The weekly reading Achare Mot.


The laws of prohibiton of Neveila and Treifa.

1. As we already discussed in the weekly reading Shmini, not all species of animals are permitted for consumption. In this weekly reading we will talk about two other prohibitions that apply to even the kosher species of animals and birds: the prohibition to eat those of them that were not slaughtered properly and those that have damaged inside organs.

2. The Torah commands us to slaughter animals only in a certain prescribed manner. If an animal or a bird was not slaughtered properly, it is called "neveila" and is forbidden for consumption. It is interesting to mention that the anatomy of ruminating animals is such, that the ritual slaughter for them is practically painless. On the other hand, the non-kosher animals are structured differently and if one were to slaughter them in the same manner as the kosher ones, they would be suffering a lot. This clearly indicates that the Creator prepared the kosher animals for ritual slaughter.

3. After slaughtering the birds or the wild animals, the Torah prescribes to cover their blood. No similar commandment is stated regarding the domestic animals. One of the reasons for this is the fact that the owner normally puts in a lot of effort to raise the domestic animals. Therefore it is fair that he may slaughter them later. On the other hand birds and wild animals normally get caught and slaughtered. This is also permitted since the whole world was made for people. However, we are told to cover the blood. Next, the inside organs of the animal are checked. If certain types of damage are found, the animal or bird is "treifa" and cannot be eaten. One is allowed to derive benefit from both neveila and treifa. For this reason, those animals and birds that cannot be eaten are usually sold to a non-Jew.

4. In our day indeed, we rarely face actual production of meat - most people buy ready meat in the stores. However, it is up to us to only shop in those stores that have reliable "hashgacha" Rabbinic supervision. Certainly, if our Rabbi tells us that a certain store is not reliable, we should not buy any products there.