As we learned on yesterday’s daf (=page) Abayye understands the Mishnah as teaching that shehitah – ritual slaughter – performed by a Kuti is valid. According to him, the Mishnah follows the opinion that accepted the conversion of the Kutim, even though they did not keep all of the mitzvot that were not clearly stated in the Torah. Since shehitah was one of the commandments that they did accept, they can be relied upon, assuming that we know that the Kuti ate from that meat himself, or, as the Ramban points out, he slaughtered the animal for his own consumption. This was necessary sinceKutim had no compunctions about feeding non-kosher meat to others.
The Gemara on today’s daf asks whether we can trust a Kuti regarding ritual slaughter of fowl. Even if we saw him eating the bird, perhaps the Kuti believes that there is no Biblical requirement to slaughter birds according to the laws ofshehitah. The Gemara responds by pointing out that none of the five basic rules of shehitah – she’hiyyah, derasa, haladah, hagramah and ikkur – are found in the Torah, yet we know that the Kutim accept them; similarly we know that they accept these laws, as well.
What are these basic rules?
- She’hiyyah, “pausing,” is hesitating during the act of slaughter,
- Derasa, “pressing,” is cutting the esophagus and windpipe of the animal with pressure on the knife, rather than by using a back-and-forth cutting motion,
- Haladah, “thrusting,” is placing the knife between the esophagus and windpipe before slaughter,
- Hagramah, “deflecting,” is slaughtering outside of the proper place on the neck,
- Ikkur, “tearing,” is pulling the esophagus and windpipe out of their proper place before slaughter, or tearing them during slaughter because the knife had nicks in it.