For the week ending 23 July 2011 / 20 Tammuz 5771

Chullin 30 - 36

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
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  • Two people performing shechitah on the same animal
  • Beheading the animal rather than slitting its throat
  • Shechitah caused by a knife which fell
  • Halachic applications of intention
  • When a pause disqualifies shechitah
  • Other things which can disqualify shechitah
  • When disqualification creates nevailah and when treifah
  • The status of a bloodless shechitah in regard to the laws of ritual impurity
  • The laws of food contaminating other foods with ritual impurity
  • Which sort of blood makes food that it touches susceptible to ritual impurity

A Different Kind of Shechitah

Although he was apparently an expert archer, Rabbi Yonah bar Tochlefa needed to make some important halachic preparations before shooting an arrow at a bird in flight to achieve kosher shechitah.

First of all he had to ask the Sage Rava to examine the arrow he was planning to use to ensure that it had no flaws in the smoothness of its cutting edge, which would disqualify it for shechitah.

Then came the issue of fulfilling the Torah command to cover the blood of a slaughtered bird.

Putting soft earth atop the blood would hardly be a problem. The halacha, however, requires that soft earth must also be beneath the blood. How would he know where to prepare such earth since it was impossible to calculate exactly where the blood of the slaughtered bird would fall?

The answer given by our gemara is that he prepared the entire area to serve as the bottom cover. Rashi offers two possibilities for how this was achieved. One is that he manually softened the earth. Another possibility is that the earth in that area was already soft and only required that he verbally declare that he intended to use it for the purpose of fulfilling the mitzvah of covering blood.

  • Chullin 30b

What the Sages Say

"If one throws a knife with an intention that it sticks in a wall and it performs shechitah on an animal while in flight it is considered a valid shechitah."

  • Rabbi Natan - Chullin 31a

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