1) "NECHIRAH" AS AN EFFECTIVE FORM OF SHECHITAH
QUESTION: The Gemara questions the opinion that the requirement of Shechitah of a bird is not mid'Oraisa from the Halachah that if Melikah was done with a knife, the bird is a Neveilah ("Nivlas Of Tahor," and one who eats it will become Tamei and his clothing will become Tamei). If Shechitah of a bird is not mid'Oraisa, then the Melikah done with a knife should remove the status of Neveilah from the bird. (RASHI explains that the Melikah will not permit the bird to be eaten, since it became a Tereifah at the beginning of the Melikah process. Only killing the bird through Nechirah, and not any other form of slaughter, will permit the bird to be eaten.)
RASHI (DH l'Taharah) adds that although the Melikah with a knife causes the bird to became a Tereifah, it still prevents it from becoming a Neveilah because of the Halachah that Shechitah removes the status of Tum'as Neveilah from the Tereifah. If the Shechitah of an animal is effective in this way, then the Melikah of a bird also should be effective, because the cutting of the Simanim of the bird (in any manner) is like its Shechitah.
The words of Rashi here need further explanation. While it is true that if, mid'Oraisa, a bird does not need Shechitah, then Nechirah accomplishes what Shechitah would accomplish. Nevertheless, the Halachah that Shechitah works to be Metaher the bird from Tum'as Neveilah applies only to Shechitah. How can the same Halachah be applied to Nechirah, which is an entirely different form of Heter?
ANSWERS: There are two approaches in the Rishonim to answer this question.
(a) TOSFOS (DH Tehani) says that the Gemara here follows the view of Rebbi Meir, who derives from the laws of Shechitah that Melikah of Kodshim is Metaher the bird from Tum'as Neveilah. Since this law of Melikah can be learned from the laws of Shechitah, the law of Nechirah can also be learned from Shechitah.
(b) The RASHBA says that when the Gemara discusses the opinion that a bird does not need Shechitah mid'Oraisa, it means only that it does not need the laws of Shechitah mid'Oraisa. That is, it needs Shechitah mid'Oraisa, but the Shechitah may be performed without a knife (i.e. Melikah), it may be done from either side, it may be done with Shehiyah, and so on. Since Shechitah is required, if it becomes a Tereifah, it becomes forbidden to be eaten. The same way Shechitah does not permit a Tereifah to be eaten, Nechirah also does not permit a Tereifah to be eaten. Nevertheless, since the Nechirah of a bird is a form of Shechitah, the Halachah that Shechitah removes the Tum'as Neveilah applies.
According to the Rashba, it is not necessary to say that the Gemara follows the view of Rebbi Meir (as Tosfos says), who learns Melikah from Shechitah. Even Rebbi Yehudah will agree in this case, because even according to the opinion that Shechitah is not necessary for a bird mid'Oraisa, a Shechitah is being performed with every act of Nechirah. It is just that the laws of Shechitah do not apply.
Tosfos, in contrast, maintains that Nechirah is not a form of Shechitah. Rather, it merely is effective like Shechitah is effective. Therefore, in order for Nechirah to be Metaher the bird from Tum'as Neveilah, that Halachah needs to be learned from Shechitah. Accordingly, the ability of Nechirah to be Metaher from Tum'as Neveilah is subject to the Machlokes Tana'im that Tosfos quotes. (See KEHILOS YAKOV #10.) (Mordechai Zvi Dicker)
2) LEARNING A HALACHAH FROM A "NOTRIKON" IN A VERSE
QUESTION: Rebbi derives from the verse, "v'Zavachta... Ka'asher Tzivisicha" -- "You shall slaughter... as I have commanded you" (Devarim 12:21), that Hash-m commanded the laws of Shechitah to Moshe Rabeinu, including the laws that a valid Shechitah requires cutting the Veshet and the Kaneh of an animal, and that a bird may be slaughtered by cutting the majority of one of the two Simanim, and that an animal may be slaughtered by cutting a majority of both of the Simanim.
How does Rebbi learn from this verse that Hash-m taught the laws of Shechitah to Moshe Rabeinu?
(a) RASHI (DH Ka'asher) explains that since the laws of Shechitah are not written anywhere in the Torah, when this verse says, "as I have commanded you," it must be referring to the laws that Hash-m taught orally to Moshe Rabeinu.
(b) The BA'AL HA'TURIM points out that the Gematriya of the words, "Ka'asher Tzivisicha" (1047) is the same as the Gematriya of the words, "Rov Echad b'Of, v'Rov Shenayim b'Behemah" (1047).
(c) TOSFOS (DH v'Al) quotes "Yesh Mefarshim" who explain that Rebbi learns these laws from the word "Ka'asher" in the verse, which may be read as an acronym ("Notrikon") for these laws:
"Alef" represents "Echad" (one), which alludes to the Halachah that cutting one Siman suffices when slaughtering a bird.
"Shin" represents "Shenayim" (two), which alludes to the Halachah that cutting two Simanim are necessary when slaughtering an animal.
"Reish" represents "Rov" (a majority), which alludes to the Halachah that cutting a Rov of a Siman suffices.
The letters of the word "Ka'asher" itself is a reverse acronym for the words, "Rubo Shel Echad Kamohu."
Accordingly, the words "Ka'asher Tzivisicha" can be understood as saying, "I have commanded you the Halachos of 'Ka'asher' (as depicted above)."
In numerous places the Gemara derives Halachos from a Notrikon or from a Gematriya. For example, the Gemara in Nazir (5b) derives that an ordinary oath of Nezirus lasts for thirty days from the word "Yiheyeh" in the verse, "Kadosh Yiheyeh" -- "he shall be holy" (Bamidbar 6:5). The Gematriya of "Yiheyeh" is thirty.
What justification is there to derive Halachos through such methods? Such methods are not included in the thirteen Midos sheha'Torah Nidreshes ba'Hen (the thirteen exegetical principles of expounding Torah law).
The RAMBAN (in SEFER HA'GE'ULAH, Sha'ar ha'Rishon) writes that one may not invent Gematriyas and Notrikons as he pleases. Rather, some Halachos are derived through Gematriyas and Notrikons because those Gematriyas and Notrikons were given to Moshe Rabeinu at Har Sinai as memory aids for Halachos that were taught to him orally as Halachos l'Moshe mi'Sinai. Just as Moshe transmitted the guidelines for when to expound a Gezeirah Shavah and the other Midos sheha'Torah Nidreshes ba'Hen, he also transmitted the guidelines for when to expound a Gematriya.
3) THE "VESHET" CAN BE CHECKED ONLY FROM THE INSIDE
OPINIONS: The Gemara explains that when there is a concern that a bird is a Tereifah, one must examine its esophagus from the white-colored interior, where a hole with a tiny drop of blood (indicating that the bird is a Tereifah) is visible. What type of Tereifah is the Gemara discussing, and why must it be examined from the inside?
(a) RASHI (DH Ein Lo) explains that the Gemara is discussing the examination performed to find any minute perforations in the esophagus. The outer surface of the esophagus is reddish in color, and thus a drop of blood that would indicate a puncture is not visible there. Therefore, one must examine the esophagus by inverting it and inspecting the white interior for any sign of red.
(b) TOSFOS (DH Asa) quotes the RIVA who explains that the Gemara is discussing an examination performed to a bird that was chased by a cat. One is looking for any signs of redness that may have been caused by being clawed by the cat (if a cat claws a bird on its Simanim, the bird becomes a Tereifah). Since the outside of the esophagus is naturally red, one will not be able to discern signs of being clawed or scratched there. An actual puncture, however, is apparent even on the outer surface of the esophagus.
(c) From the concluding words of Tosfos ("v'Nir'eh Li..."), it appears that Tosfos has another approach to the Gemara. The Gemara is discussing the case of a bird that was chased by a cat, but it is suggesting a leniency in how it should be examined. The Gemara is saying that even if one finds signs of redness on the outer surface of the esophagus, this does not mean that the bird is necessarily a Tereifah. Redness on the outside of the esophagus is sometimes caused by sickness, and not by clawing. Therefore, in order to establish that the bird is a Tereifah, one must find redness on the inside of the esophagus as well.
4) HALACHAH: "VERIDIN" THAT WERE NOT CUT
QUESTION: In the Mishnah (27a), Rebbi Yehudah states that the Shechitah is valid only when one cuts the "Veridin" (the jugular veins), so that all of the blood comes out. As the Gemara here explains, Rebbi Yehudah's requirement applies only to the Shechitah of a bird, since a bird is normally roasted whole and not cut up into pieces, and thus the Veridin must be cut in order to let the blood out. If the bird is roasted limb by limb, then all of its blood drains out even if the Veridin were not cut during Shechitah.
What is the Halachah in a case in which the Veridin were not cut during Shechitah?
ANSWER: TOSFOS (27a, DH ha'Shochet) proves from the Gemara here that if the Veridin were not cut during Shechitah, the bird nevertheless may be eaten, b'Di'eved. As the ROSH points out, it seems from Tosfos that even if the bird was roasted whole it may be eaten, and there is no concern that blood remains in the bird. The Rosh (2:1), however, argues and maintains that the bird may be eaten only if it was roasted limb by limb when the Veridin were not cut during the Shechitah. The Halachah follows the view of the Rosh (Shulchan Aruch YD 21:1).
5) HALACHAH: CUTTING THE "VERIDIN" IN DIFFERENT SITUATIONS
QUESTIONS: In the Mishnah (27a), Rebbi Yehudah states that the Shechitah is valid only when one cuts the "Veridin" (the jugular veins), so that all of the blood comes out. As the Gemara here explains, Rebbi Yehudah's requirement applies only to the Shechitah of a bird, since a bird is normally roasted whole and not cut up into pieces, and thus the Veridin must be cut in order to let out the blood. Since an animal is normally cut up after the Shechitah and is not roasted whole, it is not necessary to cut the Veridin in order to let out the blood.
The Gemara does not address the other possible ways of preparing a bird or an animal to eat.
(a) Does one need to cut the Veridin of a bird when he intends to cook the bird (Bishul), and not to roast it? Normally, cooking causes more Halachic problems that roasting, since cooking does not cause the blood to drip out as roasting does. Perhaps if one intends to cook the bird, cutting the Veridin does not suffice. What is the Halachah in a case in which one wants to cook, and not roast, the bird?
(b) What is the Halachah in a case in which one intends to cut up the bird before roasting or cooking it? Is he still required to cut the Veridin, or, since he will cut up the bird, there is no need to cut the Veridin to let out the blood?
(c) The Gemara says that the Veridin of an animal do not need to be cut in order to let out the blood, because the blood comes out when the animal is cut up. Does this leniency apply only to an animal that is going to be roasted, since the process of roasting helps to remove the blood, or even to an animal that is going to be cooked?
(d) What is the Halachah in a case in which one intends to roast a whole animal? Is he required to cut the Veridin of the animal, just as he is required to cut the Veridin of a bird that is going to be roasted whole?
(a) The Rishonim disagree about whether cutting the Veridin suffices when one intends to cook a whole bird. The ROSH quotes RABEINU EFRAIM who says that since the Gemara specifically mentions roasting, it must be that the Halachah differs for a bird that will be cooked. He rules that cutting the Veridin will not suffice to permit a bird to be cooked whole. Rather, one must cut the bird into pieces in order to let out all of the blood.
Why, though, does the Gemara itself not discuss the Halachah in a case of cooking a bird or an animal? The ROSH YOSEF suggests that in a case of cooking, even the Chachamim agree that the Veridin must be cut, and the bird or animal cut into pieces. Since it is obvious that in order to cook the bird or animal, one must cut the Veridin and cut the animal into pieces in order to remove the blood, the Gemara addresses only roasting, which is the case in which Rebbi Yehudah and the Chachamim argue.
However, the Rosh Yosef questions this explanation from the Gemara earlier (27a). The Mishnah implies that when one cuts the two Simanim of an animal, the Shechitah is valid only b'Di'eved. The Gemara asks why cutting two Simanim of an animal is valid only b'Di'eved; what else is one supposed to cut? The Gemara there gives two answers. According to the explanation of the Rosh Yosef, the Gemara there could have answered that the Shechitah of two Simanim of an animal is valid b'Di'eved in a case in which one neglects to cut the Veridin and intends to cook the meat.
The Rosh argues with Rabeinu Efraim's ruling and says that although the Gemara mentions only roasting, the same Halachah applies to cooking. The act of roasting is occasionally called "cooking" ("Bishul"), and thus the Gemara is referring to both when it discusses roasting. Alternatively, the Gemara mentions roasting to teach that even in the case of roasting, one must cut the Veridin of a bird. However, for cooking one certainly must cut the Veridin.
(b) The Rosh writes that since birds usually are not cut up, one who wants to cut up his bird must still cut the Veridin, because he might decide later to roast it whole, like the normal way of preparing a bird. In contrast, when one intends to cut up the meat of an animal, the Halachah is lenient and does not require that the Veridin be cut, because cutting up the animal is the normal way of preparing it.
(c) Rabeinu Efraim, as quoted by the Rosh, says that just as one who cooks a bird must cut the Veridin and cut the bird into pieces, when one intends to cook an animal it does not suffice to cut it into pieces; one also must cut its Veridin during the Shechitah.
The Rosh argues with this as well, as mentioned above. He maintains that there is no difference between roasting and cooking. Just as one does not need to cut the Veridin of an animal that is going to be cut up and roasted, one does not need to cut the Veridin of an animal that is going to be cut up and cooked.
(d) The Rosh writes that one who plans to roast an animal whole certainly must cut the Veridin. (Mordechai Zvi Dicker)