Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Is a kosher animal slaughtered by a Gentile kosher ?


There may be cases where Jews enter a Muslim butcher store with the intention of buying some meat. Especially in those areas where there is no Jewish store available. While living in Germany I said to myself that it is better buying sausages in a Turkish store where there are no pork ingredients than in a regular supermarket. I used to live in Nuremberg / Fuerth and there was simply not kosher store, whatsoever, around. The next kosher stores are in Frankfurt or Munich. 

The question comes up whether the meat of a kosher animal slaughtered by a Gentile is kosher. KOSHER according to Jewish Halacha.

The Talmud Tractate CHULLIN teaches us exactly how a kosher animal should be slaughtered in a Jewish sense. Among others, what kind of knife the Schochet (ritual slaughterer) should use and that the knife should not have a damages. The cut has to take place within a second and a damaged knife may cause the animal to suffer. In such a case, the meat won't be kosher anymore. After the ritual slaughter, different organs of the animal are being checked in order to find out whether the animal may have been sick. The Talmud has very strict rules about what is kosher and how to slaughter an animal. 

What about a Gentile who sticks to the Jewish Halacha and schaechts a kosher animal such as a cow or a chicken ?

The Talmud Tractate Chullin 13 says that such a precedure would not produce kosher meat. A slaughter done by a Gentile is invalid even if the animal itself was kosher. Although Muslims don't eat pork, they still do not slaughter the animals according to Jewish halachic standards. 

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