Isidore Singer.

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of the words "shahat" and "zabah," the Rabbis en-
deavored thereby to establish on a Scriptui'al basis
the law that an animal should be slaughtered by
cutting the throat (Hul. 27a). The current opinion,
however, was that all the laws of shehitah were
given orally to Moses by God {ib. 28a, based on Dent.
.\ii. 21). One opinion is to the effect that Moses was
commanded concerning the shehitah of mammals
only, and not concerning that of birds, the latter,
therefore, being merely a rabbinic institution {ih.
27b, 28a).

The laws of shehitah ajiply only to mammals and
birds, not to fishes and locusts (ib. 27b, based on
Num. .\i. 22). The latter, however, should not be
eaten alive (Shulhan 'Ariik, Yoreh De'ali, 13, 1,
Isserles' gloss). The young found in an animal
which has been duly slaughtered may be eaten
without the carrying out of the usual form of shehi-
tah, provided it did not "step on the ground," i.e.,
if it is used for food soon after being found in its
mother's womb (Hul. 74a).

The slaughtering of animals is entrusted only to
jiersons versed in the Law and skilled in their work.
Shehitah may not be performed by the following:
a deaf-mute, idiot, or minor {ib. 2a); one who is
intoxicated (Yoreh De'ah, 1, 8, and Isserles' gloss);
an old man whose hands tremble, it
Q,ualifica- being apprehended that he may press

tions of the knife against the throat of the
Shohatim. animal instead of gently moving it
forward and backward (eomp. " Be'er
Heteb" and "Pithe Teshubah," on Yoreh De'ah,
1, 5); a non-Jew, even though not an idolater (Hul.
13a, b) ; a Jew who spitefully transgresses the laws
of Judaism ("mumar le-hak'is"; Yoreh De"ali, 2, 5;
see Heresy). Some authorities considered women
incompetent to perforin shehitah (Tos. to Hul.
2a, s.v. "Ha-kol"; Yoreh De'ah, 1, 1, Is.serles'
gloss), an opinion that came to be generally ac-

At the present time the custom is to allow no one
to slaughter unless he has passed a rigid examina-
tion before a competent authority in all the laws of
shehitah and of Terefah, especially pertain-
ing to the examination of the lungs, and has received
a written certificate ("kabbalah") of his knowledge
of such laws, of his expertness in examining the
knife, and of his skill in slaughtering. Even after
he has received such a certificate and has been per-
mitted to slaughter animals, the shohet is enjoined
to review the laws of shehitah occasionally (at least
every thirty days), so that he may remain well
versed in them {ib. 1,1, Isserles' gloss).

The length of the knife ("l.iallaf ") with which
shehitah is performed must be twice the width of
the throat of the animal about to be slaughtered, (he
maximum length being fourteen fingerbreadths {ih.
8, Isserles' gloss). The knife must be
The Knife, sharp, smooth, and without any per-
ceptible notch; and it must be thor-
oughly examined before the slaughtering, by pass-
ing first the finger and then the finger-nail over its
edge and both sides (Hul. 17b). It should be simi-
larly examined after the slaughtering; and if a
notch in it should then be found the animal becomes
ritually unfit for food {ih. 10a). It is customary for
the shohet to occasionally submit his knife to the
rabbi for examination {ib. 18a). In Yoreh De'ali, 18,
17, the opinion is expressed that this examination is
no longer necessary, since only pious and learned
men are now appointed as shohatim. The custom,
however, still prevails. Before slaugiitering, the
following blessing is pronounced: "Blessed art
Thou . . . who sanctified us with His command-
ments and commanded us concerning slaughtering."
In case many animals are to be slaughtered at the
same time one bles.sing is sufficient. After the bless-




ing has been pronounced no irrelevant conversation
is permitted (Hul. 86b; Yoreli De'ali, 19).

Tlieact of slauglitering proper consists in cutting

througli the windjiipe and tlie gullet in niamnials,

or either of these in birds. If tlie greater part of

both these organs is cut through (or,

The in birds, the greater part of either),

Process. the animal is considered ritually

slaughtered (Hul. 27a). The veins

along l)t)th sides of the neck of a bird must be

pierced at the time of slaughtering {ib. ; Yorch De'ah,

21, 22). The many details of shehitah were sum-

(3) "Haladah" (digging). The knife must be
drawn over the throat. If it is placed between the
windpipe and the gullet, or under the skin, or under
a cloth hung over the neck of the animal, so that
any jiart of the knife is not visible while slichitah
is being performed, although the slaughtering is
otherwise correctly executed, the animal is unfit for
food(i/A 24, 7-11).

(4) "Hagramah" (slipping). The limits within
which the knife may be inserted are from the large
ring in the windpipe to the top of the upper lobe
of the lungs when inflate;], and the corresponding

German Jewish Sladohtering-Vard ok the Eaki.y Eighteenth centi kv.

(From Kirclmer, " Jiidlsches CeremoDiei," 1726.)

marized by the Rabbis under the following five laws,
which were supposed by them to have been deliv-
ered by God to Moses (Hul. 9b):

(1) " Shehiyah " (delay). There should be no delay
or interruption while the slaughtering is being per-
formed. The knife should be kept in continuous
motion, forward and backward, until the organs are
cuttlirough. Adelay of even one moment makes the
animal unfit for food ("nebelah " ; Yoreh De'ah, 28).

(2) "'Derasah" (pressing). The knife must be
drawn gently across the throat, without any undue
exertion on the part of the shohet. It is therefore
forbidden to lay one's finger on the blade while
slaughtering, as the least pressure renders the ani-
mal unfit for food {ih. 24, 1-6).

length of the pharynx {ib. 20). Slaughtering by the
insertion of the knife in any part above or below
these limits is called "hagramah," and renders the
animal unfit for food {ib. 24, 12-14).

(5) " Tkkur " (tearing). If either the windpipe or
the gullet is torn out or removed from its regular
position during the slaughtering, the animal becomes
unfit for food. If this has happened while the ani-
mal was 3^et alive, the latter is not regarded as
" nebelah," and its eggs or milk may be used for food ;
but the animal it.self can not become ritually fit for
food through slaughtering {ih. 24, 15-20).

Soon after shehitah the shohet must examine the
tliroat of the animal and ascertain whether the wind-
pipe and the gullet are cut through according to the

German Jewish Slaughtering-Yard of the Eighteenth Centoey.

(From BodcDBchalz, " Kircblichc VerfaasuEg," 1748.)




requirements of the Law (Hul. 9h ; Yoreh De'ali,
25). la the case of birds ami of permitted wild
beasts, some of the blood shed in the course of
shehitali must be covered with earth or adies (Lev.
xvii. 13), the following benediction being first pro-
nounced : " Blessed art Thou . . . who sanctified us
with His commandments and commanded us to
cover blood with earth " (Hul. vi; Yoreh De'ali, 28).
For the prohibition against slaughtering an animal
and its young on the same day, see Cruelty to

Bibliography : Maimonides, Yad, Shehitah, i.-iv.. xiv.; Shnl-
han 'Aruh, Yoreh De'a/i, 1-28; Hamburger, R. B. T. ii.,
.s.v. Schlachten; Weichman, Das Schiichtcn, Leipsic, 1899;
Wiener, Die. Jlldischen Speiftegexetzes pp. M4-25"), Breslau.
w. B. J. H. G.

lished under tlie auspices of the St. Petersburg
Academy of Sciences. He was the autlior also of
" Velikorus v Svoikh Pyesnyakh, Obryadakh, i Pr.,"
which was one of his last works.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: Kvdehia, Aug. 20, 1900, No. 34, p. 1146: A'o-
vinie Vremtia. Aiig. 26. 1900. No. 8799. p. 3.

n. K. J. G. L.

SHEITEL. S((! Wig.

SHEKALIM : Treatise of the Mishuah, the To-
sefta, and the Jerusalem Talmud, dealing with the
half-shekel tax which was imposed for defraying the
expenses of tlie Temple service (comp. Ex. xxx. 12
et seq. ; Neh. x. 33); also with the other institutions
of the Temple at Jerusalem. In most of the Mish-
nah editions the treatise is the fourth in the order


(Ill the possession of Maurice Herrmann, New York.)

ethnograpiier; bom in ia26; died at Riga Aug. 14,
1900. He studied at the University of Moscow, and
after conversion to Protestantism he became in the
tif ties a teacher of Russian in the district school of
Tula and later in the school of Yasnaya Polyana, es-
tablished by Count Leo Tolstoi. Deeply interested
in the language and customs of liis couiitiy, he de-
voted hiuLself to tlie study of Russian folk-lore, and
notwithstanding tlie fact that lie was crii)pled he
visited numerous villages and hamlets in various
parts of tlie country, collecting songs and stories
from the peasants.

Shein's most important work was "Bytovaya i
Semeinaya Zhizn Byelo-Russi v Obryadakh i Pyes-
nyakh" (St. Petersburg, 1890), which was pub-

Mo'ed, and is divided into eight chapters, contain-
ing fifty-one sections in all.

Ch. i. : Concerning the method of calling for pay-
ment of the tax on the lirst day of the twelfth
month, Adar; public works undertaken on the fif-
teenth of Adar; on that day the monej'- changers set
up their tables in Jerusalem for the purpose of ex-
changing foreign moneys for the coin in which the
tax was payable; on the twenty-fifth of Adar the
changers set up their tables in the Temple itself ;

on the last-mentioned date also they
Contents : began to take pledges from those per-
Ch. i.-iii. sons who had not paid the tax, no

pledges being exacted from the priests,
although they were obliged to pay the tax, and
committed a sin in refusing to do so ; women, slaves,




ami minors wore not required to pay the tax,
tliough liieir money was accepted if they olTercd it ,
the tax was not accepted from pagans and Samari
tans, even if tiiey wislied to pay it; cases in wliich
a small sum was jniid in addition to tlie lialf-shekel.

Cli. ii. : Concerning the changing of tiie shekaiini
into gold coin, in ordei' to transport tlie monej' more
easily to Jerusalem ; the hnxes placed in the Temple
and throughout the province, into which every per-
son dropped his half-shekel; cases in which tlie
money was lost or stolen en route to Jerusalem;
cases in which a person paid his tax with conse-
crated money; the dilTerent kinds of coin in which
the tax was paid at different times during the Sec-
ond Temple; ways of using money collected forcer-
tain purposes.

Cli. iii. : Concerning tlic three days of the j^ear on
which the gold coin handed in was taken from the
treasury and placed in three baskets, from which it
was subsequently taken for the purchase of the sac-
rifices; manner of remo\ing this money from tlie
treasury so that the jiersons engaged in the woi-k
might in no wise be suspected of theft ; manner of
maiking, either with Hel)rew or with Greek letters,
the three baskets in which the money was jdaced.

Ch. iv.: Relating to the things purchased with
the money taken from tlie treasury', and what was
done with the mcuiey remaining there; regula-
tions f(ir disposing of the remnants of
Cli. iv.-viii. other dedicated ol)jects(§;§ 1-5); man-
ner of disposing of ol)jeets suitable for
sacrilices, which were included in pinperty that a
person had left to the Temple (^ij; C-S) ; manner of
determining once in tliirtj' days the price f)f the
wine, oil, and meal needed in the Sanctuary {§ 0).

Cii. v.: Enumeration of the lifteen oHices con-
nected with the Sanctuary, and the names of the
heads of these oflices; the four checks or comiters
re]iresenting tlie measuii's used in the dilTerent sac-
ritiees; the saciiticer re(|uiring Aviiie, oil, and meal
for his sacrifice went to the kee]ier of these checks,
and received one on pa3'nient of the i'e(|uisite sum ;
with this check he went to the keeper in charge of
the ingredients of the sacrifice, who gave him what
he needed for his olTering ; subseciuent treatment of
the checks; the two apartments in tlie Temple in
which gifts were jdaceil ; one of them was called
"secret chamber," because the names of the donors
as well as Hiose of the poor who received relief from
such gifts were kept secret.

Ch. vi.: Occurrence of the number thirteen in
connection with the Sanctuary; the thirteen jars,
thirteen tables, and thirteen obeisances made in
thirteen dilTerent places therein; where the Ark of
the Covenant was concealed ; once a priest in doing
some work noticed that a certain ]iart of the floor
was different from the rest; when he mentioned the
fact to his colleagues, he was immediately stricken
dead, whereupon they perceived that the Ark was
concealed below that portion.

Ch. vii. : Eegulatioiis regarding the disposal of
money, meat, or cattle found in the Sanctuary at
Jerusalem or in the vicinity of that city; seven reg-
ulations issued by tlie court ("bet din ") in reference
to sacrifices and to dedicated objects.

Ch. viii. : Hegulations regarding the cleanness or
XL — 17

uncleannessof saliva, and of vessels and slaughtering-
knives found in Jerusalem; purification of the cur-
tain of the Temple when defiletl in any way; value
of the curtain befoie the Sanctuary ; the half-shekel
tax and tiie oll'ering of the firstlings of the fruit
ceased with the destruction of the Temple.

The Tosefta on this treatise is divided into three

ciiapters, and contains many interesting additions

and suiiplements to the Mislin.di. Noteworthy is

the discussion of the question whether tlie Ark of

the Covenant was taken to Babylon or

Tosefta whether it was concealed in the ground
and. below the spot where it had stood in

Gemara. the Sanctuary (ii. 18); regulation re-
garding the time of apprenticeship
wliich the Levites were required to .serve in order
to become qualified to enter into the Temple service
(iii. 26).

The Babylonian Talmud having no Gemara to
this treatise, the Palestinian Gemara is printed in
tlie editions. 'I'lie latter contains, besides com-
ments on the ]\Iislinaii. many sentences and haggadic
interpretations, as well as legends and myths. Some
of the sentences maybe quoted heie, "The pious
and the sages need no monuments; for their wise
sayings and noble deeds commemorate them forever
in the minds of men " (ii. 7). "If the sentence of a
dead sage is rejteated, his lips nif)ve in the grave "
(/.('., he speaks tlunigh no longer living; ib.).
"When David was about to build the Temple, God
asked him, ' For what is the Temple intended? For
the purpose of bringing sacrifices to Me there? I
prefer the exercise of right and justice to all sacri-
fices ' " (Prov. xxi. 3) (///.). " R." Meir .said : ' Who-
ever lives in Palestine, speaks Hebrew, observes the
laws of purification, and reads the "Slienia' " every
morning and evening is sure of participating in the
future life ' " (iii. 5, end). There is also an interest-
ing criticism of jiei'sons Avho spend lai'ge sums in
erecting buildings for acadenu"es, though this money
might be emjiloyed to better advantage in aiding
the students (v. M, end).

w. ^^. J. Z. L.

SHEKANZIB (3^VJDEJ>) : Small town near Ne-
liardea, in Persia, jierhaps idenllcal with Al-Zib on
the Tigris, and possibly with xn2"'T ('E''- 64a, MS.
reading). According to M. K., its women were
noted for the beautiful songs of mourning which
they sang at burials. Kabbi Judah iia-Nasi refused
to allow his children to live tliere because it was a
town of mockers (Pes. 112b); hut Bab Nahmau
married a woman of Shekanzib (Yeb. o7b). Sherira
Gaou states in his letter (in Neubauer, "M. J. C." i.
2S)) that Babha bar Abulia fied to that town when
Papa ben Nazar captured Nehardea.

Bibliography: l^evy, Neuhehr. H'lirrcrft. iv. 554 ; Neubauer,
G. T. p. 3(j3.
.T. S. O.

SHEKEL (^pK') : Name of (1) a weiglit and of
(2) a siUir coin in use among the Hebi'ews.

1. Weig-ht : It has long been admitted that the
Israelites derived their system of weights and coins
from the Babjdonians, and both peoples divided the
talent (~I3D) into GO minas (nJO), each mina consist-
ing of 60 shekels, so that the talent contained
8,600 shekels. This division into ;5,600 shekels is




generally supposed to be implied in Ezek. xlv. 13
(comp. Riehm, "Handworterbuch," p. 509), but the
inference is incorrect, for the passage is almost cer-
tainly corrupt (comp. Smend, Coruill, and Kriitz-
sclimar, ad loc). In fact, it actually states that the
inina contained 50 shekels, which would make the
talent equal to 3,000 shekels, so that a mina equals
818.6 grams, and a talent equals 49.11 kilograms.
A similar talent is found among other peoples, for
the Greeks and Persians likewise divided the mina
into 50 shekels, while the division of the talent into
60 minas was universal. This division into 50 is evi-
dently a consequence of the conflict of the decimal
and the sexagesimal system, Iho Egyptian influ-
ence making itself felt side by side with the Baby-

It may possibly be inferred from Ezek. xlv. 12
that in the exilic period and the time w hich imme-
diately preceded it the division of the mina into 50
shekels became customary among the Jews, and that
this was simultaneous with the division of the shekel
into 20 gerahs (mj), since this coin is mentioned
only in Ezekiel and in the Pentateuch (Ex. xxx. 13;
Lev. xxvii. 25; Num. iii. 47). In the pre-exilic
period half-shekels {'^\)'2,) and quarter-shekels are
mentioned, while in tlie Ptjntateuch the Temple tax
was determined according to the "shekel of the
sanctuary," which was equal to 20 gerahs. The
meaning of the phrase " shekel of the sanctuary "
is uncertain, but at all events there is no justifica-
tion for the rabbinical assumption that in addition
to it there was also a common shekel of one-half its
value, for there are no references whatever to the
latter. It is possible, however, that tlie "shekel of
the sanctuary " may be contrasted with the smaller
silver shekel, and that it may have received its name
from the fact that the standard weight was kept in
the Temple.

2. Coin: The shekel was the unit of coinage as
well as of weight, and the pieces of metal which
served for currency were either fractions or multi-
ples of the standard shekel. As already noted, the
struggle of the Egyptian decimal and the Babylo-
nian sexagesimal system for supremacy was espe-
cially evident in the gold and silver weights, and
the fact that the mina of 50 shekels Ijecame the
standard was probably due to Phenician influence.
The gold shekel was originally -^-^ of the weight of the
mina, and the silver shekel, which was intended to
correspond in value to the gold one, should conse-
quently have been *f- xit = % of ^^^^ weight of the
mina, since the ratio between gold and silver had
gradually become as 40 to 3. Since this shekel could
not have been commonly used as currency, however,
a demand arose for a smaller coin of practical size,
which might be made either by dividing the silver
equivalent of the gold shekel into ten parts, thus
giving a silver shekel of ^^ = J- of the weight of
the mina, or by dividing the silver equivalent into
fifteen parts, giving a silver shekel of ^Ixs = tI '
of the weight of the mina. Wnen the decimal sys-
tem had become established the gold and the silver
mina each were reckoned at 50 of these shekels.
Hence there were (1) the Babylonian silver mina.

5 " 2 J_0 20

-rjT — 135 — 27

equal to

= ^^ of the weight of the mina, and (2)

the Phenician silver mina, equal to
of tlie weight of the mina.

In the original Babylonian silver currency the
silver shekel was divided into thirds, sixths, and
twelfths, while in the Phenician currency it was di-
vided into halves, fourths, and eighths. These Phe-
nician silver shekels were current among the Jews
also, as is shown by the fact that the same division
is found among them, a quarter of a shekel being
mentioned in I Sam. ix. 8, while a half-shekel is
mentioned as the Temple tax in the Pentateuch. The
extant shekels of the Maccabean period vary be-
tween 14.50 and 14.65 grams, and are thus equiva-
lent to yI- of the great " common " Babylonian mina
— 14. 55 grams. The mina was equivalent, therefore,
to 725.5 grams, and the talent to 43.659 kilograms.
The Babylonian shekel, which was equal to -'/ of
the weight of the mina, was introduced in the Persian
time, for Nehemiah fixed the Temple tax at a third
of a shekel. This Persian monetary system was
based on the small mina, its unit being the siglos,
which was equal to one-half of the Babylonian
shekel, its ratio to the shekel being 3 to 8.
It was considered the hundredth instead of the fif-
tieth part of the mina, and weighed between 5.61
and 5.73 grams, while the mina weighed between
565 and 573 grams, and the talent between 33,660
and 34,380 kilograms.

In the Maccabean period the Phenician silver
shekel was again current, the Temple tax once more
being a half-shekel (Matt. xvii. 24-27, R. V.). See


Bibliography : C. F. Lelimann, ZtiUclirift flir Ethnolngie,
1889. pp. 372 et scq.; Sitzungsherichte der Archaoloiji^chen
Gesclhchaft, lass, pp. 23 et se<j.; 1893, pp. 6 et seq.; 1,. Herz-
feld, Metr'oloyitiehe Voruntersuclmngen zu einer Gesch.
ffe.s Ihrdischen. liespektive Altjlldischen Handels, Lelpsic,
18613 ; F. de Saulcy, ]Shiml<imati(iue de la Terre Sninte, Paris,
1875; F. W. Madden, Coins of the Jeivs. London, 1881; Tb.
Relnach, Les Monnaies JuivcK, in R. E. J. xv. 'published
separately, Paris, 1888); Ad. Erdmann, Kurze Veheraicht
ilber die' MVtnzneschichte Paliistiiia.s, in Z. D. P. V. ii. 75
et .seq.

E. G. n. W. N.

SHEKINAH (^r2t^•; lit. "the dwelling"): The
majestic presence or manifestation of God wliich
has descended to *' dwell " among men. Like Me.mua
(= " word " ; " logos ") and " Yckara " {i.e., " Kabod "
= " glory "), the term w^as used by the Rabbis in place
of "God "where the anthropomorphic expressions
of the Bible were no longer regarded as proper (see
ANTiiROPOMOurHiSM). The word itself is taken
from such pa.ssages as speak of God dwelling
either in the Tabernacle or among the people of
Israel (see Ex. xxv. 8, xxix. 45-46; Num. v. 3,
XXXV. 34; I Kings vi. 13; Ezek. xliii. 9; Zech. ii. 14
[A. V. 10]). Occasionally the name of God is spo-
ken of as descending (Dent. xii. 11; xiv. 23; xvi.
6, 11 ; xxvi. 2; Neh. i. 9). It is especially said that
God dwells in Jerusalem (Zech. viii. 3; Ps. cxxxv.
21; I Chron. xxiii. 25), on Mount Zicm (Isa. viii.
18; Joel iv. [A. V. iii.] 17, 21; Ps. xv. 1, Ixxiv.
2), and in the Temple itself (Ezek. xliii. 7). Allu-
sion is made also to " him that dwelt in the bush "
(Deut. xxxiii. 16, nJD ''JD5J'); and it is said that
"the glory of the Lord abode upon Mount Sinai"
(Ex. xxiv. 16). The term "Shekinah," which is
Hebrew, whereas "Memra" and " Yekara" are Ara-
maic, took the place of the latter two in Talmud




and Midrash, and thus absorbed the meaning which
they liave in the Targuni, where they almost exclu-
sivc'l}^ occur. Nevertheless tlie word "Sheiiinah"
occurs most frequently in tlie Aramaic versions,
since they were intended for the people and were
actually read to them, and since precautions had
therefore to be taken against possible misunder-
standings in regard to the conception of God. The

word "dwell" in the Hebrew text is

In the accordingly rendered in the Targu-

Targumim.. mini by the phrase " let the Shekinah

rest" {e.g., Ex. xxv. 8; xxix. 45, 46;
Num. V. 3, XXXV. 34; Deut. xxxii. 10 [R. V. "he
compassed him about"]; Ps. Ixxiv. 2). Onkelos
translates "Elohim" in Gen. ix. 27 by "Shekinah":
and wherever the person, the dwelling, or the re-
moteness of God is mentioned, he paraphrases by the
same word (Num. xiv. 14, 42; xvi. 3; xxxv. 34;
Deut. i. 42, iii. 24, iv. 39, vi. 15, vii. 21, xxiii. 16,
xxxi. 17); so too, wherever the Name occurs, he
substitutes for it the term "Shekinah" (Deut.
xii. 5, 11, 31), and "presence" or " face " is trans-
lated the same Avay (Ex. xxxiii. 14-15; Num. vi.
25; Deut. xxxi. 17-18; see Maybaum, "Anthropo-
niorpliien,"etc., pp. 52-54). Targ. pseudo-Jonathan
and Yerushalmi adopt a like system, as in Ps. xvi.
8, Ixxxix. 47, Lam. ii. 19, and Cant. vi. 1 {ib. pp.
64 et seq.). Where the text states that God dwells
in the Temple above the cherubim (as in Hab. ii.

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