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Mar 3, 2006

the elusive sheep was finally brought to his knees..

Huh?

Here's the story. I have been trying to shecht my second sheep for the past few weeks. The sheep has been elusive and the event kept getting cancelled at the last minute. I heard all sorts of excuses for the "supplier" - it is not sheep season (sheep in winter are smaller and not fully grown yet) now, the sheep did not show up, the supplier disappeared with his phone off. That is aside from the other people involved who had to cancel a few times because of scheduling conflicts. It was getting frustrating.

Tonight the sheep were arranged (there were 2 of them). I was even willing to pick them up in my car (Mazda MPV) for the sake of ensuring they got to where they needed to go. So, I drive all the way out to a little goat farm just outside of Nokdim (just beyond Tekoa) in Gush Etzion. I took my two older sons for the exciting event. It is dark and the roads are not lit. Eventually, after missing our turn a number of times because it is pitch black outside, we finally find it.

We go in and the supplier gets 2 sheep and weighs them. We load them into the car and off we go to Yerushalayim. I had to be careful (I do not know how), Meier (the supplier) warns me, because technically I need an permit to transport livestock, so if the police stop me I could be in trouble. Great. He also did not want to tie their feet together to keep them docile, because the 45 minute ride is too long for them to be tied down like that.

So I had to worry about the police and about the possibility of 2 sheep jumping around in my car, breaking a leg or a window, and leaving their excrement all over the place. Off we go to Yerushalayim. The sheep were pretty well behaved, though a little noisy. They did not jump around, though I did have to clean out some excrement droppings when I got out of the car.

We finally get there. Now get this - we were shechting in some guys house (actually his porch). Don't ask!! We have done this many times, usually with chickens and turkeys. Doing sheep back there is wild. We shlep the sheep out of the car, half carrying them, half pushing them into the house and out to the porch. We find a bunch of people already there shechting turkeys and chickens. Exciting. That means we have to wait with the sheep until they are done.

Finally the time comes. We get the first sheep on the table (I was only shechting one, someone else would be shechting the second). A couple guys hold it down and we tie the feet up so it will not kick anybody. I position myself and check the location of the trachea and esophagus with my hand on his neck. I make the bracha and slice away. It is over pretty fast. The blood spurts out, all over me and some other people. The internal heat of the sheep causes steam to come out of the body, in the cool Jerusalem air. Just like that, in the time it takes to snap a finger, a life can be taken. A mitzva can be done. Excitement is in the air, as everyone wants to see what happened and did the knife cut enough, is the animal kosher, is it glatt, etc? Meanwhile the place look slike a scene out of Texas Chainsaw Massacre. There is blood everywhere and dead chickens on the floor waiting to be disposed of (the non-kosher ones) or kashered. The scene is surreal.

We then flay the sheep, and open him up to check the internal organs for treifos. The sheep has beautiful lungs and organs. Glatt Kosher!! It takes some time, but we cut him up and check the various organs and fats (for learning purposes - normally one does not need to check for most things as they are uncommon, but we wanted to understand what is what). We bag him up and head for home.

It was a late night. The kids had a great time and I had a great time. I did a mitzva that most people do not do themselves anymore and got some great fresh meat in the process! I just finshed kashering all the meat now and have to go to sleep. I have another big day tomorrow, which I will post about then if I have the time..

Good night..

3 comments:

  1. This is one of the strangest things I've ever read on a blog...

    ReplyDelete
  2. I agree with Ezzie, but it must have been quite an experience.

    You sure pulled the wool over the police's eyes. (Sorry, I just had to.)

    ReplyDelete

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