחי שוחט בה לכתחלה ואע"פ שהיא קבועה בו.

22

When one made a knife white-hot in fire and slaughtered with it, the slaughter is acceptable.50 If one side of a knife is [jagged-edge like] a sickle and the other side is desirable, [i.e., smooth,] one should not slaughter with the desirable side as an initial and preferred measure. [This is] a decree lest one slaughter with the other side. If one slaughtered [with it], since one slaughtered with the desirable side, the slaughter is acceptable.

כב

ליבן הסכין באור ושחט בה שחיטתו כשרה, סכין שצדה אחד מגל וצדה השני יפה לא ישחוט בצד היפה לכתחלה גזרה שמא ישחוט בצד האחר, ואם שחט הואיל ובצד היפה שחט שחיטתו כשרה.

23

A slaughterer must check the knife at its tip and at both of its sides [before slaughtering]. How must he check it? He must pass it over and draw it back over the flesh of his finger and pass it over and draw it back51 over his fingernail on three edges, i.e., its tip and both of its sides so that it will not have a blemish at all. [Only] afterwards, should he slaughter with it.

כג

השוחט צריך שיבדוק הסכין בחודה ומצד זה ומצד זה, וכיצד בודקה מוליכה ומביאה על בשר אצבעו ומוליכה ומביאה על צפורנו משלש רוחותיה שהן פיה ושני צדדיו כדי שלא יהיה בה פגם כלל ואח"כ ישחוט בה.

24

It must [also] be inspected in this manner after slaughter.52 For if a blemish is discovered on it afterwards, there is an unresolved doubt whether the animal is a nevelah.53 For perhaps [the knife] became blemished [when cutting] the skin and when he cut the signs, he cut them with a blemished knife.54

For this reason, when a person slaughters many animals or many fowl,55 he must inspect [the knife] between each [slaughter]. For if he did not check, and then checked [after slaughtering] the last one and discovered [the knife] to be blemished, there is an unresolved doubt whether all of them - even the first - are nevelot56 or not.57

כד

וצריך לבדוק כן אחר השחיטה שאם מצא בה פגם אחר השחיטה הרי זו ספק נבלה שמא בעור נפגמה וכששחט הסימנים בסכין פגומה שחט, לפיכך השוחט בהמות רבות או עופות רבים צריך לבדוק בין כל אחת ואחת שאם לא בדק ובדק באחרונה ונמצאת סכין פגומה הרי הכל ספק נבלות ואפילו הראשונה. 72

25

When one inspected a knife, slaughtered with it, but did not inspect it after slaughtering, and then used it to break a bone, a piece of wood, or the like, and afterwards, inspected it and discovered it to be unacceptable, his slaughter is acceptable. [The rationale is that] the prevailing assumption is that the knife became blemished on the hard entity which it was used to break.58 Similarly, if one was negligent and did not check his knife [after slaughtering] or the knife was lost before it could be checked, the slaughter is acceptable.59

כה

בדק הסכין ושחט בה ולא בדקה אחר שחיטה, ושבר בה עצם או עץ וכיוצא בהן ואחר כך בדק ומצאה פגומה שחיטתו כשרה, שחזקת הסכין שנפגמה בדבר הקשה ששבר בה, וכן אם פשע ולא בדק הסכין או שאבדה הסכין עד שלא יבדוק שחיטתו כשרה.

26

Whenever a slaughterer60 does not have the knife with which he slaughters inspected by a wise man61 and uses it to slaughter for himself, we inspect it. If it is discovered to be desirable [and passes] the examination, we, nevertheless, place him under a ban of ostracism [lest] he rely on himself on another occasion and then the knife will be blemished, but he will still slaughter with it. If [upon examination] the knife is discovered to be blemished, he is removed from his position and placed under a ban of ostracism. We pronounce all the meat that he slaughtered to be unacceptable.62

כו

כל טבח שלא בדק הסכין שלו ששוחט בה לפני חכם ושחט בה לעצמו בודקין אותה, אם נמצאת יפה ובדוקה מנדין אותו לפי שיסמוך על עצמו פעם אחרת ותהיה פגומה וישחוט בה, ואם נמצאת פגומה מעבירין אותו ומנדין אותו ומכריזין על כל בשר ששחט שהוא טרפה.

27

How long must the knife with which one slaughters be? Even the slightest length, provided it is not [overly] thin to the extent that it pierces and does not slit63 like the head of a blade or the like.64

כז

כמה הוא אורך הסכין ששוחט כל שהוא, והוא שלא יהיה דבר דק שנוקב ואינו שוחט כמו ראש האיזמל הקטן וכיוצא בו.

28

When can one slaughter? Any time, whether during the day or during the night, provided that [at night] he has a torch65 with him so that he sees what he is doing.66 If a person slaughters in darkness, his slaughter is acceptable.67

כח

ומתי שוחטין, בכל זמן בין ביום בין בלילה והוא שתהיה אבוקה עמו כדי שיראה מה יעשה, ואם שחט באפילה שחיטתו כשרה.

29

When a person inadvertently slaughters on Yom Kippur or the Sabbath,68 his slaughter is acceptable,69 even though were he to have been acting willfully he would be liable for his life70 or for lashes [for slaughtering] on Yom Kippur.71

כט

השוחט ביום הכפורים או בשבת בשוגג אע"פ שאילו היה מזיד היה מתחייב בנפשו או מתחייב מלקות על יום הכפורים שחיטתו כשרה.

Footnotes
1.

Sefer HaMitzvot (positive commandment 146) and Sefer HaChinuch (mitzvah 451) include this among the 613 mitzvot of the Torah. As mentioned at the beginning of the Mishneh Torah, the Ra'avad differs and does not consider this a mitzvah.

2.

The Rambam's wording echo his statements in Hilchot Berachot 11:2: "There are other mitzvot that are not obligations, but resemble voluntary activities, for example, the mitzvah of mezuzah.... A person is not obligated to dwell in a house that requires a mezuzah in order to fulfill this mitzvah." Similarly, in the instance at hand, a person is not obligated to slaughter. If, however, he desires to eat meat, he must fulfill this mitzvah.

3.

Note the Kessef Mishneh who elaborates, explaining that although Rashi does not interpret the verse in the same manner the Rambam does, there is support for the Rambam's interpretation.

4.

I.e., in both instances, ritual slaughter is required. The Kessef Mishneh notes that Chulin 27b derives this equivalence from another source and explains why the Rambam cites this verse instead.

5.

See the gloss of the Kessef Mishneh who explains that there are some differences between the laws governing the slaughter of each of these types of animals.

6.

For the blessings for all mitzvot must be recited before their observance (Pesachim 7b).

7.

We do not, however, say "to slaughter," for, as above, the mitzvah to slaughter is not obligatory. It is dependent on the person's desire (Hilchot Berachot 11:15).

8.

For after the fact, the recitation of the blessings is not essential (Kessef Mishneh).

9.

Partaking of the meat at this time does not, however, represent a transgression of the prohibitions against eating a limb or flesh from a living animal (see Hilchot Ma'achalot Assurot, ch. 5). For once the animal has been slaughtered, these prohibitions no longer apply.

10.

This prohibition is considered as a prohibition of a general nature (Hilchot Sanhedrin 18:2-3), i.e., prohibitions that include several diverse and unrelated acts, and lashes are not given for the violation of such prohibitions.

11.

The Rambam's words provoke a question: Of course, this meat must be salted thoroughly as must all meat so that its blood will be removed (Hilchot Ma'achalot Assurot 6:10). Why would one think that this meat is different?

It would appear that the explanation is that other meat may be eaten if it is roasted or its blood sealed by being cast into vinegar (ibid.:12) and these options do not apply with regard to the meat in question.

12.

One might think that man would have to gather them alive for them to be permitted. Hence the Rambam emphasizes that this is not so (Kessef Mishneh). The general principle is: Whenever the mitzvah of ritual slaughter does not apply, the prohibitions against eating flesh from a living animal and eating a dead animal do not apply.

13.

The commentaries note that Shabbat 90b states that one who eats a live locust violates the prohibition: "Do not make your souls detestable." [See also Rama (Yoreh De'ah 13:1) who issues a similar warning with regard to partaking of live fish.) How the can the Rambam say that it is permitted?

Among the resolutions of this question are:

a) The passage in Shabbat refers only to a non-kosher locust, not a kosher one.

b) The Rambam, here, is saying that one may cut off part of a living locust and eat it, but not that one may eat an entire locust alive.

c) Here the Rambam is speaking with regard to the laws regarding ritual slaughter. He is not focusing on those involving other prohibitions.

14.

In the following chapters, the Rambam proceeds to answer all of these questions.

15.

I.e., in the Introduction that precedes Hilchot Yesodei HaTorah. There the Rambam explains that the Oral Law is called "the mitzvah," because it gives us instruction concerning the observance of the mitzvot. Without it, we would not know how to fulfill them.

16.

As will be explained in Halachah 9, ritual slaughter involves cutting the gullet and the windpipe. In this halachah, the Rambam defines where the gullet may be cut.

17.

In contrast to the surface of the gullet which is smooth.

18.

I.e., the end of the throat, where it is attached to the jaw..

19.

The animal is considered a nevelah and it is forbidden to partake of it. See Chapter 3, Halachah 18 (Kessef Mishneh, note Siftei Cohen 20:5).

20.

This is the Rambam's interpretation of Chulin 44a. Rashi interprets that passage as referring to a space the size of four fingers. The Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 20:2) follows the Rambam's understanding, while the Rama cites that of Rashi.

21.

The first of the fowl's stomachs. The crop is not considered part of the gller and it is forbidden to slaughter there.

22.

The windpipe is made up of a series of rings. Above the top ring, there is a slanted covering that is called the cap.

23.

When the animal extends its neck, the flanks of its lungs rise upward.

24.

See Chulin 45a which discusses these questions but leaves them unresolved.

25.

I.e., the place of slaughter on the neck should be aligned with the place of slaughter on the windpipe and the gullet in their natural position. In this instance, the external place of slaughter - the position on the neck - was correct, but the signs were not cut in the usual place.

26.

This applies only after the fact. At the outset, one must slaughter in the center of the neck.

27.

Since the acceptability of the slaughter is dependent on them, they are referred to as the simanim, "signs," i.e., indications that the slaughter is acceptable.

28.

But not the majority.

29.

See the Turei Zahav 21:2 who emphasizes that the difference in size need not be significant. As long as more than half is cut, the slaughter is acceptable.

30.

But no more than half.

31.

This is speaking about a situation where the animal is alive. The fact that an animal's windpipe is slit slightly does not cause it to be considered as a trefe. The Rama (Yoreh De'ah 21:5) adds that we must be careful that the gullet has not been punctured, for that would render the animal trefe. See the Turei Zahav 21:4 and the Siftei Cohen 21:5 who debate whether it is possible to rely on this leniency at present. See also Chapter 3, Halchot 6-7.

32.

To make sure that the minimal measure for slaughter was slit.

33.

Obviously, once the head is cut off, it is no longer possible to check.

34.

Because of the doubt involved. See the following halachah.

35.

This is the rationale for the stringency stated in the previous halachah (Kessef Mishneh).

36.

The Kessef Mishneh notes that many marsh plants splinter easily and they are unacceptable for they will perforate the gullet.

37.

Generally, it is accepted that a spike that can be detected by a fingernail disqualifies an animal. Nevertheless, the Rambam appears to be referring to an even smaller measure. His approach is followed by the Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 18:2) which speaks of a spike that is even the size of a hairsbreadth being sufficient to disqualify a knife.

Alternatively, it can be understood that the two are synanomous. This understanding is reflected by Hilchot Beit HaBechirah 1:14 which speaks about "a stone being blemished so that a fingernail would become caught in it like a knife used for ritual slaughter."

38.

For the spike will perforate the gullet, rendering the animal trefe before the slaughter was completed (Maggid Mishneh).

39.

The commentaries offer two explanations for this ruling. The Rambam's position is that when the spike is felt only on one side of the knife, one may slaughter with that side. Others add that the blemish must be positioned to the very far end of the knife, either near its point or near its handle. In such an instance, it is possible that the blemish never actually touched the signs and thus did not disqualify the ritual slaughter. See Shulchan Aruch [Yoreh De'ah and Rama (18:4)].

40.

Who raises his head and tail, creating a curve for its body (Kessef Mishneh).

41.

Since it does not have a blemish, it will not disqualify the signs.

42.

Provided one does not interrupt the slaughter in the middle as stated in Chapter 3, Halachah 2.

43.

The Rama (Yoreh De'ah18:6) writes that since it is difficult to understand what exactly is meant by such a knife, we do not permit this leniency.

44.

As apparent from Halachah 14.

45.

For example, by passing the animal's neck back and forth below the knife [Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 6:4)].

46.

As indicated by the following halachah, an entity may not be used for ritual slaughter if it is connected to its source. When an entity is stuck into the ground, it is not connected to its source and hence, after the fact, the slaughter is acceptable. Nevertheless, because of the similarity to the forbidden situation, initially, one should not use such an entity for slaughter.

47.

Chulin 16a states that it is a Scriptural decree that the cutting edge used for slaughter must be a separate entity, something that one could take in his hand.

48.

I.e., a blade with a jagged edge which is unacceptable as stated above.

49.

Since the jaw as a whole is moveable, we are not concerned with the fact that the tooth is in a fixed position (Kessef Mishneh).

50.

We do not say that rather than cut the signs, the knife burnt them. The latter would disqualify the slaughter.

It must be noted that the Tur (see also the gloss of the Radbaz) quotes the Rambam as ruling that the slaughter is unacceptable for the above reason. This approach is also followed by many other Rishonim. In his Kessef Mishneh, Rav Yosef Caro states that the Rambam rules that the slaughter is acceptable. In his Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 9:1), however, he quotes both views without stating which should be followed. All authorities agree that such a knife should not be used as an initial and preferred option.

51.

Using the same motions as he would use to slaughter an animal.

52.

The Ra'avad differs with the Rambam, maintaining that after ritual slaughter, no inspection is necessary unless the person desires to use the knife to slaughter another animal immeidately. In his Kessef Mishneh, Rav Yosef Caro justifies the Rambam's ruling and he cites it in his Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 18:3).

53.

This ruling also depends on the principle stated in Halachah 13, that during its lifetime, an animal is forbidden. Hence it is not permitted unless we are certain that it was slaughtered in a proper manner (Radbaz; Siftei Cohen 18:2).

54.

And this would cause the slaughter to be unacceptable as mentioned above.

55.

The Kessef Mishneh notes that since the skin of a fowl is soft, it is not very probable that this caused the blemish on the knife. Nevertheless, our Sages adopted this stringency.

56.

See Chapter 3, Halachah 18, for the ramifications of this ruling.

57.

I.e., it is possible that the knife could have become blemished when cutting the skin of the first animal. Hence, that animal - and all the subsequent ones - were slaughtered with an unacceptable knife.

58.

Since he checked the knife at the outset and it was acceptable, we rely on probability. As long as we have a way of explaining how the knife was blemished, we do not say it was blemished on the animal's skin, for the likelihood of that happening is very low.

59.

Here also, since the knife was inspected initially, there is no reason to suspect that the slaughter was unacceptable, we do not disqualify it [Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 18:12)] .

60.

This is referring to a slaughterer who slaughters on behalf of people at large, not only for his own private purposes.

61.

The Radbaz notes that the Rambam's words appear to differ slightly from the simple meaning of Chullin 18a, his source. From Chullin, it appears that the necessity to show the knife to the wise man is a mere token of respect, while from the Rambam it appears that it is a necessary safeguard to check that the slaughter is kosher.

The difference between these approaches can lead to a variance in practice. If we say that this inspection is merely for the sake of respect, then the sages may forgo the respect due them and allow an expert to slaughter even though he does not present his knife. If, however, it is a necessary precaution to insure that the slaughter is performed correctly, an inspection is always necessary.

Both of these perspectives have continued to be given emphasis throughout the Rabbinic literature, although the halachah as prescribed by the Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 18:17) is that a sage may forgo the honor due him. The present custom in many slaughtering houses today is for the slaughterers to work in pairs and for one to check the knife of the other. At times, a visiting Rabbinic authority comes and he inspects the knives of all of the slaughterers.

62.

I.e., we assume that not only on this occasion, but on others, he slaughtered using an unacceptable knife, thus disqualifying the meat.

63.

As will be explained, ritual slaughter is accomplished by drawing the knife back and forth across the neck. If a knife is two small to enable this, it should not be used [Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 8:1)].

64.

See the Ramah (Yoreh De'ah 24:2) who quotes opinions that require a knife used to slaughter a animal to be twice the length of the animal's neck. The custom is also to use a knife of such measure for a fowl.

65.

Two candles are considered a torch [Rama (Yoreh De'ah 11:1)].

66.

Otherwise, it is possible that the animal will be slaughtered incorrectly without him realizing.

67.

Nevertheless, it is forbidden to do so as an initial and preferred option [Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 11:1)].

68.

I.e., he was not aware that the day was either the Sabbath or Yom Kippur; alternatively, he did not know that it was forbidden to slaughter on these holy days.

69.

The Turei Zahav 11:2 states that one must, nevertheless, wait until the conclusion of the Sabbath or Yom Kippur before partaking of the meat, as is the law when one cooks on the Sabbath.

70.

For slaughtering on the Sabbath.

71.

If he does so intentionally, he is considered as an apostate who desecrates the Sabbath and his slaughter is disqualified (the Rambam's Commentary to the Mishnah, Chullin 1:1; see Chapter 4, Halachah 14). The Siftei Cohen 11:23 states that in certain instances the leniency would also apply if he slaughters intentionally.

72.

וצריך לבדוק כן אחר השחיטה וכו'. א"א כבר הסכימו חכמינו שאינו צריך אא"כ רוצה לשחוט אחריה שלא אמרו בגמרא צריך לבדוק אלא השוחט ונמצאת פגומה ואילו היה צריך היו אומרים כן כמו שאמרו השוחט צריך שיבדוק בסימנין אחר ששחט.

Shechitah - Chapter 2

1

It is permitted to slaughter an animal in any place except the Temple courtyard. For only animals consecrated for [sacrifice on the altar] may be sacrificed in the Temple courtyard. Ordinary animals, by contrast, whether domesticated animals, beasts, or fowl, are forbidden to be sacrificed in the Temple courtyard. Similarly, [Deuteronomy 12:21] states with regard to meat [which man] desires [to eat]:1 "When the place that God will choose will be distant from you... and you shall slaughter from your cattle and your sheep... and you shall eat in your gates." One may infer that meat [which man] desires [to eat] may be slaughtered only outside "the place that God will choose."

א

בכל מקום מותר לשחוט חוץ מן העזרה, שאין שוחטין בעזרה אלא קדשי מזבח בלבד, אבל החולין אסור לשוחטן בעזרה בין בהמה בין חיה בין עוף וכן הוא אומר בבשר תאוה כי ירחק ממך המקום אשר יבחר ה' וגו' וזבחת מבקרך ומצאנך וגו' ואכלת בשעריך, הא למדת שאין שוחטין בשר תאוה אלא חוץ למקום אשר בחר ה'.

2

[Meat from animals] slaughtered outside this [holy] place is permitted to be eaten everywhere. If, however, one slaughters an ordinary animal in the Temple courtyard, that meat is ritually pure,2 but it is forbidden to benefit from it like meat mixed with milk and the like. It must be buried; [if it is burnt,] its ashes are forbidden [to be used].3

[The above applies] even if one slaughters for healing purposes,4 to feed a gentile, or to feed dogs. If, however, one cuts off an animal's head in the Temple courtyard, one rips the signs from their place, a gentile slaughters, [a Jew] slaughters, but the animal was discovered to be trefe, or one slaughters a non-kosher domesticated animal, beast, or fowl in the Temple courtyard, it is permitted to benefit from all of the above.5

ב

וזה שנשחט חוץ למקום הוא שמותר לאכלו בכל השערים, אבל השוחט חולין בעזרה אותו הבשר טהור ואסור בהנייה כבשר בחלב וכיוצא בו, וקוברים אותו ואפרו אסור אפילו שחט לרפואה או לאכילת עכו"ם או להאכיל לכלבים, אבל הנוחר בעזרה, והמעקר, ועכו"ם ששחט, והשוחט ונמצא טרפה, והשוחט בהמה חיה ועוף הטמאים בעזרה הרי אלו כולן מותרין בהנייה.

3

This does not apply only to domesticated animals or beasts. Instead, it is forbidden to bring all ordinary food into the Temple courtyard. [This includes] even meat from a slaughtered [animal], fruit, or bread.6 If one transgresses and brings in such food, it is permitted to partake of this food as it was beforehand.

All of the above concepts are part of the Oral Tradition. Whenever anyone slaughters in the Temple courtyard or eats an olive-sized portion of the meat of ordinary [animals that were] slaughtered in the Temple courtyard, he is liable for stripes for rebellious conduct.7

ג

ולא בהמה וחיה בלבד, אלא כל החולין אסור להכניסן לעזרה אפילו בשר שחוטה או פירות ופת אם עבר והכניסן מותרין באכילה כשהיו, ודברים אלו כולן דברי קבלה הן, וכל השוחט חולין בעזרה או האוכל כזית מבשר חולין שנשחטו בעזרה מכין אותו מכת מרדות.

4

[The following rule applies when] a person says: "This animal is [consecrated as] a peace offering, but [the fetus it is carrying] remains of ordinary status." If it is slaughtered in the Temple courtyard, it is permitted to partake of its offspring, because it is forbidden to slaughter [the mother] outside [the Temple courtyard].8

ד

האומר בהמה זו שלמים וולדה חולין, אם נשחטה בעזרה ולדה מותר באכילה לפי שאינו יכול לשחוט אותו בריחוק מקום.

5

One should not slaughter into9 seas or rivers, lest [an onlooker] say: "He is worshipping the water,"10 and it would appear as if he is offering a sacrifice to the water. Nor should one slaughter into a utensil filled with water, lest one say: "He is slaughtering into the form that appears in the water."11 Nor should he slaughter into utensils12 or into a pit for this is the way of idolaters. If one slaughters in the above manner, his slaughter is acceptable.

ה

אין שוחטין לתוך ימים ונהרות שמא יאמרו עובד מים הוא זה ונראה כמקריב למים, ולא ישחוט לכלי מלא מים שמא יאמרו לצורה שתראה במים שחט, ולא ישחוט בתוך כלים ולא לתוך הגומא שכן דרך עובדי עכו"ם, ואם שחט שחיטתו כשרה.

6

One may slaughter into murky water in which an image may not be seen. Similarly, one may slaughter outside a pit and allow the blood to flow and descend into a pit. One should not do this in the marketplace so as not to mimic the gentiles. [Indeed,] if one slaughters into a pit in the marketplace, it is forbidden to eat from his slaughter until his [character] is examined, lest he be a heretic.13

It is permitted to slaughter on the wall of a ship, [although] the blood will flow down the wall and descend into the water.14 [Similarly,] it is permitted to slaughter above [the outer surface of] utensils.

ו

שוחטין לכלי מים עכורין שאין הצורה נראית בהן, וכן שוחט חוץ לגומא והדם שותת ויורד לגומא, ובשוק לא יעשה כן שמא יחקה את המינים, ואם שחט לגומא בשוק אסור לאכול משחיטתו עד שיבדקו אחריו שמא מין הוא, ומותר לשחוט על דופן הספינה והדם שותת על הדופן ויורד למים ומותר לשחוט על גבי הכלים.

7

How does one slaughter? One extends the neck and passes the knife back and forth until [the animal] is slaughtered. Whether the animal was lying down15or it was standing and one held the back of its neck, held the knife in his hand below, and slaughtered, the slaughter is acceptable.

ז

כיצד שוחטין מותח את הצואר ומוליך הסכין ומביאה עד ששוחט, בין שהיתה הבהמה רבוצה בין שהיתה עומדת ואחז בערפה והסכין בידו מלמטה ושחט הרי זו כשירה.

8

If one implanted a knife in the wall and brought the neck [of an animal back and forth] over it until it was slaughtered, the slaughter is acceptable, provided the neck of the animal is below and the knife is above.16 For if the neck of the animal will be above the knife, it is possible that the animal will descend with the weight of its body [on the knife] and cut [its throat] without [it being brought back and forth].17 This is not ritual slaughter, as will be explained.18 Therefore, if we are speaking about a fowl, whether its neck is above the knife that is implanted or below it, the slaughter is acceptable.19

ח

נעץ את הסכין בכותל והעביר הצואר עליה עד שנשחט שחיטתו כשרה, והוא שיהיה צואר הבהמה למטה וסכין למעלה, שאם היה צואר בהמה למעלה מן הסכין שמא תרד הבהמה בכובד גופה ותחתך בלא הולכה והבאה ואין זו שחיטה כמו שיתבאר, לפיכך אם היה עוף בין שהיה צוארו למעלה מן הסכין הנעוצה או למטה ממנו שחיטתו כשרה.

9

When a person slaughters and draws the knife forward, but does not draw it back, draws it back, but does not draw it forward, his slaughter is acceptable.20

If he drew the knife back and forth until he cut off the head entirely, his slaughter is acceptable. [The following rules apply if] he drew the knife forward, but did not draw it back, drew it back, but did not draw it forward, and cut off the head while drawing it forward alone or drawing it back alone. If the knife is twice as long21 as the width of the neck of the animal being slaughtered, his slaughter is acceptable. If not, his slaughter is not acceptable.22

If one slaughters the heads [of two animals] together, his slaughter is acceptable.

ט

השוחט והוליך את הסכין ולא הביאה או הביאה ולא הוליכה ושחט שחיטתו כשרה, הוליך והביא עד שחתך הראש והתיזו שחיטתו כשרה, הוליך ולא הביא או הביא ולא הוליך והתיז את הראש בהולכה בלבד או בהבאה בלבד, אם יש בסכין כמלא שני צוארים מצוארי הנשחט שחיטתו כשרה ואם לאו שחיטתו פסולה, שחט שני ראשים כאחד שחיטתו כשרה.

10

When two people hold unto a knife together - even when one is holding from one side and the other from the other side - and they slaughter together, the slaughter is acceptable. Similarly, if two people hold two knives and both slaughter simultaneously in two places in the neck, their slaughter is acceptable. This applies even if one slit the gullet alone or its majority and the other cut the windpipe or its majority in another place, this slaughter is acceptable even though the slaughter was not entirely in the same place.

Similarly, slaughter in the form of a reed23 and slaughter in the form of a comb24 are acceptable.

י

שנים שאחזו בסכין אפילו אחד מצד זה ושני מצד אחר כנגדו ושחטו שחיטתן כשרה, וכן שנים שאחזו שני סכינין ושחטו כאחד בשני מקומות בצואר שחיטתן כשרה, ואפילו שחט זה הושט בלבד או רובו והשני שחט במקום אחר הקנה או רובו הרי שחיטה זו כשרה ואע"פ שאין השחיטה כולה במקום אחד, וכן שחיטה העשויה כקולמוס ושחיטה העשויה כמסרק כשרה.

11

The slaughter of ordinary animals25 does not require focused attention.26 Even if one slaughtered when [wielding a knife] aimlessly, in jest, or [even] if he threw a knife to implant it in the wall and it slaughtered an animal as it was passing, since it slaughtered properly in the appropriate place and with the appropriate measure, it is acceptable.

יא

אין שחיטת החולין צריכה כוונה אלא אפילו שחט כמתעסק או דרך שחוק או שזרק סכין לנועצה בכותל ושחטה בהליכתה הואיל והשחיטה כראוי במקומה ושיעורה הרי זו כשירה.

12

Accordingly,27 when a deafmute, an emotional or an intellectual unstable individual, a minor, a drunk whose mind is befuddled,28 a person who became overtaken by an evil spirit slaughters and others observe that he slaughters in the correct manner,29 [the slaughter] is acceptable.30

If, by contrast, a knife falls31 and slaughters [an animal] on its way, it is not acceptable even if it slaughtered it in [the appropriate] manner. For [Deuteronomy, loc. cit.] states: "You shall slaughter," implying that a man must slaughter. [His actions are acceptable,] even if he does not intend to slaughter.

יב

לפיכך חרש או שוטה או קטן או שכור שנתבלבלה דעתו ומי שאחזתו רוח רעה ששחטו ואחרים רואין אותם שהשחיטה כתיקנה הרי זו כשרה, אבל סכין שנפלה ושחטה אע"פ ששחטה כדרכה הרי זו פסולה שנאמר וזבחת עד שיהיה הזובח אדם ואע"פ שאינו מתכוון לשחיטה.

13

[The following laws apply if there is] a stone or wooden wheel with a knife affixed to it. If a person turned the wheel and placed the neck of a fowl or an animal opposite it and slaughtered by turning the wheel, [the slaughter] is acceptable. If water is turning the wheel and he placed the neck of [the animal] opposite it while it was turning causing it to be slaughtered, it is unacceptable.32 If a person caused the water to flow until they turned the wheel and caused it to slaughter by turning it, [the slaughter] is acceptable.33 For [the activity] came as a result of man's actions.

When does the above apply? With regard to the first turn, for that comes from man's power. The second and subsequent turns, however, do not come from man's power, but from the power of the flowing water.

יג

גלגל של אבן או של עץ שהיתה הסכין קבועה בו וסבב אדם את הגלגל ושם צואר העוף או הבהמה כנגדו עד שנשחט בסביבת הגלגל הרי זו כשירה, ואם המים הן המסבבין את הגלגל ושם את הצואר כנגדו בשעה שסבב ונשחט הרי זו פסולה, ואם פטר אדם את המים עד שבאו וסבבו את הגלגל ושחט בסביבתו הרי זו כשרה שהרי מכח אדם בא, במה דברים אמורים בסביבה ראשונה שהיא מכח האדם אבל מסביבה שנייה ולאחריה אינה מכח האדם אלא מכח המים בהילוכן.

14

When a person slaughters for the sake of mountains, hills, seas, rivers, or deserts, his slaughter is unacceptable even when he does not intend to worship these entities, but merely for curative purposes or the like according to the empty words related by the gentiles, the slaughter is unacceptable.34 If, however, one slaughtered for the sake of the spiritual source35 of the sea, the mountain, the stars, the constellations, or the like, it is forbidden to benefit from the animal36 like all offerings brought to false deities.37

יד

השוחט לשם הרים לשם גבעות לשם ימים לשם נהרות לשם מדברות אע"פ שלא נתכוון לעבדן אלא לרפואה וכיוצא בה מדברי הבאי שאומרין העכו"ם הרי שחיטתו פסולה, אבל אם שחט לשם מזל הים או מזל ההר או לכוכבים ומזלות וכיוצא בהן הרי זו אסורה בהנייה ככל תקרובת עכו"ם.

15

When a person slaughters an animal [with the intent of] sprinkling its blood for the sake of false deities or burning its fats for the sake of false deities,38 it is forbidden. For we derive [the laws governing] one's intent outside [the Temple] with regard to [slaughtering] ordinary animals from those pertaining to the intent with regard to [slaughtering] consecrated animals within [the Temple]. For such an intent disqualifies them, as will be explained in Hilchot Pesulei HaMukdashim.39

טו

השוחט את הבהמה לזרוק דמה לעכו"ם או להקטיר חלבה לעכו"ם הרי זו אסורה, שלמדין מחשבה בחוץ בחולין ממחשבת הקדשים בפנים, שמחשבה כזו פוסלת בהן כמו שיתבאר בהלכות פסולי המוקדשין.

16

When a person slaughtered [an animal] and afterwards, thought to sprinkle its blood for the sake of false deities or to burn its fats for the sake of false deities, it is forbidden because of the doubt involved.40 Perhaps the ultimate result showed what his initial intent was and it was with this intent that he slaughtered.

טז

שחטה ואחר כך חשב לזרוק דמה לעכו"ם או להקטיר חלבה לעכו"ם הרי זו אסורה מספק, שמא סופו הוכיח על תחלתו ובמחשבה כזו שחט.

17

When a person slaughters [an animal] for the sake of [a type of] sacrifice for which one could consecrate an animal through a vow or through a pledge,41the slaughter is unacceptable.42 For this is comparable to slaughtering consecrated animals outside [the Temple courtyard]. If he slaughters [an animal] for the sake of [a type of] sacrifice for which one could not designate an animal through a vow or through a pledge,43 the slaughter is acceptable.44

יז

השוחט לשם קדשים שמתנדבין ונידרים כמותן שחיטתו פסולה שזה כשוחט קדשים בחוץ, שחט לשם קדשים שאינן באין בנדר ונדבה שחיטתו כשרה.

18

What is implied? When one slaughters [an animal] for the sake of a burnt offering, for the sake of a peace offering, for the sake of a thanksgiving offering, or for the sake of a Paschal offering, the slaughter is unacceptable.45 Since a Paschal offering may be designated every year at any time one desires, it resembles a sacrifice that can be consecrated through a vow or through a pledge.46

If one slaughters [an animal] for the sake of a sin offering, for the sake of a certain guilt offering, for the sake of a doubtful guilt offering,47 for the sake of a firstborn offering,48 for the sake of a tithe offering,49 or for the sake of a substitute [for any offering],50 the slaughter is acceptable.51

יח

כיצד השוחט לשם עולה לשם שלמים לשם תודה לשם פסח שחיטתו פסולה, הואיל והפסח מפריש אותו בכל השנה בכל עת שירצה הרי הוא דומה לדבר הנידר והנידב, שחט לשם חטאת לשם אשם ודאי לשם אשם תלוי לשם בכור לשם מעשר לשם תמורה שחיטתו כשרה.

19

When a person is liable for a sin offering and he slaughters, saying: "For the sake of my sin offering," his slaughter is unacceptable.52 If he had a sacrificial animal in his home and he slaughters, saying: "For the sake of a substitution for my sacrifice," his slaughter is unacceptable, for he substituted the animal [for the consecrated one].53

יט

היה מחוייב חטאת ושחט ואמר לחטאתי שחיטתו פסולה, היה לו קרבן בתוך ביתו ושחט ואמר לשם תמורת זבחי שחיטתו פסולה שהרי המיר בו.

20

When a woman slaughters54 for the sake of the burnt offering brought by a woman who gave birth, saying: "This is for the sake of my burnt offering," her slaughter is acceptable.55 [The rationale is that the obligation to bring] the burnt offering of a woman who gave birth cannot be initiated through a vow or through a pledge and this woman has not given birth and thus is not obligated to bring a burnt offering. We do not suspect that she had a miscarriage.56 For it will become public knowledge if a woman miscarries.57

When, by contrast, a person slaughters for the sake of a burnt offering brought by a Nazarite, his slaughter is unacceptable even if he is not a Nazarite. [The rationale is that] the fundamental dimension of being a Nazarite is a vow like other vows.58

כ

האשה ששחטה לשם עולת יולדת ואמרה זו לעולתי שחיטתה כשרה, שאין עולת יולדת באה בנדר ונדבה והרי אינה יולדת שנתחייבה בעולה, ואין חוששין לה שמא הפילה, שכל המפלת קול יש לה, אבל השוחט לשם עולת נזיר אע"פ שאינו נזיר שחיטתו פסולה שעיקר הנזירות נדר מן הנדרים.

21

When two people hold a knife and slaughter, one has in mind an intent that would disqualify the slaughter and the other has nothing at all in mind - or even if he had in mind an intent that is permitted - the slaughter is unacceptable.59Similarly, if they slaughtered one after the other60 and one had an intent that disqualifies the slaughter, it is disqualified.

When does the above apply? When [the person with the undesirable intent] has a share in the animal. If, however, he does not have a share in the animal, it does not become forbidden. For a Jewish person does not cause something that does not belong to him to become forbidden. He is acting only to cause his colleague anguish.61

כא

שנים אוחזין בסכין ושוחטין, אחד מתכוין לשם דבר שהשוחט לו שחיטתו אסורה, והשני לא היתה לו כוונה כלל ואפילו נתכוון לשם דבר המותר להתכוין לו הרי זו פסולה, וכן אם שחט זה אחר זה והתכוון האחד מהן לשם דבר הפסול פוסל, במה דברים אמורים כשהיה לו בה שותפות אבל אם אין לו בה שותפות אינה אסורה, שאין אדם מישראל אוסר דבר שאינו שלו שאין כונתו אלא לצערו.

22

When a Jew slaughters for a gentile, the slaughter is acceptable regardless of the thoughts the gentile has in mind.62 For we are concerned only with the thoughts of the person slaughtering and not the thoughts of the owner of the animal.63 Therefore when a gentile - even a minor64 - slaughters for the sake of a Jew, the animal he slaughters is a nevelah, as will be explained.65

כב

ישראל ששחט לעכו"ם אע"פ שהעכו"ם מתכוין לכל מה שירצה שחיטתו כשרה, שאין חוששין אלא למחשבת הזובח לא למחשבת בעל הבהמה, לפיכך עכו"ם ששחט לישראל אפילו היה קטן שחיטתו נבלה כמו שיתבאר..

Footnotes
1.

This is the term the Sifri to the above verse and other Rabbinic texts use to describe ordinary meat in contrast to animals offered as sacrifices.

2.

Since the slaughter was acceptable, the animal is not considered as a nevelah. Hence it does not impart ritual impurity.

3.

See Hilchot Pesulei HaMekudashim 19:13-14.

4.

Without intending to partake of the meat. I.e., using the meat for this or the following purposes is forbidden.

5.

For the prohibition is only against slaughtering ordinary animals in the Temple courtyard, for this resembles the slaughter of the sacrifices (Kessef Mishneh). Since none of the above actions are considered as ritual slaughter, they do not cause the animal to become forbidden.

6.

The Rashba (as quoted by the Kessef Mishneh) questions the Rambam's ruling, stating that the prohibition applies only to fruit that resemble the first fruits and bread that resembles the loaves of the Thanksgiving offering.

7.

Since the prohibition is not explicitly mentioned in the Torah, he is not liable for lashes - as appropriate for the violation of an explicit Scriptural prohibition (Kessef Mishneh). Nevertheless, since the source for the prohibition is a Scriptural verse, it has the weight of a Scriptural commandment. Others, however, interpret the Rambam as implying that the prohibition is entirely Rabbinic. The verse cited previously is merely an asmachta.

The above applies to the prohibition against slaughetring in the Temple Courtyard. With regard to partaking of the meat, all authorities agree that the prohibition is Rabbinic in origin. See Hilchot Ma'achalot Assurot 16:6.

8.

As stated in Hilchot Ma'achalot Assurot 5:13-14, when a pregnant animal is slaughtered, the fetus it is carrying is considered as one of its limbs. Even if it lives, it does not have to be slaughtered again; the slaughter of its mother causes it to be permitted.

In this instance, the mother may not be slaughtered outside the Temple courtyard. Since there is no other way for the fetus to be permitted, the slaughter of the mother inside the Temple courtyard does not cause it to be forbidden.

9.

I.e., pour the blood directly into.

10.

In his Commentary to the Mishnah (Chullin 2:9), the Rambam writes that we suspect that the person worships "the element of water," water in its pure elemental state and not the water before us.

11.

In this context also, the Rambam (ibid.) explains that we fear he is worshipping the power that controls the image seen in the water.

12.

Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 11:3) writes that we fear that onlookers will say that he is collecting blood to offer it to false deities.

13.

Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 12:2) mentions this ruling, but also the ruling of the Rashba that, after the fact, the slaughter is permitted. The Rama rules that, in the present age, when pagan rites are uncommonly practiced, one may rely on the more lenient view.

14.

As long as he is not slaughtering directly into the water, it does not appear that he is worshipping it.

15.

And thus the knife was above its neck.

16.

See Chapter 1, Halachah 19.

17.

The Turand the Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 6:4) rule that slaughtering an animal in such a manner is unacceptable even if the slaughterer states that he is certain the animal's throat was not pierced in this manner. The rationale is that an animal's head is heavy and its weight will most likely cause its throat to be pierced.

18.

Chapter 3, Halachah 11. Even though the throat of the animal is cut, it is not considered ritual slaughter. Ritual slaughter involves bringing the knife back and forth across the neck or bringing the neck back and forth across the knife. Any other act that cuts its throat is not acceptable.

19.

Since a fowl is light, the slaughterer can hold it securely and maneuver it back and forth over the knife without difficulty. See Chullin 16b.

20.

Provided the slaughter of the animal is accomplished in that one action. If the slaughterer lifts the knife, that disqualifies the slaughter.

21.

The Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 24:2) requires that a knife be of this length even if one does not cut off the animal's head.

22.

For it is not feasible that passing a knife the length of the animal's neck alone will be sufficient to slice off its head in one motion [Shulchan Aruch (loc. cit.)]. Hence, we must assume that the animal's head was severed by pressing the knife against the neck. This disqualifies the slaughter as stated in Chapter 3, Halachah 11.

23.

He cut in a slant, cutting the windpipe at an angle and continuing to descend at that angle and cutting the gullet.

24.

The Kessef Mishneh interprets this as meaning that the person cut in several places on the signs. Others interpret it as meaning a cut that slants back and forth (Turei Zahav 21:3).

25.

In contrast to the slaughter of sacrificial animals (see Hilchot Pesulei HaMukdashim 1:3).

26.

Here, we are not speaking about refined spiritual intentions; the Rambam is stating that even if the person slaughters the animal without paying attention to what he is doing or even if he had no intent to slaughter it, the slaughter is acceptable.

27.

Since the deed is significant and not the intent.

28.

While he is intoxicated, he may reach the point where he is no longer able to control his conduct. See Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 1:8).

29.

The others must watch. Otherwise, there is no way that we can insure that the slaughter is acceptable. Indeed, if such a person slaughters in private, the slaughter is disqualified [Rama (Yoreh De'ah 1:5)].

30.

This applies only after the fact [Radbaz; see Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 1:5)]. At the outset, only a person fully in control of his intellect and emotions should be entrusted with ritual slaughter.

31.

On its own accord or because of the wind. If, however, a person pushed the knife, since it was set in motion by human action, the slaughter is acceptable (Chullin 31a).

32.

For the animal was slaughtered by the power of the water and not by human power.

33.

Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 7:1) rules that the slaughter is acceptable only after the fact. At the outset, one should not slaughter in this manner. The Siftei Cohen 7:1 states that this is the Rambam's opinion with regard to the first clause of the halachah as well.

34.

It is forbidden to partake of the animal, because this resembles bringing a sacrifice to a false deity. Nevertheless, since one is bringing the offering for a particular purpose and not in actual worship of the false deity, it is not forbidden to benefit from the animal (Kessef Mishneh).

35.

This is the translation of the Hebrew term mazal; i.e., the person is not worshipping the material entity but the spiritual source from which its existence emanates.

36.

For this is considered as worshipping a false deity.

37.

See Hilchot Ma'achalot Assurot 11:1; Hilchot Avodat Kochavim 7:2.

38.

He is not slaughtering the animal itself for the sake of the false deity - in which instance, there would be no question that it is forbidden - but, nevertheless, at the time of slaughter, he does intend to offer its blood or fats to the false deity.

39.

In Chapter 15, Halachah 10, of those halachot, the Rambam writes that one who slaughters a sacrificial animal with the proper intent for the sake of sprinkling its blood or burning its fats for an improper intent, the slaughter is unacceptable.

40.

The Turei Zahav 4:2 writes that according to the Rambam, because of the doubt, it is forbidden to benefit from the animal. Others (see also Siftei Cohen 4:2) rule that it is forbidden to partake of the animal's meat, but one may benefit from it.

41.

As indicated in the following halachah, there are certain sacrifices that a person may offer on his own initiative. Since he has not actually consecrated the animal, the prohibition against sacrificing consecrated animals outside the Temple does not apply according to Scriptural Law. Nevertheless, because of the impression created, our Sages forbade the slaughter of an animal for that intent (Maggid Mishneh). The Tur (Yoreh De'ah 5), however, states that we fear that he might have consecrated it, implying that there is a question of a Scriptural prohibition involved.

The Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 5:1) rules that this law applies even when the slaughtered animal has a blemish which would disqualify it as a sacrifice, for there are times when a person will conceal the blemish.

42.

From the fact that the Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah, sec. 7) quotes this and the following halachot, we see that these laws also apply in the present age although the Temple is destroyed. See the conclusion of the gloss of the Maggid Mishneh to Halachah 20 which mentions a difference of opinion concerning this matter.

43.

As indicated in the following halachah, there are other sacrifices for which a person may consecrate an animal only when he is required to bring that offering. He may not pledge such a sacrifice on his own initiative.

44.

Since he cannot consecrate animals for such offerings, we do not worry about the impression that may be created. On the contrary, an onlooker will consider the person's statements facetious (Siftei Cohen 5:4)

45.

For these are sacrifices that a person can consecrate on his own initiative. Hence slaughtering an animal for this purpose is forbidden as stated in the previous halachah.

46.

Seemingly, the Paschal offering does not resemble the others for it is an obligation incumbent on a person and can be brought only on the fourteenth of Nisan (Chullin 41b). Nevertheless, it is placed in this category for the reason explained by the Rambam.

47.

The instance of a doubtful guilt offering is debated in Chullin, loc. cit., without the Talmud reaching a definite conclusion concerning the matter. The Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah, loc. cit.) quotes the Rambam's view. The Tur and the Rama, however, follow the view that a person can consecrate a doubtful guilt offering on his own initiative and hence, forbid ritual slaughter for this intent.

48.

For a firstborn animal is consecrated by birth; a person cannot consecrate it through his statements.

49.

For the tithe offerings are consecrated through the tithing rite; a person cannot consecrate it through his statements.

50.

For unless a person has a consecrated animal at home, there is no reason that an onlooker might think that the substitution is of consequence (Chullin, loc. cit.).

51.

For these are sacrifices that a person cannot consecrate unless he is required to.

52.

Rashi (Chullin, loc. cit.) explains that when a person is liable to bring a sin offering, he makes the matter known so that he will be embarrassed and thus further his atonement. Therefore the onlookers will know of his obligation and will not regard his statements as facetious.

53.

From the Rambam's words, it would appear that this is not merely a Rabbinical safeguard, but that his statements bring about a substitution (temurah) of the animal and he is liable for slaughtering it outside the Temple courtyard.

54.

As stated in Chapter 4, Halachah 4, a woman may slaughter animals. And since she may slaughter ordinary animals, her slaughter of sacrificial animals would be acceptable. Note, however, the Rambam's Commentary to the Mishnah (Chullin 2:10) which speaks about a man slaughtering an animal on behalf of a woman.

55.

Since this offering cannot be brought on a person's own initiative, her statements are considered facetious.

56.

A woman who miscarries is also obligated to bring such a burnt offering.

57.

The word here matches the Rambam's statements in the revised text of his Commentary to the Mishnah (loc. cit.) as published by Rav Kappach. The Rambam's original text - and the version of his Commentary to the Mishnah commonly circulated - present an entirely different conception of this halachah.

58.

Hence we suspect that perhaps he took a Nazarite vow in private and the matter has not become known (Kessef Mishneh, Lechem Mishneh).

59.

Since his activity in slaughtering the animal was significant, his intent is also of consequence.

60.

I.e., without waiting; thus the slaughter is not disqualified.

61.

He makes such statements to make it appear that the slaughter is unacceptable so that his colleague will suffer anguish. Nevertheless, his statements have no effect. The Rambam's view is quoted by the Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 5:3). The Tur and the Rama states that there are opinions which forbid the slaughter regardless of whether the other person has a share in the animal or not because of the impression that is created.

62.

I.e., even if the gentile considers it as a sacrifice to a false deity.

63.

See Hilchot Pesulei HaMukdashim 14:1.

64.

Who is to young to be involved in the worship of false deities.

65.

As stated in Chapter 4, Halachot 11-12, the gentile's slaughter is not considered halachicly significant and it is as if the animal died without being slaughtered.

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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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