Prohibition against slaughtering an animal and its offspring on the same day

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Prohibition against slaughtering an animal and its offspring on the same day
Halakhic texts relating to this article:
Torah: Leviticus 22:28
Mishnah: Chullin 78a
Babylonian Talmud: Chullin 78b-79a
Shulchan Aruch: Yoreh De'ah 16
* Not meant as a definitive ruling. Some observances may be rabbinical, custom or Torah-based.

The prohibition against slaughtering an animal and its offspring on the same day is a negative commandment in Judaism which forbids the slaughter of a kosher four-legged animal and its offspring on the same day.

Hebrew Bible[edit]

The commandment originates from a verse in the book of Leviticus that states:

An ox or sheep you shall not slaughter it and its offspring in one day.

Leviticus 22:28

The commandment is preceded by the instruction that a calf or lamb is only acceptable for sacrifice on the eighth day (22:26).[1] The Hebrew Bible uses the generic word for bull or cow (Hebrew: שור showr[2]), and the generic word for sheep and ewe (שה seh) and the masculine pronoun form in the verb "slaughter-him" (Hebrew shachat-u)

Second Temple period[edit]

The earliest Jewish commentary on this commandment is found in the Temple Scroll among the Dead Sea scrolls:

"And an ox or a lamb with its offspring you may not slaughter at the same time. And you shall not strike the mother with her offspring.

— (11QT 52:5–7a)[3]

The interpretation of the Dead Sea scrolls differs from later rabbinical Judaism in prohibiting the slaughter of a pregnant animal.[4][5][6][7]

In the Septuagint of Hellenistic Judaism the passage was translated with moschos - the generic Greek word for bull or cow or calf.[8][9]

Rabbinical interpretation[edit]

Some Chazalic scholars[who?] interpret "the same day" not as meaning a 24 hour period, but as the same calendar day.

Obadiah ben Abraham of Bertinoro in his commentary on the Mishnah (1549, on Chullin 5:1 et al.) understood the prohibition to apply to both mother or father of the offspring. According to Hezekiah ben Manoah's commentary on Leviticus (1524) Rashi was of the opinion that the prohibition applies to a male ox alone, but that Rashi would also have agreed that it is likewise a prohibition - albeit of a rabbinic degree of lesser stringency - to slaughter a female cow with her offspring.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Nahum M. Sarna, Chaim Potok, The JPS Torah Commentary: Leviticus Jewish Publication Society 1989 Page 113 "In 22:26f., for example, in a formulation identical to that found here, we read that the offspring of large and small cattle may not be "slaughtered" until the eighth day after birth, at which time they first become acceptable as sacrifices. In keeping ..."
  2. ^ Gesenius Hebrew Lexicon "Showr ...This is the general word for one of the ox tribe... without distinction of age or sex"
  3. ^ Ben Zion Wacholder The New Damascus Document: The Midrash On The Eschatological Torah 2007 Page 296 "And an ox or a lamb with its offspring you may not slaughter at the same time. And you shall not strike the mother with her offspring. (11QT 52:5–7a) This text diverges from Talmudic tradition. According to the sages, the prohibition against slaughtering a young calf extends from birth to the seventh day of its life (Hullin 78:2). However, Temple Scroll, by linking Lev 22:28 and a paraphrase of Gen 32:12 which contains the phrase ... in the context of Jacob fearing that Esau might strike him together with all of his clan, suggests that b-yom ehad means “at the same time." In other words it is prohibited to slaughter a fetus when it is in its mother's womb."
  4. ^ Ben Zion Wacholder The New Damascus Document: The Midrash On The Eschatological Torah 2007 Page 296 "3.2.2.9.6.2.7. The Status of a Fetus (4Q270 F2ii:15b) As we have stated above, the prohibition against slaughtering a pregnant animal differs from rabbinic tradition which sanctions it. On this ban, see also 11QT 52:5–7a: yl hmh hbowt yk twalm ..."
  5. ^ William R. G. Loader The Dead Sea Scrolls on Sexuality 2009 - Page 140 "... the prohibition against slaughtering a pregnant animal in what immediately precedes (ii.15), an application of Deut 22:6, as in 11QTa/11Q19 52.5, there, applied to sacrificial slaughter, and similarly in 4QMMTB 36-38, and to 11QTa/11Q19 ..."
  6. ^ John Kampen, Moshe J. Bernstein Reading 4QMMT: new perspectives on Qumran law and history 1996 - Page 40 "The uniqueness of the Qumran treatment, according to Qimron's restoration, is the association of Lev 22:28 with the prohibition against slaughtering a pregnant animal and the requirement to slaughter a fetus found alive in the womb of its "
  7. ^ Jacob Milgrom, David Pearson Wright, David Noel Freedman Pomegranates and Golden Bells: Studies in Biblical, Jewish, and Near Eastern Ritual, Law, and Literature in Honor of Jacob Milgrom 1995 "... there is apparently also a prohibition of consuming the young of an animal found alive within the womb of its mother. The young is regarded as a distinct animal requiring its own ritual slaughter.7"
  8. ^ Greek Septuagint Leviticus 22:28 καὶ μόσχον ἢ πρόβατον αὐτὴν καὶ τὰ παιδία αὐτῆς οὐ σφάξεις ἐν ἡμέρᾳ μιᾷ
  9. ^ Thayer Greek Lexicon moschos "Septuagint chiefly for a bull, especially a young bull, then for cattle, for an ox or a cow, for a calf"