Makhshirin, Chapter Two, Mishnah Nine

 

Mishnah Nine

1)      If one found meat there, we follow the majority of the butchers.

2)      If it was cooked meat, we follow the majority of those who eat cooked meat.

 

Explanation

Section one: A piece of meat is found lying somewhere in this mixed city. Today, most of us would not really consider eating a piece of meat just found lying around, even those of us who don’t keep kosher. But back then meat was exceedingly rare and if it looked good enough to eat, why not.

The mishnah says that if the majority of butchers slaughter their meat in a kosher manner, then a Jew can eat the meat. Note that the meat is assumed to come from a butcher because normal people did not store meat in their homes. So we don’t need to know who were the majority of the people.

Section two: I find this section very interesting. At first sight, one might wonder—who doesn’t eat cooked meat? Do some people eat raw meat? However, when we think about it, the mishnah shows us something interesting about meat consumption in those days. Most people probably didn’t eat meat at all. Only wealthy people would be considered “those who eat cooked meat.” So to figure out from whom the meat likely fell, we must consider who composes the majority of the wealthy people who eat cooked meat. 

 

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