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Q & A: Attack On Shechitah

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Indeed, the Tur (Yoreh Deah 27) rules: “If one cuts [a piece of meat] from the animal after it was slaughtered properly: if it was still “mefarcheset – moving about convulsively,” it is forbidden to eat [that piece of meat] as long as the animal remains alive. However, after the animal has died, it is permissible to eat it and to give a gentile to eat from it; one may even feed its intestines to a gentile….”

Interestingly, the Mechaber (Y.D. 27:1), in recording the same halacha, makes no mention of the permissibility of feeding the meat to a gentile. Yet, the Shach (ad loc. sk2) is quick to note the Tur’s opinion that one may feed it to a gentile after the animal dies. We thus see how far this halacha goes – that it transcends the normal Noahide prohibition.

The above is from a purely halachic perspective. From a hashkafic perspective, the Jewish people are considered bnei melachim (princes, or children of kings). As such, they are bound by the wider strictures of the Torah – the 613 mitzvot (precepts) – as opposed to gentiles who are only bound by the seven Noahide laws. Logically, therefore, if Hashem allowed Jews a certain food, He certainly did not forbid that same food to gentiles.

This is the mistake of those who agitate against our laws of kashrut. Seemingly well-meaning, they consider eating all flesh harmful and therefore restrict themselves to consuming only food that grows from the ground. If this is their wish, so be it (and unfortunately we even find some Jews who have succumbed to this lifestyle), but why impose their will on the rest of society?

As an aside, it is well-known that many non-Jews regularly seek products that are kosher as they feel more comfortable with the extra degree of supervision which results in a higher quality product with greater integrity

In summation, if a food or method of slaughter is kosher for us, it surely is kosher for them. It therefore is important for us to be vigilant and fight – whenever and wherever possible – on behalf of our brethren in their quest to practice their religion in complete freedom.

About the Author: Rabbi Yaakov Klass, rav of Congregation K’hal Bnei Matisyahu in Flatbush, Brooklyn, is Torah Editor of The Jewish Press. He can be contacted at yklass@jewishpress.com.


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