For the week ending 30 July 2011 / 27 Tammuz 5771

Chullin 37 - 43

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
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  • Shechitah of an animal in the process of dying
  • The elevated standards of the Prophet Yechezkel
  • Shechitah of an animal belonging to an idolater
  • Thoughts which can disqualify shechitah
  • Shechitah for things in nature which he serves as an idol
  • When someone can make an animal belonging to another forbidden by serving it or slaughtering it for idol worship
  • Shechitah i nto the waters or into a hole
  • Shechitah of a non-sacred animal with intention for a sacrifice
  • The conditions which make an animal a treifah
  • The debate over the damaged gall bladder

Public and Private

May one be permitted to do something in private which is forbidden in public?

The gemara elsewhere (Mesechta Shabbat 64b) rules that any action which the Sages prohibited in public because it gives the appearance of a violation may not be performed in private as well. The case there is the rabbinical decree forbidding one whose clothes became wet on Shabbat to hang them up to dry, because those who see them hanging may assume that he washed them on Shabbat, and thus be misled into assuming that such laundering is permitted. Even though this fear would seem to be inapplicable to hanging such wet clothes in the privacy of the home, the ban extends to this as well.

In our own gemara we learn that one may not slaughter an animal or fowl over a hole because it is an idolatrous practice to gather blood in a hole. If one does the slaughtering in his own private yard and wishes to avoid dirtying the area with blood, he may do the slaughtering next to the hole he has prepared, and allow the blood to flow into the hole. But even this arrangement is forbidden if done in public because it still appears to be an encouragement of the idolatrous practice.

Tosefot raises the question as to why the rule mentioned in Mesechta Shabbat about not distinguishing between public and private practice does not apply here. The answer given is that despite the low probability of someone seeing clothes hanging in the home, if he does see them he will suspect that they were washed on Shabbat and the decree therefore applies even in private. In the case of someone happening to see slaughtering taking place near a hole in a private yard, he will assume that it is being done there in order to avoid dirtying the area and there will be no suspicion that it is an idolatrous practice.

  • Chullin 41a

What the Sages Say

"G-d held up every species of animal, showed it to Moshe and told him which were permitted to be eaten and which not."

  • The Yeshiva of Rabbi Yishmael - Chullin 42a

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