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ב"ה

Rambam - 1 Chapter a Day

Shechitah - Chapter 2

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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

בְכָל מָקוֹם מֻתָּר לִשְׁחֹט חוּץ מִן הָעֲזָרָה. שֶׁאֵין שׁוֹחֲטִין בָּעֲזָרָה אֶלָּא קָדְשֵׁי מִזְבֵּחַ בִּלְבַד. אֲבָל הַחֻלִּין אָסוּר לְשָׁחֳטָן בָּעֲזָרָה בֵּין בְּהֵמָה בֵּין חַיָּה בֵּין עוֹף. וְכֵן הוּא אוֹמֵר בִּבְשַׂר תַּאֲוָה (דברים יב כא) "כִּי יִרְחַק מִמְּךָ הַמָּקוֹם אֲשֶׁר יִבְחַר ה'" וְגוֹ' (דברים יב כא) "וְזָבַחְתָּ מִבְּקָרְךָ וּמִצֹּאנְךָ" וְגוֹ' (דברים יב כא) "וְאָכַלְתָּ בִּשְׁעָרֶיךָ". הָא לָמַדְתָּ שֶׁאֵין שׁוֹחֲטִין בְּשַׂר תַּאֲוָה אֶלָּא חוּץ לַמָּקוֹם (דברים יב כא) "אֲשֶׁר בָּחַר 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

וְזֶה שֶׁנִּשְׁחַט חוּץ לַמָּקוֹם הוּא שֶׁמֻּתָּר לְאָכְלוֹ בְּכָל הַשְּׁעָרִים. אֲבָל הַשּׁוֹחֵט חֻלִּין בָּעֲזָרָה אוֹתוֹ הַבָּשָׂר טָהוֹר וְאָסוּר בַּהֲנָיָה כְּבָשָׂר בְּחָלָב וְכַיּוֹצֵא בּוֹ. וְקוֹבְרִים אוֹתוֹ וְאֶפְרוֹ אָסוּר אֲפִלּוּ שָׁחַט לִרְפוּאָה אוֹ לַאֲכִילַת עַכּוּ''ם אוֹ לְהַאֲכִיל לִכְלָבִים. אֲבָל הַנּוֹחֵר בָּעֲזָרָה. וְהַמְעַקֵּר. וְעַכּוּ''ם שֶׁשָּׁחַט. וְהַשּׁוֹחֵט וְנִמְצָא טְרֵפָה. וְהַשּׁוֹחֵט בְּהֵמָה חַיָּה וְעוֹף הַטְּמֵאִים בָּעֲזָרָה. הֲרֵי אֵלּוּ כֻּלָּן מֻתָּרִין בַּהֲנָיָה:

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

וְלֹא בְּהֵמָה וְחַיָּה בִּלְבַד אֶלָּא כָּל הַחֻלִּין אָסוּר לְהַכְנִיסָן לַעֲזָרָה. אֲפִלּוּ בְּשַׂר שְׁחוּטָה אוֹ פֵּרוֹת וּפַת. אִם עָבַר וְהִכְנִיסָן מֻתָּרִין בַּאֲכִילָה כְּשֶׁהָיוּ. וּדְבָרִים אֵלּוּ כֻּלָּן דִּבְרֵי קַבָּלָה הֵן. וְכָל הַשּׁוֹחֵט חֻלִּין בָּעֲזָרָה אוֹ הָאוֹכֵל כְּזַיִת מִבְּשַׂר חֻלִּין שֶׁנִּשְׁחֲטוּ בָּעֲזָרָה מַכִּין אוֹתוֹ מַכַּת מַרְדּוּת:

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

הָאוֹמֵר בְּהֵמָה זוֹ שְׁלָמִים וּוְלָדָהּ חֻלִּין. אִם נִשְׁחֲטָה בָּעֲזָרָה וְלָדָהּ מֻתָּר בַּאֲכִילָה. לְפִי שֶׁאֵינוֹ יָכוֹל לִשְׁחֹט אוֹתוֹ בְּרִחוּק מָקוֹם:

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

אֵין שׁוֹחֲטִין לְתוֹךְ יַמִּים וּנְהָרוֹת שֶׁמָּא יֹאמְרוּ עוֹבֵד מַיִם הוּא זֶה וְנִרְאֶה כְּמַקְרִיב לַמַּיִם. וְלֹא יִשְׁחֹט לִכְלִי מָלֵא מַיִם שֶׁמָּא יֹאמְרוּ לַצּוּרָה שֶׁתֵּרָאֶה בַּמַּיִם שָׁחַט. וְלֹא יִשְׁחֹט בְּתוֹךְ כֵּלִים וְלֹא לְתוֹךְ הַגֻּמָּא שֶׁכֵּן דֶּרֶךְ עוֹבְדֵי עַכּוּ''ם. וְאִם שָׁחַט שְׁחִיטָתוֹ כְּשֵׁרָה:

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

שׁוֹחֲטִין לִכְלִי מַיִם עֲכוּרִין שֶׁאֵין הַצּוּרָה נִרְאֵית בָּהֶן. וְכֵן שׁוֹחֵט חוּץ לְגֻמָּא וְהַדָּם שׁוֹתֵת וְיוֹרֵד לַגֻּמָּא. וּבַשּׁוּק לֹא יַעֲשֶׂה כֵּן שֶׁמָּא יְחַקֶּה אֶת הַמִּינִים. וְאִם שָׁחַט לְגֻמָּא בַּשּׁוּק אָסוּר לֶאֱכל מִשְּׁחִיטָתוֹ עַד שֶׁיִּבְדְּקוּ אַחֲרָיו שֶׁמָּא מִין הוּא. וּמֻתָּר לִשְׁחֹט עַל דֹּפֶן הַסְּפִינָה וְהַדָּם שׁוֹתֵת עַל הַדֹּפֶן וְיוֹרֵד לַמַּיִם. וּמֻתָּר לִשְׁחֹט עַל גַּבֵּי הַכֵּלִים:

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 down15 or 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

כֵּיצַד שׁוֹחֲטִין. מוֹתֵחַ אֶת הַצַּוָּאר וּמוֹלִיךְ הַסַּכִּין וּמְבִיאָהּ עַד שֶׁשּׁוֹחֵט. בֵּין שֶׁהָיְתָה הַבְּהֵמָה רְבוּצָה בֵּין שֶׁהָיְתָה עוֹמֶדֶת וְאָחַז בְּעָרְפָּהּ וְהַסַּכִּין בְּיָדוֹ מִלְּמַטָּה וְשָׁחַט הֲרֵי זוֹ כְּשֵׁרָה:

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

נָעַץ אֶת הַסַּכִּין בַּכֹּתֶל וְהֶעֱבִיר הַצַּוָּאר עָלֶיהָ עַד שֶׁנִּשְׁחַט שְׁחִיטָתוֹ כְּשֵׁרָה. וְהוּא שֶׁיִּהְיֶה צַוָּאר הַבְּהֵמָה לְמַטָּה וְסַכִּין לְמַעְלָה. שֶׁאִם הָיָה צַוַּאר בְּהֵמָה לְמַעְלָה מִן הַסַּכִּין שֶׁמָּא תֵּרֵד הַבְּהֵמָה בְּכֹבֶד גּוּפָהּ וְתֵחָתֵךְ בְּלֹא הוֹלָכָה וַהֲבָאָה וְאֵין זוֹ שְׁחִיטָה כְּמוֹ שֶׁיִּתְבָּאֵר. לְפִיכָךְ אִם הָיָה עוֹף בֵּין שֶׁהָיָה צַוָּארוֹ לְמַעְלָה מִן הַסַּכִּין הַנְּעוּצָה אוֹ לְמַטָּה מִמֶּנּוּ שְׁחִיטָתוֹ כְּשֵׁרָה:

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

הַשּׁוֹחֵט וְהוֹלִיךְ אֶת הַסַּכִּין וְלֹא הֱבִיאָהּ אוֹ הֱבִיאָהּ וְלֹא הוֹלִיכָהּ וְשָׁחַט שְׁחִיטָתוֹ כְּשֵׁרָה. הוֹלִיךְ וְהֵבִיא עַד שֶׁחָתַךְ הָרֹאשׁ וְהִתִּיזוֹ שְׁחִיטָתוֹ כְּשֵׁרָה. הוֹלִיךְ וְלֹא הֵבִיא אוֹ הֵבִיא וְלֹא הוֹלִיךְ וְהִתִּיז אֶת הָרֹאשׁ בְּהוֹלָכָה בִּלְבַד אוֹ בַּהֲבָאָה בִּלְבַד. אִם יֵשׁ בַּסַּכִּין כִּמְלֹא שְׁנֵי צַוָּארִים מִצַּוְּארֵי הַנִּשְׁחָט שְׁחִיטָתוֹ כְּשֵׁרָה וְאִם לָאו שְׁחִיטָתוֹ פְּסוּלָה. שָׁחַט שְׁנֵי רָאשִׁים כְּאֶחָד שְׁחִיטָתוֹ כְּשֵׁרָה:

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

שְׁנַיִם שֶׁאָחֲזוּ בְּסַכִּין אֲפִלּוּ אֶחָד מִצַּד זֶה וְשֵׁנִי מִצַּד אַחֵר כְּנֶגְדּוֹ וְשָׁחֲטוּ שְׁחִיטָתָן כְּשֵׁרָה. וְכֵן שְׁנַיִם שֶׁאָחֲזוּ שְׁנֵי סַכִּינִין וְשָׁחֲטוּ כְּאֶחָד בִּשְׁנֵי מְקוֹמוֹת בַּצַּוָּאר שְׁחִיטָתָן כְּשֵׁרָה. וַאֲפִלּוּ שָׁחַט זֶה הַוֵּשֶׁט בִּלְבַד אוֹ רֻבּוֹ וְהַשֵּׁנִי שָׁחַט בְּמָקוֹם אַחֵר הַקָּנֶה אוֹ רֻבּוֹ הֲרֵי שְׁחִיטָה זוֹ כְּשֵׁרָה וְאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאֵין הַשְּׁחִיטָה כֻּלָּהּ בְּמָקוֹם אֶחָד. וְכֵן שְׁחִיטָה הָעֲשׂוּיָה כְּקֻלְמוֹס וּשְׁחִיטָה הָעֲשׂוּיָה כְּמַסְרֵק כְּשֵׁרָה:

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

אֵין שְׁחִיטַת הַחֻלִּין צְרִיכָה כַּוָּנָה אֶלָּא אֲפִלּוּ שָׁחַט כְּמִתְעַסֵּק אוֹ דֶּרֶךְ שְׂחוֹק אוֹ שֶׁזָּרַק סַכִּין לְנָעֳצָהּ בַּכֹּתֶל וְשָׁחֲטָה בַּהֲלִיכָתָהּ הוֹאִיל וְהַשְּׁחִיטָה כָּרָאוּי בִּמְקוֹמָהּ וְשִׁעוּרָהּ הֲרֵי זוֹ כְּשֵׁרָה:

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

לְפִיכָךְ חֵרֵשׁ אוֹ שׁוֹטֶה אוֹ קָטָן אוֹ שִׁכּוֹר שֶׁנִּתְבַּלְבְּלָה דַּעְתּוֹ וּמִי שֶׁאֲחָזַתּוּ רוּחַ רָעָה שֶׁשָּׁחֲטוּ וַאֲחֵרִים רוֹאִין אוֹתָם שֶׁהַשְּׁחִיטָה כְּתִקְנָהּ הֲרֵי זוֹ כְּשֵׁרָה. אֲבָל סַכִּין שֶׁנָּפְלָה וְשָׁחֲטָה אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁשָּׁחֲטָה כְּדַרְכָּהּ הֲרֵי זוֹ פְּסוּלָה שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (דברים יב כא) "וְזָבַחְתָּ" עַד שֶׁיִּהְיֶה הַזּוֹבֵחַ אָדָם וְאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאֵינוֹ מִתְכַּוֵּן לִשְׁחִיטָה:

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

גַּלְגַּל שֶׁל אֶבֶן אוֹ שֶׁל עֵץ שֶׁהָיְתָה הַסַּכִּין קְבוּעָה בּוֹ וְסִבֵּב אָדָם אֶת הַגַּלְגַּל וְשָׂם צַוַּאר הָעוֹף אוֹ הַבְּהֵמָה כְּנֶגְדּוֹ עַד שֶׁנִּשְׁחַט בִּסְבִיבַת הַגַּלְגַּל הֲרֵי זוֹ כְּשֵׁרָה. וְאִם הַמַּיִם הֵן הַמְסַבְּבִין אֶת הַגַּלְגַּל וְשָׂם אֶת הַצַּוָּאר כְּנֶגְדּוֹ בְּשָׁעָה שֶׁסִּבֵּב וְנִשְׁחַט הֲרֵי זוֹ פְּסוּלָה. וְאִם פָּטַר אָדָם אֶת הַמַּיִם עַד שֶׁבָּאוּ וְסִבְּבוּ אֶת הַגַּלְגַּל וְשָׁחַט בִּסְבִיבָתוֹ הֲרֵי זוֹ כְּשֵׁרָה שֶׁהֲרֵי מִכֹּחַ אָדָם בָּא. בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים בִּסְבִיבָה רִאשׁוֹנָה שֶׁהִיא מִכֹּחַ הָאָדָם אֲבָל מִסְּבִיבָה שְׁנִיָּה וּלְאַחֲרֶיהָ אֵינָהּ מִכֹּחַ הָאָדָם אֶלָּא מִכֹּחַ הַמַּיִם בְּהִלּוּכָן:

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

הַשּׁוֹחֵט לְשֵׁם הָרִים לְשֵׁם גְּבָעוֹת לְשֵׁם יַמִּים לְשֵׁם נְהָרוֹת לְשֵׁם מִדְבָּרוֹת אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁלֹּא נִתְכַּוִּן לְעָבְדָן אֶלָּא לִרְפוּאָה וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּהּ מִדִּבְרֵי הֲבַאי שֶׁאוֹמְרִין הָעַכּוּ''ם הֲרֵי שְׁחִיטָתוֹ פְּסוּלָה. אֲבָל אִם שָׁחַט לְשֵׁם מַזַּל הַיָּם אוֹ מַזַּל הָהָר אוֹ לְכוֹכָבִים וּמַזָּלוֹת וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּהֶן הֲרֵי זוֹ אֲסוּרָה בַּהֲנָיָה כְּכָל תִּקְרֹבֶת עַכּוּ''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

הַשּׁוֹחֵט אֶת הַבְּהֵמָה לִזְרֹק דָּמָהּ לְעַכּוּ''ם אוֹ לְהַקְטִיר חֶלְבָּהּ לְעַכּוּ''ם הֲרֵי זוֹ אֲסוּרָה. שֶׁלְּמֵדִין מַחֲשָׁבָה בַּחוּץ בְּחֻלִּין מִמַּחְשֶׁבֶת הַקָּדָשִׁים בִּפְנִים. שֶׁמַּחֲשָׁבָה כָּזוֹ פּוֹסֶלֶת בָּהֶן כְּמוֹ שֶׁיִּתְבָּאֵר בְּהִלְכוֹת פְּסוּלֵי הַמֻּקְדָּשִׁין:

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

שְׁחָטָהּ וְאַחַר כָּךְ חָשַׁב לִזְרֹק דָּמָהּ לְעַכּוּ''ם אוֹ לְהַקְטִיר חֶלְבָּהּ לְעַכּוּ''ם הֲרֵי זוֹ אֲסוּרָה מִסָּפֵק. שֶׁמָּא סוֹפוֹ הוֹכִיחַ עַל תְּחִלָּתוֹ וּבְמַחֲשָׁבָה כָּזוֹ שָׁחַט:

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,41 the 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

הַשּׁוֹחֵט לְשֵׁם קָדָשִׁים שֶׁמִּתְנַדְּבִין וְנִדָּרִים כְּמוֹתָן שְׁחִיטָתוֹ פְּסוּלָה שֶׁזֶּה כְּשׁוֹחֵט קָדָשִׁים בַּחוּץ. שָׁחַט לְשֵׁם קָדָשִׁים שֶׁאֵינָן בָּאִין בְּנֵדֶר וּנְדָבָה שְׁחִיטָתוֹ כְּשֵׁרָה:

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

כֵּיצַד. הַשּׁוֹחֵט לְשֵׁם עוֹלָה לְשֵׁם שְׁלָמִים לְשֵׁם תּוֹדָה לְשֵׁם פֶּסַח שְׁחִיטָתוֹ פְּסוּלָה. הוֹאִיל וְהַפֶּסַח מַפְרִישׁ אוֹתוֹ בְּכָל הַשָּׁנָה בְּכָל עֵת שֶׁיִּרְצֶה הֲרֵי הוּא דּוֹמֶה לְדָבָר הַנִּדָּר וְהַנִּדָּב. שָׁחַט לְשֵׁם חַטָּאת לְשֵׁם אָשָׁם וַדַּאי לְשֵׁם אָשָׁם תָּלוּי לְשֵׁם בְּכוֹר לְשֵׁם מַעֲשֵׂר לְשֵׁם תְּמוּרָה שְׁחִיטָתוֹ כְּשֵׁרָה:

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

הָיָה מְחֻיָּב חַטָּאת וְשָׁחַט וְאָמַר לְחַטָּאתִי שְׁחִיטָתוֹ פְּסוּלָה. הָיָה לוֹ קָרְבָּן בְּתוֹךְ בֵּיתוֹ וְשָׁחַט וְאָמַר לְשֵׁם תְּמוּרַת זִבְחִי שְׁחִיטָתוֹ פְּסוּלָה שֶׁהֲרֵי הֵמִיר בּוֹ:

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

הָאִשָּׁה שֶׁשָּׁחֲטָה לְשֵׁם עוֹלַת יוֹלֶדֶת וְאָמְרָה זוֹ לְעוֹלָתִי שְׁחִיטָתָהּ כְּשֵׁרָה. שֶׁאֵין עוֹלַת יוֹלֶדֶת בָּאָה בְּנֵדֶר וּנְדָבָה וַהֲרֵי אֵינָהּ יוֹלֶדֶת שֶׁנִּתְחַיְּבָה בְּעוֹלָה. וְאֵין חוֹשְׁשִׁין לָהּ שֶׁמָּא הִפִּילָה. שֶׁכָּל הַמַּפֶּלֶת קוֹל יֵשׁ לָהּ. אֲבָל הַשּׁוֹחֵט לְשֵׁם עוֹלַת נָזִיר אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאֵינוֹ נָזִיר שְׁחִיטָתוֹ פְּסוּלָה שֶׁעִקַּר הַנְּזִירוּת נֵדֶר מִן הַנְּדָרִים:

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.59 Similarly, 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

שְׁנַיִם אוֹחֲזִין בְּסַכִּין וְשׁוֹחֲטִין. אֶחָד מִתְכַּוֵּן לְשֵׁם דָּבָר שֶׁהַשּׁוֹחֵט לוֹ שְׁחִיטָתוֹ אֲסוּרָה. וְהַשֵּׁנִי לֹא הָיְתָה לוֹ כַּוָּנָה כְּלָל וַאֲפִלּוּ נִתְכַּוֵּן לְשֵׁם דָּבָר הַמֻּתָּר לְהִתְכַּוֵּן לוֹ הֲרֵי זוֹ פְּסוּלָה. וְכֵן אִם שָׁחַט זֶה אַחַר זֶה וְהִתְכַּוֵּן הָאֶחָד מֵהֶן לְשֵׁם דָּבָר הַפָּסוּל פּוֹסֵל. בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים כְּשֶׁהָיָה לוֹ בָּהּ שֻׁתָּפוּת אֲבָל אִם אֵין לוֹ בָּהּ שֻׁתָּפוּת אֵינָהּ אֲסוּרָה. שֶׁאֵין אָדָם מִיִּשְׂרָאֵל אוֹסֵר דָּבָר שֶׁאֵינוֹ שֶׁלּוֹ שֶׁאֵין כַּוָּנָתוֹ אֶלָּא לְצַעֲרוֹ:

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

יִשְׂרָאֵל שֶׁשָּׁחַט לְעַכּוּ''ם אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהָעַכּוּ''ם מִתְכַּוֵּן לְכָל מַה שֶּׁיִּרְצֶה שְׁחִיטָתוֹ כְּשֵׁרָה. שֶׁאֵין חוֹשְׁשִׁין אֶלָּא לְמַחְשֶׁבֶת הַזּוֹבֵחַ לֹא לְמַחְשֶׁבֶת בַּעַל הַבְּהֵמָה. לְפִיכָךְ עַכּוּ''ם שֶׁשָּׁחַט לְיִשְׂרָאֵל אֲפִלּוּ הָיָה קָטָן שְׁחִיטָתוֹ נְבֵלָה כְּמוֹ שֶׁיִּתְבָּאֵר:

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 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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