Chapter Twenty-seven

How the Jews slaughter their Animals.

You find many among the Jews who have to learn the trade of slaughterer, which they call Schœchten. The one who is learning has to watch an experienced slaughterer for several years. But there are so many rules about it, (big books have been written about it) that he may not learn everything by watching, but he has to study and learn the right laws from special books, and inquire about them.

They have a little book on slaughtering in which the most important rules are written down, this is called Schechitos [slaughterings] and Bedikos. [inspections] They usually stay within those rules today, and if there should be some special case they ask a learned Rabbi. When someone has studied the book, watched a slaughterer long enough, and and is able to come to his own conclusions, a Rabbi has to certify [promovieren - in Latin characters] him as a slaughterer, and he has to give him an open certificate and letter, that he is experienced or Baky as a slaughterer, and has permission to slaughter when and where he cares to. Not long ago I read a Testimonium on this subject. It said: On this day I have inquired about the noble N., son of N., and I have found that he is experienced as a slaughterer orally and practically. Therefore I give him permission to slaughter and to inspect animals, and everything he has slaughtered and inspected shall be permissible to eat. But there is one condition involved, namely that he should for a whole year read the Hilchos, or customs of slaughtering and inspecting every week, the next year once a month, and for the rest of his life every three months. Witnessed, Rabbi N.

The slaughterer is called a Schochet, and to slaughter is Schœchten. The inspector who examines the animal if it has internal injuries is called the Bodek, and to inspect is Badken.

They use special knives to slaughter, for big animals big knives, and for small animals, small knives. The big knives are wide and blunt on one side, but on the other very sharp. They must not be jagged, else they cannot be used.

They bind all four legs of a large animal together, after the example of Abraham who bound the hands and feet of his son Isaac before he meant to sacrifice him. Then they cut the trachea and esophagus with one cut or stroke, inspect the knife to be sure it is not jagged, because if the knife is jagged, the animal may be frightened, and then the blood may gather at the heart. Then the blood will not flow freely, and it will become Asur, forbidden to be eaten. If the cut was well done, they hang the animal up, take out the intestines, cut a hole on both sides opposite the heart, and the slaughterer or someone else who can "badken" [inspect] well, and examine with his hand, proceeds to "badken." He reaches in with his hand to be sure there is no abnormal growth or tumors containing blood or water on the lungs or the liver. If the animal has the slightest defect, the animal is asur, [forbidden] and no Jew may eat from it, as it is written Ex. 22.31; Lev. 22.8 You shall not eat carrion that was torn in the field, but you shall throw it to the dogs. From this the Jews conclude absurdly, as is their habit, that they should eat no animal if it is not absolutely healthy. But the text refers to an animal that died of its own accord, or was killed by wild animal.

They slaughter feathered creatures, which have feathers or plumes, in a similar way. They cut the throat with one cut or stroke, then they let the blood run into a little heap of ashes, and then cover it with ashes. They take this custom from the first book of Moses Gen. 24.64 in which the text says that when Rebecca saw Isaac for the first time in the field, she fell off the camel. The rabbis write about this, as you can read in the little book about slaughtering called Schechitos, that Rebecca suffered from her monthly flow according to the nature of women, and when she got up again the birds came and covered up the blood of her maidenhood. From this they claim that God had commanded them (but where?) to cover the blood of birds. [See Lev. 17.13.]

The blood of other animals they bury too because the earth opened up and swallowed the blood of the pious Abel after he was slain by Cain. Also, says the author of the little book about slaughtering, I have found in the book of the Chasidim that the blood is covered so that Satan may not come, and accuse us before God that it is not right that innocent animals, which have no reasoning power, and have not sinned, and are without guilt, may suffer such a pitiful death. Therefore we cover the blood so that Satan may not see it, and be aware that a murder has been committed. Note again the filthy interpretation of Holy Scripture by the rabbis, and their great craftiness with which they think that they outdevil and outsmart the devil, so that he should not find out how they slaughter their animals. Oh, poor unwitting devil! After they slaughter the large animals, they take out all the veins and nerves (they have written special books about that too), take away the fat, put it in water, and let it soak and be rinsed out well. Then they wash it with clean water, so that all the blood is washed away, put it on a board so that all the blood drains, then salt it and put it in a container with holes for the salt to draw out all the remaining blood. They leave it there for one or two hours, then cook it any way they want. They eat nothing with the blood, and have always looked with great distaste on the eating of blood.

They do not eat the hindquarters of the animal, because the angel sprained the hip-joint of Jacob, as it says in the first book of Moses. Gen. 32.32 In Italy they have invented through the art of Anatomy (as I have myself seen in an open printed document) that through artful and delicate deveining the hindquarters are made free of veins, and then are Muttar, allowed to be eaten. If they had known this art at the time of Moses, he would have had to step aside with his forbidden foods. It would be good to read these skilled masters and anatomists in regard to pigs; maybe pork would be permitted too. They usually sell the hindquarters to Christians. If you care to buy that meat, you should consider that all who convert from the Jewish faith to the Christian declare that this meat is first soiled. They have their children urinate on it, and they also say a "blessing" over it, that the Goy should eat Misa Meschunah [=unnatural death] with it, that is, the Christian should swallow sudden death with it. Maybe they are not so evil everywhere, but in general it is their nature to act thus against Christians.

From the skill of their slaughterers, and the inspection of the animals for internal diseases, skillful doctors and surgeons were developed among the Jews, because the functioning of the human body and its diseases are comparable to those of animals, and they came to make decisions about life-threatening human diseases. If you want to know more about this, read the book of Anton Margarita.

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Alan D. Corré