Hullin, Chapter Three, Mishnah Two



Today’s mishnah lists cases in which defects do not render cattle terefah. Again, most of these are self-explanatory (as before, easier to picture for the veterinarians among us)


Mishnah Two

And the following [defects] do not render cattle terefah:

1)      If the windpipe was pierced, or cracked [lengthwise].

a)      To what extent may it be deficient?

b)      Rabban Shimon ben Gamaliel says: up to an Italian issar.

2)      If the skull was cracked but the membrane of the brain was not pierced;

3)      If the heart was pierced but not as far as its cavity;

4)      If the spine was broken but the cord was not severed;

5)      If the liver was removed but an olive’s size of it remained.

6)      If the omasum or the third stomach were pierced at their juncture;

7)      If the spleen was removed, or the kidneys, or the lower jaw-bone or the womb.

8)      If [the lung] was shrunken up by an act of Heaven.

9)      If an animal was stripped of its hide:

a)      Rabbi Meir declares it valid

b)      But the rabbis declare it invalid.



Section one: If the windpipe was severed, we learned yesterday that the animal is a terefah. If, however, it was only pierced or cracked, the animal is valid. When it is pierced, the hole can be up to the size of an Italian issar, a small coin.

Section two: The animal is a terefah only if the brain membrane was pierced. A cracked skull does not render an animal a terefah.

Sections 3-6: The opposite of most of these cases can be found in yesterday’s mishnah.

Sections 7: The removal of any of these organs does not render the animal a terefah, because it can continue to live.

Section eight: If an animal’s lung was shrunk up due to fear of some heavenly act, for instance the animal was frightened by thunder or lightning, then the animal is not a terefah. However, if it was frightened by an act perpetrated by a human being, then the animal is a terefah.

Section nine: I will admit that it is hard for me to comprehend how an animal that has no hide can continue to live, but evidently, Rabbi Meir believes that it can. The other rabbis say that it is a terefah.