web analytics
July 22, 2014 / 24 Tammuz, 5774
Israel at War: Operation Protective Edge
 
 
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post
IDC Advocacy Room IDC Fights War on Another Front

Student Union opens ‘hasbara’ room in effort to fill public diplomacy vacuum.



Home » Judaism » Parsha »

Who Can Shecht?

Taste-of-Lomdus-logo

If one wishes to eat meat from an animal, he is required to first shecht (slaughter) the animal. According to the Rambam, this is a positive mitzvah as well as a prerequisite to eating meat. However, according to the Raavad, there is no mitzvah per se; if one wishes to eat meat, he must shecht the animal in order to remove the existing prohibitions on eating a live animal.

There are various requirements as to who can perform the shechitah. Optimally one should know the halachos involved and be a male over 13 years of age. If an individual is unfamiliar with the halachos of shechitah he should not shecht, as many problematic issues that he is unaware of can arise. He is also required to be an observant Jew.

One difference between these two requirements is that if one who is familiar with the halachos supervises the shechitah of one who does not know the halachos, and testifies that the shechitah was valid, the shechitah is indeed valid. However, even if one who is familiar with the halachos supervises a non-Jew or non-observant Jew during his shechting, the shechitah is invalid. But there is a dispute as to the source and reason why a non-Jew is unfit to shecht.

Tosafos (Chullin 3b) quotes from a tosefta: this requirement comes from the fact that it is written in Devarim 12:21, “v’zavachta v’achalta,” alluding to the fact that one who shechts an animal must also abide by the halachos of eating kosher. This is why a non-observant Jew may not shecht an animal.

The Rambam (Hilchos Shechitah 4:11) explains the reason why the shechitah of a non-Jew is invalid: There is a pasuk in this week’ parshah, Parshas Ki Sisa (34:15), that warns the Bnei Yisrael to not form a treaty with the nations of the land – lest they get invited to eat from their slaughter (avodah zarah). We deduce from here that one should not eat from a non-Jew because one will eventually come to eat from his avodah zarah.

The difference between these two opinions is whether we consider the shechitah of a non-Jew a shechitah, or is it simply that the Torah does not want us to eat the meat because it is not considered a valid shechitah? According to Tosafos, the actual shechitah is invalid; it is as if the animal died on its own. An animal that dies on its own or by means other than shechitah is a neveilah, which is forbidden to be eaten and is also metamei (conveying tumah).

According to the Rambam, who opines that the source declaring that a non-Jew cannot shecht is deduced from a pasuk implying that the Torah does not want us to eat from his meat, an animal shechted by a non-Jew is considered shechted – but is forbidden mi’de’oraisa to be eaten. Such an animal will not be metamei mi’de’oraisa, for the Torah only forbade its consumption. Since an actual shechitah was performed, the animal will not convey tumah mi’de’oraisa. (See Rambam’s Hilchos Shar Avos Hatumah 2:10.)

This also has another ramification. Two people may hold onto different sides of a knife while shechting an animal. If a non-Jew and an observant Jew both hold onto the knife, the halacha should vary based on the dispute cited above. According to the Rambam, a non-Jew’s shechitah is considered a shechitah – but the Torah does not want us to eat from his shechitah. Therefore, in this scenario the shechitah will be invalid. According to Tosafos, a non-Jew’s shechitah is not considered a shechitah and it is considered as if he did not shecht. Thus, if he should shecht an animal together with an observant Jew, the shechitah should be valid.

Another difference between the two opinions is in a scenario whereby a non-Jew who does not worship idols shechts. According to the Rambam, such a shechitah is permitted mi’de’oraisa to be consumed. Since the Torah’s reservation for not eating from a non-Jew’s meat is based on the fact that he will eventually eat from his avodah zarah, one who does not worship idols should be permitted to shecht. His shechitah is, however, prohibited mi’de’rabbanan. (This is based on the explanation of the Kesef Mishnah to the Rambam, Hilchos Shechitah 4:12. See Shach, Yoreh De’ah 2, who opines that even according to the Rambam a non-idol worshipping non-Jew is also disqualified mi’de’oraisa to shecht.)

About the Author: For questions or comments, e-mail RabbiRFuchs@gmail.com.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Who Can Shecht?”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Golani 13
1 MIA as IDF Names 6 Additional Members of the Golani 13
Latest Judaism Stories
PTI-071814

Perhaps, just perhaps, we can relate to this: whenever we feel distant from Hashem, that is the Churban.

Parshat Matot

Over the next 2 weeks covering portion Matot and Maasei, Rabbi Fohrman will bring order to confusion.

Lessons-Emunah-logo

Our home is in the center of the Holy Land, surrounded by (what else?) green hills and valleys.

Business-Halacha-logo

“Sound fine,” said Mrs. Schwartz. “In the middle, paint their names, Shoshana and Yehonasan. He spells his name Yehonasan with a hei and is very particular about it!”

Question: I recently returned from a trip abroad and wanted to say HaGomel. When I mentioned this to the officers of my synagogue, however, they told me – as per the instructions of the synagogue’s rabbi – that I would have to wait until Shabbos to do so. I was not given any reason for this and did not wish to display my ignorance, so I quietly acquiesced. Can you please explain why I had to wait?

Name Withheld
(Via E-Mail)

We may not recognize the adverse affect of eating forbidden foods, but they leave an indelible imprint.

There are several rules that one must adhere to when making a neder.

Important message for Jews in the Diaspora: In times of need run to Israel rather than from Israel.

The negotiation between Moses and the tribes of Reuven and Gad is a model of conflict resolution.

Once again we find ourselves alone – a little lamb among wolves.

When we return to our routines, things don’t have to go back to exactly the way they were.

The Three Weeks determines the “who we are and how we live” as Jews.

Sometimes when Chazal say that two different people are really one, they do not mean it literally, but rather figuratively.

The midrash says that Pinchas, (this parsha), and Eliyahu, prophet of Kings, are one and the same.

More Articles from Rabbi Raphael Fuchs
Taste-of-Lomdus-logo

There are several rules that one must adhere to when making a neder.

Taste-of-Lomdus-logo

We need to understand why Moshe Rabbeinu decided to ask that his sons inherit his position after this new halacha was introduced.

If it is not prohibited when there is a purpose for inflicting the tza’ar, why was Bilam chastised for tza’ar ba’alei chaim?

How can we be certain that any animal can be counted toward ma’asar beheimah when perhaps it is a treifah?

This separation between Kohanim, Levi’im and Yisraelim obligates us to honor kohanim.

The pasuk says that since the halacha concerning a Mechallel Shabbos was uncertain, the mekoshesh was placed in custody until the halacha was clarified.

The question still remains on how to reconcile all of the different drashos that are derived from this pasuk.

    Latest Poll

    Israel's Iron Dome Anti-Missile System:





    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/parsha/who-can-shecht/2014/02/13/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: