Eighteen Treatises from the Mishna, by D. A. Sola and M. J. Raphall, , at sacred-texts.com
§ 1. All persons are qualified to slaughter [animals allowed to be eaten], and what has been properly slaughtered by them may be lawfully eaten. Deaf and dumb, or demented persons, or minors, are, however, excepted from this rule, because they are liable to make mistakes in slaughtering. That which was slaughtered by a heathen must be considered as Nebelah, 1 and like that pollutes the person who carries it. 2 When the slaughtering was done by night [i.e., in the dark], or by a blind person, it is Cashér. 3 If a person slaughtered on the Sabbath or on the Day of Atonement, although he has by that act forfeited his life, yet what he has slaughtered is Cashér.
§ 2. When a person had cut the throat [of an animal] with a hand sickle, 4 a sharp flint stone, or with a reed, it is Cashér. All 5 may slaughter, at any time, and with any instrument, excepting a reaping hook, a saw, the [sharp] teeth [of animals fixed in the maxillary bone], or with the finger nail, 6 because the [first mentioned three] do not cut, but strangle [and tear]. When a person slaughtered an animal with a reaping hook, having teeth or notches, with the first or down stroke or cut only, 7 it is unfit for use according to Beth Shammai, but Beth Hillel hold it to be Cashér; but if the teeth of the reaping hook had been ground away [so as to give it a sharp and even edge] it is the same as a knife.
§ 3. Should a person have to cut through the great or top ring of the trachea or windpipe, that but the width of a thread of the whole circumference of the ring remained [on the upper part], the animal
so killed is Cashér. R. José bar Jehudah saith, "It is Cashér when the greatest part of this breadth remained." 8
§ 4. An animal which was slaughtered by being cut at either side of the throat is Cashér, but if the neck of a bird brought as a sacrifice was wrung off 9 sideways, it is thereby rendered an unfit sacrifice. If an animal was cut from the neck downwards, 10 it becomes unlawful for use, but a bird whose neck was thus wrung is a valid sacrifice. An animal which was cut below the throat is Cashér, but the wringing off of birds’ heads from below the throat render them unfit sacrifices, because the whole region of the neck is appropriate for the wringing off of the head [of birds], and the whole region of the throat for slaughtering [animals], therefore whatever [in respect to cutting] renders an animal Cashér, must render a bird thus treated an unfit sacrifice, and the same in the reverse case.
§ 5. That which makes turtle-doves proper sacrifices, 11 renders young pigeons improper ones, and whilst these are valid as young pigeons, they cannot be used as sacrifices of turtle-doves. When the neck feathers of either kind begin to shine and to turn yellow, they are unfit sacrifices. 12
§ 6. That which constitutes a [red] heifer a proper sacrifice, invalidates the calf [whose neck was to be broken 13], and also the reverse. 14 That which does not disqualify priests 15 [to minister in the Temple] disqualifies Levites, and the reverse. That which is [legally] clean in earthenware vessels, 16 renders other vessels unclean,
and the reverse takes place in other kinds of vessels. 17 That which is considered [legally] clean in a wooden vessel 18 is unclean in one of metal, and the reverse. The degree of ripeness which subjects bitter almonds to tithe, does not yet subject sweet almonds to the same; 19 and when the latter become subject, the bitter ones are already free from the obligation of tithe. 20
§ 7. An infusion of water on grape lees which has not yet fermented, may not be bought for the money of second tithe, 21 and renders a bath, however, unfit [for legal cleansing]; 22 but when it has fermented it may be purchased for the money of second tithe, and its admixture does not render a bath unfit 23 Brothers who, after sharing the inheritance from their parents, have entered into partnership, are not bound to pay the tithe of cattle while they are liable to the Kalbon, 24 but whilst they are liable to the payment of cattle-tithe they are not subject to the Kalbon. While the right of sale is vested in the father [who may during the minority of his daughter sell her as a handmaid] no fine can be imposed, 25 and when damages can be legally claimed the right of sale ceases. Whilst the right of refusal is in force 26 Chalitzah does not take place, 27 and when that ceremony
is performed the right of refusal is no longer applicable. When the cornet is sounded 28 no Habdallah is said, and when that is said the cornet is not sounded. When a festival happens on the eve of the Sabbath the cornet is sounded, but the Habdallah is not said. If on the day after the Sabbath, it is said, but the cornet is not sounded. What is the form of the [prayer] Habdallah? [Blessed art thou, &c.] "who makest a distinction between holy and holy;" but according to R. Dosa, "who makest a distinction between the greater and minor degrees of holiness."
325:1 That is, an animal which died of itself, and of which it is prohibited to eat.
325:2 See Treatise Kelim, chap. I. § 2.
325:3 By this is indicated that which is fit to eat, or rather, what may be lawfully eaten. As we shall have frequent occasion to mention this word, we shall, to avoid periphrase, retain this Hebrew term, as also the terms Nebelah and Terefá, explained above.
325:4 An instrument, one side of which is sharp and the other notched.
325:5 That is, even an Israelite who was guilty of many transgressions of the law, excepting if he were guilty of idolatry or the public profanation of the Sabbath.
325:6 Whilst attached to the person.
325:7 That is, without the second or returning cut, consequently he does not lacerate.
326:8 Towards the head, even if the ring had not been cut throughout the whole of its circumference.
326:9 Lev. i. 15.
326:10 That is, if the incision was made on the top of the neck, through the vertebra, before the knife reached the gullet and windpipe.
326:11 Viz., their age.
326:12 The young pigeons, because they are then too old, and the turtle-doves, because they are yet too young.
326:13 As an expiation for uncertain murder. (See Deut. xxi.)
326:14 That is, the red heifer must have its throat cut in the prescribed form, but the calf must have its neck broken or struck off.
326:15 Viz., age. For priests are not disqualified to minister in the temple but on account of having contracted a corporeal blemish. This does not disqualify Levites, but their age disqualifies them, for when they have attained the age of fifty they are no longer to be employed in the active service of the Temple. (See Numbers viii. 25.)
326:16 Viz., when any creeping or unclean thing had touched the external surface of an earthenware vessel it does not contract pollution, but other vessels do contract it under the mentioned circumstance.
327:17 Should any thing unclean have entered the cavity of a vessel without touching it in any part, an earthen vessel is unclean, but any other kind of vessel remains clean.
327:18 Wooden utensils do not contract pollution when level, but they do when they are hollowed out, though yet in an unfinished state. Metal vessels, however, contract pollution in a finished state only, whether they are hollow or level.
327:19 Because they are not yet edible.
327:20 Because they are only subject to the payment of tithe while they are edible, which is when they are small and not full grown.
327:21 Because it is only water. (See Treatise Maaser Sheni, chap. II. § 5.)
327:22 When a quantity of three lugs and upward of it had been mixed with the waters of a bath not containing forty seahs.
327:23 Because it is considered as wine, and does not otherwise render a bath unfit except when it discolors the water.
327:24 That is, the agio, or premium paid to a money changer for the accommodation of receiving half-shekels, wherewith to pay the annual contribution for the offerings of the temple. (See Treatise Shekalim, chap. I. §§ 6 and 7.)
327:25 Upon a person who violated or seduced her. (See Treatise Ketuboth, chap. III. § 8, note 11.)
327:26 This relates to a female, who, in her minority, had been betrothed by her mother and brothers, and, on becoming nubile, refuses to ratify the engagement they entered into for her. (See Treatise Yebamoth, chaps. I. and II.)
327:27 That is, a widow need not wait to remarry under the mentioned circumstances p. 328 till her brother-in-law has received Chalitzah from her, for she can make use of her right of refusal.
328:28 On the eves of the Sabbath and festivals, when the cornet was thrice sounded, as mentioned in Treatise Succah, chap. V. § 5.