B. And in all of these the notches must be as big as a notch [that renders unfit] the altar. [18a] And how big is a notch [that renders unfit] the altar? Big enough to catch a fingernail [that is drawn across it].
C. They posed a question. How big is a notch [that renders unfit] the altar? R. Simeon bar Yohai says, “A handbreadth.” R. Eliezer b. Jacob says, “An olive's bulk.” There is no contradiction [between these views]. This one [refers to an altar made] of cement. And this one [refers to an altar made] of stones.
A. Said R. Huna, “Any butcher who does not present his knife to a sage [for inspection] — they ostracize him.” And Raba said, “They dismiss him and they announce that his meat is terefah.” And they are not in dispute with one another. This one [refers to a case where] his knife was [inspected and] found to be sound [so they ostracize him for defying authority]. This one [refers to a case where] his knife was not found to be sound [so they dismiss him and declare his meat terefah].
B. Rabina said, “Where his knife was not found to be sound, they spread dung upon [his meat], for it may not be sold even to gentiles.”
C. There was a certain butcher who did not present his knife [for inspection] before Raba bar Hinnena. He ostracized him and dismissed him and declared his meat was terefah. Mar Zutra and R. Ashi called upon him. He said to them, “Can you rabbis look into [this matter]? For young children depend upon him.” R. Ashi inspected his knife and found it to be sound and declared him to be proper. Said to him Mar Zutra, “Is not the master sensitive [to the need to respect the decision of] the elder [i.e., Raba bar Hinnena]?” He said to him, “We were acting as his agents.”
A. Said Raba bar Huna, “A tooth which is detached and a fingernail which is detached — they slaughter therewith [T. ul. 1:6 B] to begin with.” But lo [in contradiction to this] we have taught on Tannaite authority, Except for (1) a scythe, and (2) a saw, and (3) teeth, and (4) a fingernail, because they [do not cut but tear the windpipe and] choke [the animal] [M. ul. 1:2 F-G].
B. There is no contradiction between this ruling regarding a tooth and that one. This one [that permits its use refers to using] one [tooth to slaughter]. This one [that prohibits refers to using] two [to slaughter, which resembles a saw].
C. There is no contradiction between this ruling regarding a fingernail and that one. This one [that permits refers to using] a detached [fingernail to slaughter]. This one [that prohibits refers to a fingernail that is still] attached [to a living being].
H. He who slaughters with a scythe, [drawing the scythe] forward —
I. the House of Shammai declare invalid.
J. And the House of Hillel declare valid.
K. And if they filed down its teeth, lo, it is equivalent to a knife.
A. Said R. Hiyya bar Abba, said R. Yohanan, “Even where the House of Hillel declared it valid, they declared it valid only to exclude it from the category of carrion. But with regard to eating, it remains prohibited.”
B. Said R. Ashi, “You may also draw this inference from [the language of the text] that taught, The House of Shammai declare invalid; and the House of Hillel declare valid. And did not teach, The House of Shammai prohibit; and the House of Hillel permit.”
C. [Responding to B]: But on this basis it should teach, The House of Shammai declare unclean; and the House of Hillel declare clean. Rather [the paired expressions] declare invalid and declare valid, and prohibit and permit are equivalent.
The Talmud engages in a close scrutiny of the terms employed in Mishnah's Houses' dispute.
A. He who slaughters [by cutting] through the [top cartilage] ring [of the windpipe] and left in it a thread's breadth of its whole circumference [towards the head],
B. his act of slaughter is valid.
C. R. Yosé b. Judah says, “A thread's breadth of the greater part of its circumference.”
A. Rab and Samuel both said, “The law is in accord with the view of R. Yosé b. R. Judah.” And even R. Yosé b. R. Judah stated matters only with respect to the large ring since it encircles the entire windpipe. But with respect to [one who cut through the greater part of one of] the other rings, he did not [hold this view]. [One must slaughter either through the large ring or between the rings.]
B. But with respect to [one who cut through the greater part of one of] the other rings, did he not [hold this view]? Was it not taught on Tannaite authority, R. Yosé b. R. Judah says, [18b] “He who slaughters [by cutting] through any of the other rings, even though they do not encircle the entire windpipe, since they encircle the majority of the windpipe, it is valid.”
C. [If] it slants downwards [that is, if one let the knife slide beyond the space prescribed for cutting, so that the windpipe was cut at or below the point where the thyroid cartilage narrows (B. ul. 19a)], it is invalid. R. Hanina b. Antigonos [T.: Hanania] testified regarding [an act of slaughter that] slants downward that it is valid [cf. T. ullin 1:10].
D. Said R. Joseph, “R. Yosé b. R. Judah stated both [rules]. Rab and Samuel held in accord with his view in respect to one and disputed with him in respect to the other. [They held that slaughtering must be performed only between the rings or in the top ring.]”
E. But lo, “[He] stated matters only [with respect to the large ring since it encircles the entire windpipe]” — is what they stated [in A]. This is the way you should state matters: The law is in accord with his view with respect to [the validity of an act of slaughter that cuts through] the large ring. But the law is not in accord with his view with respect to [the validity of an act of slaughter that cuts through] the other rings.
A. When R. Zira departed [for a stay in Israel] he ate [meat that was slaughtered by a cut] slanting downward [and thus was invalid] according to the view of Rab and Samuel. They said to him, “Are you not from the same place as Rab and Samuel?” He said to them, “Who stated this [rule]? R. Joseph bar Hiyya. Joseph bar Hiyya learned [rules] from everyone [i.e., he was an eclectic authority and I am not bound to follow him].”
B. R. Joseph heard this and was angry. He said, “I learned from everyone? I learned from R. Judah! He even cited doubts regarding his attributions.” [For instance:] For said R. Judah, said R. Jeremiah bar Abba, maybe in the name of Rab and maybe in the name of Samuel, “Three [sages] may permit [redemption of] a firstling where there is no expert [present to examine the blemish].”
C. And does R. Zira not hold the view that, “They impose upon him the strict rules of the place he originated and the place of his destination?” This applies for one who travels from one place in Babylonia to another, or from one place in the Land of Israel to another, and also from the Land of Israel to Babylonia. But from Babylonia to the Land of Israel, since we are subject to their authority, we act in accord with their practice.
D. R. Ashi said, “You may even say [that the principle applies to one who travels] from Babylonia to the Land of Israel [that he may adhere to his strict ruling from the former location] on the condition that he has intention to return [to Babylonia]. R. Zira had no intention of returning.”
E. Said Abayye to R. Joseph, “Behold the rabbis who came from Mahuza said in the name of R. Nahman, `If [the cut for slaughter] slants downward it is valid.'” He said to him, “Every river runs its own course.” [Every place has its own customs.]
A. R. Simeon b. Laqish declared it valid [if the animal was slaughtered] in the thyroid cartilage. R. Yohanan cried out [about this ruling], “Too brash!”
B. Said R. Pappi in the name of Raba, “If he hit the arytenoid cartilages [with the knife during the act of slaughter], it is terefah.” [Cashdan: Two small triangular cartilages at the top of the larynx situated on either side in front of the cricoid.]
C. They posed the question to him: [Does it mean] if he hit and cut into them, as Scripture states, “And he went out and he struck him down and he died” (I Kings 2:46), or [does it mean] if he hit but did not cut into them, as Scripture states, “And the angels of God met him” [both `struck' and `met' derive from the same root as `hit,' pg`]?
D. It was stated: Said R. Pappa in the name of Raba, “If he [cut to slaughter and] left [towards the head] part of the arytenoid cartilages, it is valid.”
E. Said R. Amemar bar Mar Yanuka [so Cashdan], “I was standing before R. Hiyya the son of R. Avya and he said to me, `If he [cut to slaughter and] left [towards the head] part of the arytenoid cartilages, it is valid.'”
F. Said Rabina to R. Ashi, said to me R. Shaman of Sikara [or Subra, or Sukhra], “Mar Zutra visited our town and he expounded, `If he [cut to slaughter and] left [towards the head] part of the arytenoid cartilages, it is valid.'”
G. Mar bar R. Ashi said, “If he [cut to slaughter and] hit the arytenoid cartilages, it is valid. If he [cut to slaughter and] left [towards the head] part of the arytenoid cartilages, it is invalid.”