Nikur: The forbidden fats and areas of the cowt that need to be removed

Chapter 6: Nikur

1. To which animals do the laws of Cheilev apply?[1]

Cheilev is only forbidden by Biheimos, such as ox, sheep, and goat. It does not apply to other animals. It does not apply to birds.

2. What is Cheilev?

Any fat which fulfills the following conditions is considered Cheilev:

  1. The fat spreads like a sheet
  2. It contains a thin membrane which peels off of it
  3. The fat is not covered by meat.

3.  From where must one remove Cheilev?[2]

The Cheilev of the flanken [an area near the ribs] and its membrain, is forbidden.

The fat that is under the thigh [the top part of the cow near the tail], is forbidden.

The cow buttocks:[3] The Rama writes that all these fats are only found in the buttocks of the animal while in the front half there is a very slight amount of fat. Today, the custom is not to market the meat found in the buttocks area due to difficulty in removal of all the forbidden fats concentrated in that area.

Being an experienced Menaker: In order to properly be able to remove the forbidden fats it does not suffice to learn the laws in the book but rather one must learn from an experienced expert and watch what areas he removes. The reason for this is because it is not possible to describe these fats very well in a book.

4. Removal of veins:[4]

There are certain Chutin that are forbidden due to their blood containment such as the veins in the hand and shoulder, lower jaw, neck, heart, tail, small intestines.

5. Gid Hanashe:

Why don’t we eat the gid Hanashe: The Ramban explains that by Eisev’s angle hitting the Gid Hanashe all the Tzadkim that descended from Yaakov became affected that they would go through suffering in Galus. The Or Hachaim Hakadosh says that the Gid has no taste being that it contains no holiness. The Malbim writes that the Gid contains a Kelipa of Taavas and one who eats it becomes very materialistic.

Where is the Gid hanashe?  There is an inner Gid and an outer gid. The inner gid is Biblically forbidden while the outer one is Rabbinically forbidden. All the protruding channels are Rabbinically forbidden, and fats are also forbidden due to custom. The Gid extends throughout the entire leg of each leg.

Learning how to remove the Gid Hanashe:[5] One must learn from an expert in order to be able to be a Minaker to remove the Gid Hanashe.

6. . The parts of the animal/bird which must be removed or cut prior to salting:

  • Cheilav
  • Intestines:
  • Veins or arteries[6]
  • Cutting open wounded areas:[7]
  • Liver[8]
  • Removing the chicken head prior to soaking:[9] One is to remove the head of the chicken prior to soaking it for 30 minutes.
  • Removing the feathers: Those which remove the feathers using a flame must be careful that the chicken is cleaned from any blood as well as that it moves through the flame very quickly.


[1] 64:1

[2] 64:6-7

[3] Yeshuos Yaakov 64:2

[4] 65

[5] Rama 65:8

[6] 67:4

[7] Hakashrus 9:49

[8] 73

[9] Kitzur SH”A 36:13

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