The Jewish Method of Slaying Animals, from the Point of View of Humanity

By Moses Hyamson

American Jewish Committee (AJC), Jewish Publication Society (JPS), 1924

This article's aims are twofold. The first, is to educate the lay reader on many of the practical requirements of the slaughtering process, namely, that the animal should suffer no unnecessary pain while being slaughtered, that the shohet (the ritual slaughterer) must be a man of religious fidelity who may only act under the supervision of the ecclesiastical authority after he has passed a practical exam (among many other qualifications necessary), that there are five major points that must be observed in correct ritual slaughter (i.e., no pause, no pressing upward or downward, no burrowing, the incision must be made in a specific prescribed region of the neck, and no laceration), and that the knife used in the slaughtering process must be extremely smooth. This article's aims are twofold. The first, is to educate the lay reader on many of the practical requirements of the slaughtering process, namely, that the animal should suffer no unnecessary pain while being slaughtered, that the shohet (the ritual slaughterer) must be a man of religious fidelity who may only act under the supervision of the ecclesiastical authority after he has passed a practical exam (among many other qualifications necessary), that there are five major points that must be observed in correct ritual slaughter (i.e., no pause, no pressing upward or downward, no burrowing, the incision must be made in a specific prescribed region of the neck, and no laceration), and that the knife used in the slaughtering process must be extremely smooth. The second and seemingly more important aim of Hyamson's article, is to argue that the Jewish method of slaughtering, in all its different steps (i.e., the choosing of a ritual slaughterer, the smooth knife, the slaughtering process itself, etc.) is based on sentiments of humanity. As such, he concludes by writing that a host of competent experts, professors of pathology and veterinary surgeons, have declared that the Jewish method of slaughter does not fall below, but, in many respects, is superior to all other methods of slaughtering animals from the point of view of humanity and kindness to animals. Attached to the end of this essay are essays written by Lord Lister and Sir Michael Foster attesting to the author's same conclusions.

Topic: Halakha, Ritual, Jewish Law, Jewish Text, Kosher, Religion, Kashrut

Name of Publication: American Jewish Year Book

Volume/Issue: Vol. 25

Page Number(s): 163-179

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Genre: Article

Language: English

Copyright Holder: Publisher

Copyright Information: Download for personal use, freely distribute link

Bibliographic Information:
Hyamson, Moses. The Jewish Method of Slaying Animals, from the Point of View of Humanity. American Jewish Year Book. American Jewish Committee (AJC),Jewish Publication Society (JPS). 1924: 163-179. http://www.bjpa.org/Publications/details.cfm?PublicationID=5658


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