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ב"ה

Rambam - 1 Chapter a Day

Shechitah - Chapter 6

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Shechitah - Chapter 6

1

What is meant by nekuvah?1 There are eleven organs that if there is a perforation of the slightest size that reaches their inner cavity, [the animal] is trefe. They are:2 the entrance to the gullet,3 the membrane of the brain in the skull, the heart and its large arteries, the gall-bladder, the arteries leading to the liver, the maw,4 the stomach, the abdomen, the gut, the intestines, and the lung and the bronchia.

א

נְּקוּבָה כֵּיצַד. אַחַד עָשָׂר אֵיבָרִים הֵן שֶׁאִם נִקַּב אֶחָד מֵהֶן לַחֲלָלוֹ בְּמַשֶּׁהוּ טְרֵפָה. וְאֵלּוּ הֵן. תַּרְבַּץ הַוֵּשֶׁט. וּקְרוּם שֶׁל מֹחַ הָרֹאשׁ. וְהַלֵּב עִם הַקָּנֶה שֶׁלּוֹ. וְהַמָּרָה. וּקְנֵה הַכָּבֵד. וְהַקֵּבָה. וְהַכֶּרֶס. וְהֶמְסֵס. וּבֵית הַכּוֹסוֹת. וְהַדַּקִּין. וְהָרֵאָה עִם הַקָּנֶה שֶׁלָּהּ:

2

We have already mentioned the definition of the entrance to the gullet.5 It refers to a portion of the esophagus above the gullet which is not fit for ritual slaughter. If there is a perforation of the slightest size that reaches its inner cavity, [the animal] is trefe.

ב

תַּרְבַּץ הַוֵּשֶׁט כְּבָר בֵּאַרְנוּ שִׁעוּרוֹ וְשֶׁהוּא הַמָּקוֹם מִן הַוֵּשֶׁט שֶׁאֵינוֹ רָאוּי לִשְׁחִיטָה לְמַעְלָה מִן הַוֵּשֶׁט. אִם נִקַּב לַחֲלָלוֹ בְּמַה שֶּׁהוּא טְרֵפָה:

3

The brain in the skull has two membranes. If the outer one near the skull bone alone is perforated, [the animal] is permitted.6 If the lower one near the brain is perforated, it is trefe.7 With regard to the portion where the brain extends to the spinal cord, i.e., the portion below the glands where the neck begins, the laws governing [the perforation of] its membranes change.8 If they are perforated beyond the glands, [the animal] is permitted.

ג

שְׁנֵי קְרוּמוֹת יֵשׁ לַמֹּחַ שֶׁבָּרֹאשׁ. אִם נִקַּב הָעֶלְיוֹן הַסָּמוּךְ לָעֶצֶם בִּלְבַד הֲרֵי זוֹ מֻתֶּרֶת. וְאִם נִקַּב הַתַּחְתּוֹן הַסָּמוּךְ לַמֹּחַ טְרֵפָה. וּמִשֶּׁיַּתְחִיל הַמֹּחַ לְהִמָּשֵׁךְ לַשִּׁדְרָה וְהוּא מִחוּץ לַפּוֹלִין שֶׁהֵן תְּחִלַּת הָעֹרֶף יִהְיֶה לִקְרוּמוֹ דִּין אַחֵר. וְאִם נִקַּב חוּץ לַפּוֹלִין מֻתָּר:

4

When the brain itself is perforated9 or crushed, [the animal] is acceptable if its membrane is intact.10 If, however, [it has degenerated to the extent that] it can be poured like water or melts like wax, [the animal] is trefe.11

ד

הַמֹּחַ עַצְמוֹ שֶׁנִּקַּב אוֹ נִתְמַעֵךְ וְהַקְּרוּם קַיָּם כְּשֵׁרָה. וְאִם נִשְׁפַּךְ כַּמַּיִם אוֹ נָמֵס כַּדּוֹנַג טְרֵפָה:

5

When there is a perforation of the heart to its inner cavity - whether to the larger cavity on the left or the smaller cavity to the right - [the animal] is trefe. If, however, the flesh of the heart is perforated, but the perforation does not reach the inner cavity, [the animal] is permitted.12 The arteries leading from the heart to the lung is considered as the heart itself. If there is a perforation of the slightest size that reaches its inner cavity, [the animal] is trefe.

ה

הַלֵּב שֶׁנִּקַּב לְבֵית חֲלָלוֹ. בֵּין לְחָלָל גָּדוֹל שֶׁבִּשְׂמֹאל בֵּין לְחָלָל קָטָן שֶׁבְּיָמִין טְרֵפָה. אֲבָל אִם נִקַּב בְּשַׂר הַלֵּב וְלֹא הִגִּיעַ לַחֲלָלוֹ מֻתָּר. וּקְנֵה הַלֵּב וְהוּא הַמִּזְרָק הַגָּדוֹל שֶׁיּוֹצֵא מִמֶּנּוּ לָרֵאָה הֲרֵי הוּא כַּלֵּב וְאִם נִקַּב לַחֲלָלוֹ בְּמַשֶּׁהוּ טְרֵפָה:

6

When the gall-bladder is perforated and the liver seals it, [the animal] is permitted.13 If, however, the perforation is not sealed, it is trefe even if the perforation is located close to the liver.

ו

מָרָה שֶׁנִּקְּבָה וְכָבֵד סוֹתְמָהּ מֻתֶּרֶת. וְאִם לֹא נִסְתַּם הַנֶּקֶב אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהוּא סָמוּךְ לַכָּבֵד טְרֵפָה:

7

[The following rules apply when] a kernel14 is found in the gall-bladder. If it was shaped like a date seed, i.e., its head is not pointed, [the animal] is permitted.15 If, however, its head is pointed like an olive seed, it is forbidden, for we can assume that it perforated [the gall bladder] when it entered. [The reason that] the perforation cannot be seen is that a scab developed over the opening of the wound.16

ז

נְזִיָּה שֶׁנִּמְצֵאת בַּמָּרָה אִם הָיְתָה כְּמוֹ גַּרְעִינָהּ שֶׁל תְּמָרָה שֶׁאֵין רֹאשָׁהּ חַד מֻתֶּרֶת. וְאִם רֹאשָׁהּ חַד כְּגַרְעִינַת הַזַּיִת אֲסוּרָה. שֶׁהֲרֵי נִקְּבָה אוֹתָהּ כְּשֶׁנִּכְנְסָה. וְזֶה שֶׁלֹּא יֵרָאֶה הַנֶּקֶב מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהֻגְלַד פִּי הַמַּכָּה:

8

When there is a perforation of the slightest size in one of the arteries of the liver where the blood develops, [the animal] is trefe.17 Accordingly, [the following rules apply] if a needle is found in the lobes of the liver. If it was a large needle and its pointed edge was facing inward, it can be assumed that it perforated [the liver] when it entered. If its rounded edge was facing inward, we say that it entered through the blood vessels and [the animal] is permitted.18

ח

קְנֵי הַכָּבֵד וְהֵן הַמִּזְרְקִין שֶׁבּוֹ שֶׁבָּהֶן הַדָּם מִתְבַּשֵּׁל. אִם נִקַּב אֶחָד מֵהֶן בְּמַשֶּׁהוּ טְרֵפָה. לְפִיכָךְ מַחַט שֶׁנִּמְצֵאת בְּחִתּוּךְ הַכָּבֵד אִם הָיְתָה מַחַט גְּדוֹלָה וְהָיָה הַקָּצֶה הַחַד שֶׁלָּהּ לְפָנִים בְּיָדוּעַ שֶׁנִּקְּבָה כְּשֶׁנִּכְנְסָה. וְאִם הָיָה הָרֹאשׁ הֶעָגל לְפָנִים אוֹמְרִין דֶּרֶךְ סִמְפּוֹנוֹת הָלְכָה וּמֻתֶּרֶת:

9

If it was a small needle, [the animal] is trefe, because both of its heads are sharp and it certainly perforated [the liver].19 If it is found in the large blood vessel, the wide artery through which food enters the liver,20 it is permitted.21 If the flesh of the liver became wormridden, [the animal] is permitted.22

ט

הָיְתָה מַחַט קְטַנָּה הֲרֵי זוֹ טְרֵפָה מִפְּנֵי שֶׁשְּׁנֵי רָאשֶׁיהָ חַדִּין וַדַּאי נִקְּבָה. וְאִם נִמְצֵאת בַּסִּמְפּוֹן הַגָּדוֹל שֶׁבַּכָּבֵד וְהוּא הַקָּנֶה הָרָחָב שֶׁבָּאֶמְצַע שֶׁבּוֹ נִכְנַס הַמַּאֲכָל לַכָּבֵד הֲרֵי זוֹ מֻתֶּרֶת. וּבְשַׂר כָּבֵד שֶׁהִתְלִיעַ מֻתֶּרֶת:

10

When the maw is perforated and kosher fat23 seals [the perforation], [the animal] is permitted. Similarly, whenever a perforation is sealed by flesh or fat that is permitted to be eaten, [the animal] is permitted. The [only] exceptions are the fat of the heart,24 the membrane that is above the entire heart, the diaphragm in the midst of the belly that separates between the digestive organs and the respiratory organs, i.e., the one that when it is cut open, the lungs could be seen and which is called the membrane [above] the liver, the white place in the center [of the liver], and the fat of the colon. In these organs, we do not say that they shield [the perforation] because they are firm.25 A perforation that is sealed with one of these is not considered as sealed.

A portion of fat from a beast that corresponds to a portion of forbidden fat in a domesticated animal does not seal [a perforation] even though it is permitted to be eaten.26

י

קֵבָה שֶׁנִּקְּבָה וְחֵלֶב טָהוֹר סוֹתֵם אֶת הַנֶּקֶב מֻתֶּרֶת. וְכֵן כָּל נֶקֶב שֶׁהַבָּשָׂר אוֹ הַחֵלֶב הַמֻּתָּר בַּאֲכִילָה סוֹתֵם אוֹתוֹ הֲרֵי זֶה מֻתָּר. חוּץ מֵחֵלֶב הַלֵּב וְהַקְּרוּם שֶׁעַל הַלֵּב כֻּלּוֹ. וְהַמְּחִצָּה שֶׁבְּאֶמְצַע הַבֶּטֶן הַמַּבְדֶּלֶת בֵּין אֵיבְרֵי הַמַּאֲכָל וְאֵיבְרֵי הַנְּשִׁימָה. וְהִיא שֶׁקּוֹרְעִין אוֹתָהּ וְאַחַר כָּךְ תֵּרָאֶה הָרֵאָה. וְהִיא הַנִּקְרֵאת טַרְפַּשׁ הַכָּבֵד. וְהַמָּקוֹם הַלָּבָן שֶׁבְּאֶמְצָעָהּ. וְחֵלֶב הַמְּעִי הָאַחֲרוֹן שֶׁבְּאֵיבָרִים אֵלּוּ. אֵין מְגִנִּין לְפִי שֶׁהֵן קָשִׁין. וְנֶקֶב שֶׁנִּסְתַּם בְּאֶחָד מֵהֶן אֵינוֹ כְּסָתוּם. וְחֵלֶב חַיָּה שֶׁכְּנֶגְדּוֹ בִּבְהֵמָה אָסוּר אֵינוֹ סוֹתֵם אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהוּא מֻתָּר בַּאֲכִילָה:

11

When the stomach is perforated, [the animal] is trefe. There is nothing that can seal it for the fat upon it is forbidden.27 Similarly, when there is a perforation of the abdomen or gut that extends to its outer periphery, [the animal] is trefe. If one of them was perforated and the perforation leads to the cavity of the other,28 [the animal] is permitted.29

יא

כֶּרֶס שֶׁנִּקַּב טְרֵפָה. וְאֵין לוֹ דָּבָר שֶׁיִּסְתֹּם אוֹתוֹ. שֶׁהֲרֵי הַחֵלֶב שֶׁעָלָיו אָסוּר. וְכֵן הֶמְסֵס וּבֵית הַכּוֹסוֹת שֶׁנִּקַּב אֶחָד מֵהֶן לַחוּץ טְרֵפָה. וְאִם נִקַּב אֶחָד מֵהֶן לְתוֹךְ חֲלַל חֲבֵרוֹ מֻתֶּרֶת:

12

[The following rules apply when] a needle is found in the folds of the gut: If it was from one side,30 [the animal] is permitted.31 If it caused a complete perforation extending [from the outer side] to the cavity of the gut and a drop of blood was found at the place of the perforation, [the animal] is trefe. For we are certain that the perforation occurred before the slaughter. If there is no blood at the place of the perforation,32 [the animal] is permitted. For we are certain that after the slaughter, under pressure the needle caused the perforation.33

יב

מַחַט שֶׁנִּמְצֵאת בָּעֳבִי בֵּית הַכּוֹסוֹת מִצַּד אֶחָד כְּשֵׁרָה. וְאִם נִקְּבָה נֶקֶב מְפֻלָּשׁ לְתוֹךְ חֲלַל בֵּית הַכּוֹסוֹת וְנִמְצֵאת טִפַּת דָּם בִּמְקוֹם הַנֶּקֶב טְרֵפָה שֶׁוַּדַּאי קֹדֶם שְׁחִיטָה נִקַּב. אֲבָל אִם אֵין דָּם בִּמְקוֹם הַנֶּקֶב הֲרֵי זֶה מֻתָּר שֶׁוַּדַּאי אַחַר שְׁחִיטָה דָּחֲקָה הַמַּחַט וְנִקְּבָה:

13

When an animal swallowed a substance that will perforate the intestines, e.g., the root of the asafetida34 plant or the like, it is trefe, for we can be certain that it perforated them. If there is a question whether or not a perforation was made,35 [the animal] must be inspected.36

When one of the organs of the digestive system through which the food waste passes, i.e., the intestines, are perforated, [the animal] is trefe. Among them are those which are curved and surrounded by each other like a snake that is coiled, they are referred to as the small intestines. If one of them was perforated [on the side where] another [is located], the animal is permitted, for the other [intestine] will shield [the perforation].

יג

בְּהֵמָה שֶׁהִלְעִיטָהּ דָּבָר שֶׁנּוֹקֵב בְּנֵי מֵעֶיהָ כְּגוֹן קֹרֶט שֶׁל חִלְתִּית וְכַיּוֹצֵא בּוֹ טְרֵפָה שֶׁוַּדַּאי נוֹקֵב. וְאִם הָיָה סָפֵק נוֹקֵב סָפֵק אֵינוֹ נוֹקֵב תִּבָּדֵק. כָּל אֶחָד מִן בְּנֵי הַמֵּעַיִם שֶׁפְּסלֶת הַמַּאֲכָל סוֹבֶבֶת בָּהֶן וְהֵן הַנִּקְרָאִים דַּקִּין שֶׁנִּקַּב טְרֵפָה. וְיֵשׁ מֵהֶן מְלֻפָּפִין וּמֻקָּפִין זוֹ לְפָנִים מִזּוֹ בְּעִגּוּל כְּמוֹ נָחָשׁ שֶׁנִּכְרָךְ וְאֵלּוּ הֵן הַנִּקְרָאִים הַדְרָא דְּכַנְתָּה. אִם נִקֵּב אֶחָד מֵהֶן לַחֲבֵרוֹ כְּשֵׁרָה. שֶׁהֲרֵי חֲבֵרוֹ מֵגֵן עָלָיו:

14

When the digestive organs were perforated and viscous body fluids seal them, [the animal] is trefe for this seal will not endure.37

When a wolf, a dog, or the like, snatched [an animal's] intestines38 and they were perforated after they were abandoned, we surmise that [the predator caused the perforation and the slaughtered animal] is permitted. We do not say that perhaps [the predator] made a perforation in a place where one already existed.39

If [an intestine] was discovered to be perforated40 and it was not known whether it was perforated before [the animal's] slaughter41 or afterwards, we perforate it again and compare the two. If the first perforation resembles this one, [the animal] is kosher.42 If there was a difference between them, [we presume that the first] occurred before the slaughter and [the animal] is trefe. If the perforation in doubt was handled, the perforation to which it is being compared must also be handled before the comparison is made.

יד

וּמֵעַיִם שֶׁנִּקְּבוּ וְלֵחָה סוֹתַמְתָּן טְרֵפָה שֶׁאֵין זוֹ סְתִימָה עוֹמֶדֶת. בְּנֵי מֵעַיִם שֶׁבָּא זְאֵב אוֹ כֶּלֶב וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּהֶן וּנְטָלָן וַהֲרֵי הֵן נְקוּבִין אַחַר שֶׁהִנִּיחָן תּוֹלִין בּוֹ וּמֻתֶּרֶת וְאֵין אוֹמְרִין שֶׁמָּא בִּמְקוֹם נֶקֶב נִקַּב. נִמְצְאוּ נְקוּבִין וְלֹא נוֹדַע אִם קֹדֶם שְׁחִיטָה נִקְּבוּ אִם אַחַר שְׁחִיטָה נוֹקְבִין בָּהֶן נֶקֶב אַחֵר וּמְדַמִּין לוֹ. אִם הָיָה הַנֶּקֶב הָרִאשׁוֹן כְּמוֹתוֹ כְּשֵׁרָה. וְאִם הָיָה בֵּינֵיהֶן שִׁנּוּי קֹדֶם שְׁחִיטָה נִקַּב וּטְרֵפָה. וְאִם מִשְׁמְשׁוּ הַיָּדַיִם בְּנֶקֶב הַסָּפֵק כָּךְ צָרִיךְ לְמַשְׁמֵשׁ בַּנֶּקֶב שֶׁמְּדַמִּין לוֹ וְאַחַר כָּךְ עוֹרְכִין זֶה לָזֶה:

15

When [an animal's] digestive organs protrude outside [its body] without having been perforated,43 [the animal] is permitted. If they were turned upside down,44 [the animal] is trefe even if they were not perforated. [The rationale is that] once [the digestive organs] have been turned upside down,45 they will never return to their ordinary functioning and [the animal] will not live.

טו

בְּנֵי מֵעַיִם שֶׁיָּצְאוּ לַחוּץ וְלֹא נִקְּבוּ מֻתֶּרֶת. וְאִם נִתְהַפְּכוּ אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁלֹּא נִקְּבוּ טְרֵפָה. שֶׁאִי אֶפְשָׁר שֶׁיַּחְזְרוּ כְּמוֹת שֶׁהָיוּ אַחַר שֶׁנֶּהֶפְכוּ וְאֵינָהּ חַיָּה:

16

The final digestive organ that is straight and not curved from which feces are excreted in the genital area and is joined [to the body] between the thighs is called the colon. If it is perforated even slightly, [the animal] is trefe,46 as applies with regard to the other digestive organs.

When does the above apply? When the perforation faced the cavity of the belly. When, however, it was perforated at the point where it is joined between the thighs, [the animal] is permitted.47 [Indeed,] even if the entire place where it is joined between the thighs is removed, [the animal] is permitted, provided a length of at least four fingerbreadths48 remains in an ox.49

טז

הַמְּעִי הָאַחֲרוֹן שֶׁהוּא שָׁוֶה וְאֵין בּוֹ עִקּוּם וְהוּא שֶׁהָרְעִי יוֹצֵא בּוֹ מִן הָעֶרְוָה וְהוּא דָּבוּק בֵּין עִקְּרֵי הַיְרֵכַיִם הוּא הַנִּקְרָא חַלְחלֶת. אִם נִקַּב בְּמַשֶּׁהוּ טְרֵפָה כִּשְׁאָר הַמֵּעַיִם. בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים שֶׁנִּקַּב לַחֲלַל הַבֶּטֶן. אֲבָל אִם נִקַּב בַּמָּקוֹם הַדָּבוּק בַּיְרֵכַיִם מֻתֶּרֶת. וַאֲפִלּוּ נָטַל מִמֶּנּוּ מְקוֹם הַדֶּבֶק כֻּלּוֹ מֻתֶּרֶת. וְהוּא שֶׁיִּשְׁתַּיֵּר מֵאָרְכּוֹ בַּשּׁוֹר כְּמוֹ אַרְבַּע אֶצְבָּעוֹת:

17

A fowl does not have a stomach, an abdomen, or a gut. Instead of them, it has a crop and a craw.50

All the factors that render an animal trefe apply equally to a domesticated animal, a wild beast, and a fowl.51

When the roof of the crop receives even the slightest perforation, [the animal] is trefe. What is meant by the roof of the crop? That which becomes extended with the gullet when the fowl extends its neck.52 If, however, the remainder of the crop becomes perforated, [the fowl] is permitted.

יז

הָעוֹף אֵין לוֹ כֶּרֶס וְלֹא הֶמְסֵס וְלֹא בֵּית הַכּוֹסוֹת. אֲבָל יֵשׁ לוֹ כְּנֶגְדָּן זֶפֶק וְקֻרְקְבָן. וְכָל הַטְּרֵפוֹת שָׁווֹת הֵן בִּבְהֵמָה חַיָּה וָעוֹף. וְזֶפֶק שֶׁנִּקַּב גַּגּוֹ בְּמַשֶּׁהוּ טְרֵפָה. וְאֵי זֶהוּ גַּגּוֹ שֶׁל זֶפֶק זֶה שֶׁיִּמָּתַח עִם הַוֵּשֶׁט כְּשֶׁיַּאֲרִיךְ הָעוֹף צַוָּארוֹ. אֲבָל שְׁאָר הַזֶּפֶק שֶׁנִּקַּב מֻתָּר:

18

The craw has two [membranes] covering it. The outer one is red like meat; the inner one is white like skin. If one was perforated and not the other, [the fowl] is permitted unless they are both perforated, even slightly. If they are both perforated, but in places that do not correspond, [the fowl] is permitted.53

יח

שְׁנֵי כִּיסִין יֵשׁ בַּקֻּרְקְבָן. הַחִיצוֹן אָדֹם כְּמוֹ בָּשָׂר. וְהַפְּנִימִי לָבָן כְּמוֹ עוֹר. נִקַּב זֶה בְּלֹא זֶה מֻתֶּרֶת עַד שֶׁיִּנָּקְבוּ שְׁנֵיהֶן בְּמַשֶּׁהוּ. וְאִם נִקְּבוּ שְׁנֵיהֶן זֶה שֶׁלֹּא כְּנֶגֶד זֶה מֻתָּר:

19

The spleen is not one of the limbs which is disqualified because of a perforation of even the slightest size. Therefore our Sages did not include it in that category. Instead, a perforation that disqualifies it has a measure which is not uniform throughout it.

What is implied? One of the ends of the spleen is thick and the other thin, like the shape of the tongue. If the thick end was perforated by a hole that extends from side to side, [the animal] is trefe. If the hole does not extend from side to side, [more lenient rules apply]: If a portion the thickness of a golden dinar remains,54 [the animal] is permitted. If less than that remains, [the perforation] is considered as if it extends from side to side and [the animal] is trefe. If the thin side is perforated, [the animal] is acceptable.55

יט

הַטְּחוֹל אֵינוֹ מִן הָאֵיבָרִין שֶׁנְּקִיבָתָן בְּמַשֶּׁהוּ וּלְפִיכָךְ לֹא מָנוּ אוֹתוֹ חֲכָמִים בִּכְלָלָן אֶלָּא יֵשׁ לַנֶּקֶב שֶׁלּוֹ שִׁעוּר שֶׁאֵינוֹ שָׁוֶה בְּכֻלּוֹ. כֵּיצַד. הַטְּחוֹל רֹאשׁוֹ הָאֶחָד עָבֶה וְהַשֵּׁנִי דַּק כִּבְרִיַּת הַלָּשׁוֹן. אִם נִקַּב בָּרֹאשׁ הֶעָבֶה נֶקֶב מְפֻלָּשׁ טְרֵפָה. וְאִם נִקַּב נֶקֶב שֶׁאֵינוֹ מְפֻלָּשׁ אִם נִשְׁאָר תַּחְתָּיו כָּעֳבִי דִּינָר שֶׁל זָהָב מֻתָּר. פָּחוֹת מִכָּאן הֲרֵי הוּא כִּמְפֻלָּשׁ וּטְרֵפָה. אֲבָל אִם נִקַּב הַדַּק כְּשֵׁרָה:

20

[The following principle applies with regard to] all of the organs concerning which our Sages said that even the slightest perforation [causes the animal to be considered] trefe. If [that organ] was removed entirely, [the animal] is trefe.56 This applies whether it was eliminated through sickness, removed by hand, or [the animal] was created lacking the organ.

The same laws also apply if it was created with two of that organ, for any extra limb or organ is considered as if it was lacking.57

What is implied? If one of an animal's or fowl's digestive organs, its gall-bladder,58 or the like was removed, it is trefe. Similarly if it was discovered to have two gall-bladders or two of a [particular digestive] organ, it is trefe. Similar laws apply in all analogous situations. If, however, the spleen was removed or two spleens were found, [the animal] is permitted, for [that organ] is not among those listed [by our Sages in this category].

כ

כָּל אֵיבָר שֶׁאָמְרוּ חֲכָמִים בּוֹ שֶׁאִם נִקַּב בְּמַשֶּׁהוּ טְרֵפָה כָּךְ אִם נִטַּל כֻּלּוֹ טְרֵפָה. בֵּין שֶׁנִּטַּל בְּחלִי אוֹ בַּיָּד בֵּין שֶׁנִּבְרָא חָסֵר. וְכֵן אִם נִבְרָא בִּשְׁנֵי אֵיבָרִים מֵאוֹתוֹ אֵיבָר טְרֵפָה שֶׁכָּל הַיָּתֵר כְּנָטוּל הוּא חָשׁוּב. כֵּיצַד. נִטַּל אֶחָד מִן הַמֵּעַיִם אוֹ הַמָּרָה וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּהֶן בֵּין בְּעוֹף בֵּין בִּבְהֵמָה טְרֵפָה. וְכֵן אִם נִמְצָא בָּהֶן שְׁתֵּי מְרָרוֹת אוֹ שְׁנֵי מֵעַיִם טְרֵפָה. וְכֵן כָּל כַּיּוֹצֵא בָּהֶן. אֲבָל אִם נִטַּל הַטְּחוֹל אוֹ שֶׁנִּמְצְאוּ שְׁנַיִם מֻתֶּרֶת שֶׁאֵינוֹ בִּכְלַל הַמְּנוּיִין:

21

[The statement that] an extra digestive organ causes an animal to be considered trefe applies only when there is an entire extra organ from its beginning to its end and thus two digestive organs are found next to each other as is [sometimes found in] the digestive organs of a fowl59 or the extra organ projects outward like a branch from a bough and it is a separate entity.60 [The latter applies] whether in a fowl or in an animal. If, however, the extra organ returns and becomes combined with the main organ and they are fused at the two ends61 even though they are separate in the middle, [the animal] is permitted and the organ is not considered as extra.

כא

הַמְּעִי הַיָּתֵר שֶׁתִּטָּרֵף בּוֹ הַבְּהֵמָה הוּא הַיָּתֵר מִתְּחִלָּתוֹ וְעַד סוֹפוֹ עַד שֶׁנִּמְצְאוּ שְׁנֵי מֵעַיִם זֶה בְּצַד זֶה מִתְּחִלָּה וְעַד סוֹף כִּמְעֵי הָעוֹף אוֹ שֶׁהָיָה הַמְּעִי יוֹצֵא כְּעָנָף מִן הַבַּד וַהֲרֵי הוּא מֻבְדָּל בֵּין בְּעוֹף בֵּין בִּבְהֵמָה. אֲבָל אִם חָזַר וְנִתְעָרֵב עִם הַמְּעִי וְנַעֲשָׂה אֶחָד מִשְּׁנֵי רָאשָׁיו וַהֲרֵי שְׁנֵיהֶם מֻבְדָּלִין בָּאֶמְצַע הֲרֵי זוֹ מֻתֶּרֶת וְאֵין כָּאן יָתֵר:

Footnotes
1.

The term literally means "perforated."

2.

The Rambam explains the particular laws regarding the perforation of these organs in this chapter with the exception of those concerning the lung. The latter, because they are many and are of more common application, are given greater focus and an entire chapter, Chapter 7, is devoted to them.

3.

If the gullet itself is perforated, the animal is considered a nevelah as stated in Chapter 3, Halachah 13.

4.

A kosher domesticated animal has four stomachs. If any one of them is perforated, the animal is trefe. This and the following three terms refer to those stomachs.

5.

See Chapter 1, Halachah 6.

6.

The Rama (Yoreh De'ah 31:1) quotes authorities who maintain that even if the upper membrane alone is perforated, the animal is trefe. He states that unless a significant loss is involved, this perspective should be followed. The Turei Zahav 31:1 and the Siftei Cohen 31:1 quote views that advocate stringency even if a significant loss is involved.

7.

There is a question among the commentaries with regard to the law if only the bottom membrane is perforated. Many Rishonim - and this is the ruling of the Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 31:10) - rule that the animal is considered trefe in such a situation, for that membrane is the primary protection for the brain.

There are those who maintain that this is alluded to in the Rambam's wording: "If the lower one near the brain is perforated, it is trefe," i.e., its perforation alone causes the animal to be considered trefe. Others maintain that this is not the Rambam's intent and some even maintain that the proper version of the text is "If also the lower one...," which would imply that both membranes must be perforated.

[The more stringent ruling is also stated in the popular translation of the Rambam's Commentary to the Mishnah (Chullin 3:1). However, Rav Kappach - while not disputing the ruling - maintains that the translation there is in error.]

8.

Instead, it is governed by the laws pertaining to the breach of the spinal cord, as described in Chapter 9, Law 1.

9.

In his Kessef Mishneh, Rav Yosef Caro quotes a different version substituting nirkav ("decayed") for nikeiv ("perforated"). He also quotes this version in his Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 31:2).

10.

For the animal will still be able to function.

11.

In Chapter 10, the Kessef Mishneh includes this - as the implication from the Rambam's order here - in the category of nekuvah. For in such a situation, ultimately, the brain's membrane will become perforated.

12.

The Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 40:2) follows the opinion of the Tur who accepts the Rambam's ruling with regard to a perforation stemming from sickness, but rules more stringently with regard to a perforation caused by a thorn or a needle. In such an instance, even if the perforation does not extend to the cavity of the heart, the animal is trefe.

13.

For flesh will cling to flesh .

14.

Needless to say, these laws apply when a needle or a thorn is found in the gall-bladder [Rama (Yoreh De'ah 42:9)].

15.

We assume that instead of perforating the gall bladder from the outside, it entered through the blood vessels and became lodged there.

16.

And as indicated by Chapter 3, Halachah 21, the sealing of a perforation by a scab is not significant in these contexts.

17.

The Ra'avad and other Rishonim take issue with the Rambam, maintaining that this ruling applies only with regard to the arteries leading to the liver, but not with regard to those within the liver itself. The Rivosh (Responsum 189) supports the challenge to the Rambam by citing the ruling (Chapter 8, Halachah 21) that if the liver is removed entirely except for a small portion, the animal is not trefe.

In his Kessef Mishneh, Rav Yosef Caro explains the Rambam's position as follows: Even when the liver is removed, its blood vessels must remain intact. A parallel to that concept exists with regard to the lungs (see Chapter 7, Halachah 9). Nevertheless, in his Shulchan Aruch, he follows the position of the other Rishonim and does not mention a perforation in the liver as a factor that disqualifies an animal.

18.

Here also the Ra'avad and other Rishonim take issue with the Rambam, maintaining that his understanding of Chullin 45b, the source for this halachah, is in error. The Tur and the Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 41:6) follow their understanding.

19.

I.e., regardless of the direction it entered.

20.

I.e., blood from the stomach; for food does not enter the liver.

21.

Since this blood vessel is large, it cannot be taken for granted that the needle perforated the blood vessel.

22.

We do not suspect that the blood vessels of the liver were perforated.

23.

See Hilchot Ma'achalot Assurot, ch. 7, for an explanation which fat is kosher and which is forbidden. Halachah 6, of that chapter speaks explicitly of the fat on the maw.

24.

Concerning this point, there is a difference of opinion among the Rishonim. The Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 40:1) follows the lenient view and permits the animal in such a situation, while the Rama follows the more stringent perspective.

25.

And thus they will not bend in a manner that will seal the perforation. Kosher fat and flesh, by contrast, are pliable and will seal any perforation over which they are located.

26.

All fat in a wild beast is permitted to be eaten. Hence, in this instance, the general principle stated above is not followed and we determine which fat can seal a perforation by comparing it to the corresponding situation in a domesticated animal.

With regard to a fowl, all its kosher fat will seal a perforation beneath it [Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 46:1)].

27.

The Turei Zahav 48:2 questions: Seemingly, the spleen should be able to seal it, for the spleen may be eaten and lies on the stomach. He explains that since the membrane covering the spleen is forbidden, it is not an effective seal.

28.

This is possible for some of these stomachs are located within each other.

29.

For the perforation will not reach beyond the digestive system.

30.

From the following clause, it appears that according to the Rambam, this refers to a needle lodged in the outer side of the gut. See the following note.

31.

There are other authorities (their perspective is reflected in the objections of the Ra'avad) who maintain that even in this instance, an examination is required. Moreover, they explain that we are speaking about a needle lodged in the inner side of the gut. If a needle is lodged in the outer side of the gut, according to this view, the animal is trefe.

According to the Rambam, as mentioned above, we are speaking about a needle that comes from the outside. As the Rambam states in Chapter 11, Halachah 4, in such an instance, all of the inner organs of the body must be checked (Kessef Mishneh). Thus this halachah is speaking only with regard to the gut. Since the perforation does not breach the digestive system, the animal is not considered trefe.

Both perspectives are based on a comparison of two Talmudic passages (Chullin 50b and 51a) that are difficult to reconcile. The Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 48:8,10) follows the perspective of the other authorities. The Rama cites the Rambam's perspective with regard to a hole made on the inside that does not pass from one side to the other and states we may rely on it in a situation where a severe financial loss is involved.

32.

The Ra'avad and the other authorities state that the drop of blood must be found on the outer side of the gut.

33.

Since the animal was slaughtered, its blood was not flowing and it is unlikely that there will be sufficient pressure to force it outside the gut.

34.

A yellow-brown, bitter, offensive-smelling resinous material used for medicinal purposes in the ancient Middle East.

35.

The Maggid Mishneh, the Tur (Yoreh De'ah 51), and others quote a different version of the Mishneh Torah concerning which questions are raised. The Kessef Mishneh justifies the version translated here and the Frankel edition of the Mishneh Torah states that it is followed by most of the authoritative manuscripts.

36.

The Ra'avad states that the inspection of the intestines is difficult. That position is reflected in the ruling of the Tur and the Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 51:4) who rules that in such a situation, because of its questionable status, the animal is considered as trefe.

37.

When the digestive system is under pressure, the vicious fluids will not seal effectively. The Siftei Cohen 46:1 states that the same ruling applies even if a scab has developed over the wound.

38.

I.e., after the animal was slaughtered.

39.

Chullin 9a explains that, unless there is a known factor that certainly indicates otherwise, we assume that an animal that has been slaughtered is acceptable. In this instance, the perforation would lead us to rule stringently. Nevertheless, since the fact that it was snatched by a predator can serve as an explanation, we rely on the original assumption. Accordingly, for this ruling to apply, we must know that the animal was slaughtered properly [Rama (Yoreh De'ah 25:3)].

40.

As indicated by the Rambam's explanation, in this instance, we do not know how it was perforated.

41.

In which instance, the animal would be considered as trefe.

42.

The Rama (Yoreh De'ah 50:1) rules that in the present generation, we are not knowledgeable regarding the making of such a comparison and hence, forbid the animal because of the doubt.

43.

I.e., the animal's belly was cut open while it was alive. It could no longer support the digestive organs and they protruded beyond the skin. Nevertheless, the digestive organs themselves were not blemished.

44.

As might happen if a person was trying to reinsert them into the animal's belly.

45.

The Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 46:2) rules that if an animal's digestive organs are discovered to have turned upside down, the animal is trefe, even if the organs did not fall out of its belly.

46.

Even though the fat upon it is kosher, it does not seal it [Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 46:1); see also Halachah 10].

47.

For the thighs will support it (Chullin 50a).

48.

The Rambam (based on Rabbeinu Yitzchak Alfasi) considers this the meaning of the term "in order to grasp it" used by Chullin, loc. cit. Although there are more lenient views, the Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 46:5) follows the Rambam's ruling.

According to Shiurei Torah , a fingerbreadth is 2 cm, according to Chazon Ish 2.48 cm.

49.

For other animals, the minimum measure is calculated proportionately (Shulchan Aruch, loc. cit.).

50.

Unlike a domesticated animal that has four stomachs, a kosher fowl has two.

51.

I.e., though the laws above were stated with regard to a domesticated animal, they apply equally to a beast and to a fowl if they possess the same organs.

52.

Hence just as the perforation of the gullet disqualifies a fowl; so, too, the perforation of this portion of the crop (see Chullin 58b).

53.

Compare this entire halachah to Chapter 3, Halachah 20, concerning the gullet, noting the similarities and differences.

54.

This is less than half the thickness of the spleen (Rashba as quoted by the Kessef Mishneh).

55.

This applies with regard to an animal and a beast. More lenient rules apply with regard to a fowl and the perforation of its spleen never causes it to be considered as trefe, as stated in Chapter 10, Halachah 10.

56.

Since the perforation of an organ impairs its functioning to the point that the animal is trefe, the implication is that the organ must function excellently for the body to be maintained. Hence, we can certainly assume that an animal will be considered trefe when the organ does not exist at all.

57.

The commentaries explain that since the organ is duplicated, neither one of the two organs will be able to function satisfactorily. Thus it is as the animal is lacking that organ entirely.

58.

The Radbaz states that if we do not see a gall-bladder, we have the liver tasted. If its taste is bitter, we assume that the gall-bladder was absorbed by the liver. See Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 52:3).

59.

Thus this phenomenon does not render a fowl trefe, only an animal (Chullin 58b).

60.

The Siftei Cohen 47:1 rules that this applies only when the extra organ branches off from the stomach. If it branches off from the intestines, it is acceptable.

61.

If, however, each of the organs branches off from a different place in the animal's digestive system, the animal is trefe even if the organs merge at their end (Maggid Mishneh).

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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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