CUTTING THE LEGS OF AN ANIMAL
(Mishnah): If an animal's (hind) leg was cut from below the (knee) joint it is Kosher. If it was cut above the joint, it is Terefah;
Similarly, if the juncture of the sinews was removed, it is Terefah.
If the bone was broken, if most of the skin is intact, Shechitah permits the part below the break. If not, it does not.
Version #1 (Gemara - Rav Yehudah): 'Below' means below the joint. 'Above' means above the joint;
'Joint' refers to the one normally sold with the head (the lower knee; an area analogous to the human ankle).
(Ula): The corresponding joint of a camel is noticeable from the outside (the upper knee.)
Question (Ula): The Mishnah fits my explanation. It teaches that if the juncture of the sinews was removed, it is Terefah, just like if the leg was cut above the upper knee.
You (Rav Yehudah) say that the joint is the lower knee. Since the juncture of the sinews is above this, we already know that it is Terefah!
Answer (Rav Yehudah): The Mishnah teaches that it is Terefah if either the bone was broken but the sinews are intact, or if the sinews were cut but the bone is intact.
Objection (Ula): The Reisha says 'cut' (not broken). If so, the sinews were also cut!
Rav Yehudah was silent.
Suggestion (Rav Yehudah): I should have answered that 'below' means below the joint, and 'above' means above the juncture of the sinews!
Rejection (Rav Yehudah): No. Just like Ula rejected the answer I gave, he would likewise reject this. 'Above' means directly above!
Version #2 (Rav Yehudah): 'Below' means below the joint and the juncture of the sinews. 'Above' means above the joint;
Similarly, if the juncture of the sinews is removed, it is Terefah.
'Joint' refers to the upper knee.
Question: Do we ever find that if we cut below (by the juncture of the sinews), it is Terefah, but if we cut above (on the bone between the upper and lower knee) it is Kosher?!
Answer (Rav Ashi): Yes! We cannot compare Terefos!
THE JUNCTURE OF THE SINEWS (TZOMES HA'GIDIM)
Question: What is considered the juncture of the sinews?
Answer #1 (Rabah): It is from where they leave the bone and beyond.
Answer #2 (Rabah bar Rav Huna): It is from where they leave the bone, towards the inside.
Answer #3 (Rava brei d'Rabah bar Rav Huna): It is above the Arkuma (a bone of the lower knee.)
A Talmid was saying that the juncture of the sinews is at the Arkuma itself.
R. Aba: That is wrong. Rav Yehudah taught that it is where butchers start flaying the leg.
Question: How far does the juncture extend?
Answer (Abaye): In an ox, it is the width of four fingers (Rashi; many explain, the width of 16 fingers.)
Question: How far does it extend in a small animal?
Answer (Abaye): The following are the characteristics that show that an area is the juncture of the sinews:
The sinews stick out of the flesh. They are not buried in it;
The sinews are hard, and not soft. They are strong, and not weak. They are large, and not small;
They are white. If not, they are not part of the juncture of the sinews.
(Mar bar Rav Ashi): If they are clear, even if they are not white they are the juncture of the sinews.
(Ameimar): There are three sinews. One is great and two are small;
If the great one breaks, the majority of the support is gone. It is Terefah;
If the small ones break, the majority of sinews are broken. It is Terefah.
(Mar bar Rav Ashi): If the great one breaks, the majority of sinews is intact. It is Kosher;
If the small ones break, the majority of the support is intact. It is Kosher.
In birds, there are 16 sinews. If any one of them breaks, it is Terefah.
Rav Ashi inspected a bird and found 15. One of which was extra thick. He unraveled it, and found that it was really two.
(Rav Yehudah citing Rav): If the majority of the juncture of the sinews breaks, it is Terefah.
Question: What does Rav call 'the majority'?
Version #1 - Answer: He means the majority of one of them.
Objection (Rav Yehudah citing Shmuel): Even if one would break entirely, two would remain (it would be Kosher)!
Inference: Shmuel requires that two remain. If two were cut, it would be Terefah. This argues with Ravnai's version of Shmuel's opinion.
(Ravnai citing Shmuel): Even if a sinew (weak) like a drawstring (that supports a neckline) remains, it is Kosher.)
Version #2 - Answer: He means the majority of every one of them.
Objection (Rav Yehudah citing Shmuel): Since there are three, even if a third of each sinew would remain, it would be Kosher!
This supports Ravnai.
(Ravnai citing Shmuel): Even if a sinew like a drawstring remains, it is Kosher.
A BROKEN LEG
(Mishnah): If the bone was broken... .
(Rav): (If the break is) above the knee, if most of the flesh remains, the animal and the (bottom of the) leg are both permitted. If not, both are forbidden;
(If the break is) below the knee, if most of the flesh remains, the animal and the leg are both permitted. If not, the animal is permitted, and the leg is forbidden.
(Shmuel): In all cases, the animal is permitted. If most of the flesh remains, also the leg is permitted. If not, it is not.
Question (Rav Nachman against Shmuel): People will say that the leg is in the wasteheap (it is as if it fell off), yet the animal is permitted?!
Question (Rav Acha bar Rav Huna against Rav Nachman): This also challenges Rav. People will say that the leg is in the wasteheap, yet the animal is permitted?!
Answer (Rav Nachman): I meant that they will say 'a limb vital to the life of the animal is in the wasteheap, yet the animal is permitted?!' (Rav permitted only when the break is below the knee.)
Chachamim of Eretz Yisrael sent three messages (to Bavel). First they said that the Halachah follows Rav. Later, they ruled like Shmuel. Later, they again ruled like Rav, and said that the leg has Tum'as Masa. (It is Metamei one who moves it.)
Question (Rav Chisda - Beraisa): Shechitah is Metaher (even) a Terefah animal, and a dangling limb, for this is part of the animal. You have no source to be Metaher the fetus, for it is not part of the animal.
Question (Rabah): Why did you ask from a Beraisa, and not from a Mishnah?
(Mishnah): If an animal (with a dangling limb and flesh) was slaughtered, they (the limb and flesh) are Huchsheru (implying, they do not have Tum'as Nevelah!)
Answer (Rav Chisda): One could explain the Mishnah like above (73b. 'They', i.e. dangling flesh and meat that separated from a dangling limb, become Huchsheru.
R. Yirmeyah bar Aba was teaching Rav's opinion.
R. Zeira: Very good. Also Shmuel holds like this.
Question: Shmuel argues!
Answer: Shmuel retracted, and agreed with Rav.
(Beraisa): If the bone broke and it sticks out:
If skin and flesh cover the majority, it is permitted; if not, it is forbidden.
Question: What is considered the majority?
Version #1 (Rav Dimi): We require the majority of the thickness of the bone.
Version #2 (Rav Dimi): We require the majority of the circumference. (Tosfos - if the broken surface of the bone is not circular, this differs from the majority of the thickness; Rashi - in Version #2, we do not care if the broken surface juts out; in Version #1, the only concern is that most of the surface of the break is covered.) (end of Version #2)
(Rav Papa): Since we do not know which is correct, we require both majorities.
Version #1 (Ula): Skin is like flesh (regarding covering the majority).
Question (Rav Nachman): You should say that skin joins with flesh (i.e. that both are required)!
Answer (Ula): The text of the Beraisa says 'skin or flesh'.
Version #2 (Ula): Skin joins up with flesh.
Question (Rav Nachman): You should say skin can complete the required majority of flesh covering the bone (i.e. most of the covering must come from the flesh)!
Answer (Ula): I saw R. Yochanan permit a chick in which skin joined flesh to cover most of a break.
Rejection (Rav Nachman): You cannot learn from that case. The skin of chicks is very soft, like flesh!