The laws of Treifos: Understanding Chalak/Glat Kosher meat, Tzomes Hagidin, Buka Deutma, Sirchos

Chapter 9: Treifos

1. The 8 Treifos:

The acronym of the eight Treifos:

  1. Derusa:
  2. Nekuva
  3. Chaseira
  4. Netula
  5. Kerua
  6. Nefula
  7. Pesuka
  8. Shevura
  1. Derusa: Is an animal which received a puncturing due to an attack by a predator. It is only considered a Derusa if it was punctured by the forelegs of the animal which contrains venom. If the animal was bit or stabed by the back legs of the predator it is not considered a Derusa as no venom is released, although if a vital organ is injured due to an attack it would be a Treifa for other reasons. The above applies only when the predator intentionally attacks the animal, as only then is venom released. Not all predators have Derusa as not all of them contain venom. The following animals have Derusa: Lion; wolf; cat. A dog does not have Derusa.

Cat entered chicken coop: In such a case all the chicken in the coop has a question of Derusa.[1]  Because of this issue all slaughter houses with a Hashgacha have a barbed fence completely enclosing the slaughter house and have constant patrol to verify there are no cats found. If a cat entered they bring an exterminator.

  1. Nekuva: A hole in a vital organ deems the animal a Treifa. For example, a hole in the brain, or esophagus, or the lungs. Most of the laws of Treifos deel with the types of holes in different organs and the appropriate details.
  2. Chaseira: The lack of certain vital organs due to birth defects deem the animal a Treifa. If an animal has two of a certaion vital organ it is considered as if it is lacking that organ.
  3. Netuala: If a vital organ was removed from the animal in certain cases the animal is deemed a Treifa.
  4. Kerua: Is if the meat covering the Keres stomach [the large stomach] is torn from the stomach, the animal is deemed a Treifa.
  5. Nefula: If an animal fell from a certain height it is at times deemed a Treifa.
  6. Pesuka: A cut in the spinal cord at certain times deems the animal is a Pesuka.
  7. Shevura: If majority of the ribs have broke or there is a break in the skull the animal is deemed a Treifa.

2. What parts of the animal must be checked to verify there are no Treifos found?[2]

Under normal circumstances, one is not required to check any of the limbs of the animal or fowl for Treifa invalidations. This is with exception to the lungs of an, animal [not fowl] which must be checked to verify whether it has a Sircha. A sircha is a piece of fat that grows out of the lung and generally is a sign of a hole in the lung that is being stopped shut by this growth of fat. The reason this must be checked is because this form of Treifa invalidation is a very common occurrence.

List of areas that today must be checked upon Shechita:

  1. Lungs
  2. Intestines [as today it is common for intestines to be punctured by hormone needles].
  3. Tozmes Hagidim, the sinews of the legs
  4. Buka Deitma [The socket which holds the upper legs of the cow]

3. The laws of Sirchas:

The Michaber rules that only if the fat attachment goes from one compartment of the lung to another out of order, is it invalidated. If it is attached to the compartment that is next to it, then it is Kosher. The Rama rules that they are all invalid.

Rubbing the Sirchas: The Michaber rules that both thin and thick Sirchas have the same status and are always invalid [if they are Lo Kisidran, not in order]. He concludes that those Jews who rub the Sircha and deem the lung and animal Kosher if the Sircha falls apart as a result of their rubbing, that they are feeding Treif meat to the Jewish people.[3] Nevertheless, the Michaber writes that a G-d fearing well experienced Bodek may enter his finger under the Sircha and pull it upwards and if the sircha breaks the animal is Kosher, if the animal belongs to a Jew. [Dispute between Beis David and Kneses Hagewdola if allowed even if the lung gets lifted when pulling] The reason why we allow the above is because it is a sign that the Sircha is one day old.[4] Furthermore, the Michaber is lenient by Jewish animals to allow a G-d fearing well experienced Bodek to swiftly enter his hands into the lung area and any Sirchas that break and are not found attached to the lung or Dofen are Kosher.[5]

The opinion of the Rama:[6] The Rama brings that some are lenient to permit rubbing sirchas and if they break, they Kasher the animal, as this is a sign that it is not a real Sircha. Practially so is the custom of all Ashkenazi communities, and one is not to protest against them. Nevertheless, by young calves, this Heter is not accustomed to be used.     

What is Chalak/Glat: The term chalak or glat means smooth. It refers to a smooth lung that has no Sirchas and is thus Kosher according to all opinions. If the meat had a lung with a rubbed Sircha they simply write that it is Kosher.

Why do we water the animal before Shechting:[7] One is to give a final beverage to the animal that is awaiting slaughtering in order to dimish the ch.ances of finding Sirchas by the lungs.

Chicken lungs: Chicken lungs do not have sirchas and hence used to not be checked. However, today there are a number of common lung illnesses and thus chicken must have its lungs checked to verify it does not contain any illnesses. The following are signs of illnesses: Change of color of the lung; a blister in the lung; a disintegrated lung; a dry lung. Some areas in the diapsora do not check chicken lungs for Treifos being that it is not common for them to contract these illneses.

4. Tzomes Hagidin:

The parts of the leg: [8] The leg has three parts. The top part is called the Kulis, under it is called the Shok, and under it is called the Arkuva. If the Arkuva is cut the animal remains Kosher. If the Kulis is cut, it is a Treifa. If there is a cut in the Shok, then if this cut occured the Tzomes Hagidin it is Treif, if not then it remains Kosher.

Injury within the Tzomes Hagidin: If the Tzomes Hagdim becomes torn or removed, the animal is a Treifa even if the bone of the Shuk remains intact.

The sinews of an animal:[9] There are three sinews by the leg of an animal, one is thick the other two are thin. It is only Treif if majority of the thick and one thin sinew tear.

The sinews of a chicken:[10] A chicken has 16 sinews, and if any of them tear it is a Treifa.

Must one today check the Gidim for tears? It used to be that one was not required to check the Tzomes Hagidim. However, today due to the artificial chickens feeding process, in which the chickens grow to an adult size in three weeks, their legs cannot hold their body weight and causes ruptures in the sinews. In the diaspora this issue is not so common and hence not all places check the gidim.

Where are the sinews checked for: There are two methods of checking the Gidim used by Hashgachas. Some check by the bottom of the leg which is thrown out. Others check by the pulka.

5. Buka Dutma

If the Kulis bone became dislocated, whether by an animal or fowel, the animal or fowel is a Treifa.        

6. Drusa:[11]

Drisa is not equal to all animals. The wolf has Drisa to Beheima Dakas like sheep, but not to a Biheima Gasa.

7. Nefula:

If an animal or chicken falls, from a distnace of 10 Tefach [48 cm] from the ground, it is a Nefula and one must suspect for a Treifa. If the animal got up after the fall and walked normally, it is Kosher. If it limped or did not get up, then it must be checked according to the Michaber. According to the Rama, it is Treifa as we are no longer expert in this Bedika. If the animal or chicken jumped intentionally, it is never a Nefula irrelevant of height.

How is the law of Nefula practical in todays times: When chickens are kept in small cages it is needed for one to supervise that no workers throw the crates around, as this renders the chickens inside as a Nefula.

8. Supervising the drug intake of animals and fowl:

If an animal or chicken has been punctured in a vital organ by the needle used to administer the drug it is a Treifa. For this reason, one must supervise the chickens and cattle during the shots to verify the shot is given in a non-vital area of the animal. A regular chicken of which one has no knowledge of whether it was been administered drugs, may be eaten, although initially one should only buy chickens that have supervision against shots.

9. Checking the Korkaban and throat:

One must check the gizzard of a chicken to verify that it does not have a hole. A turkey must have its large vein cut prior to salting.

10. Other forms of Treifos that are not listed in the Torah?

The Rambam rules that all illness or medical issues that were not listed by the Sages are not considered Treifa. Furthermore, even if all doctors of the world claim a certain illness is deadly while another is not, we do not listen to their evaluation and rather only follow those illnesses listed in the Torah whether to be stringent or lenient.

Sippurei Tzadikim: It used to be the custom to send ill Jewish patients to cities or countries of which their Rabbanim rule leniently regarding their illness that is found within an animal.



11. Different laws relating to Chalak meat:[12]

A. Should Ashkenazim be stringent to eat only Chalak meat?

It is proper to be stringent to eat only Chalak meat even according to those that follow the rulings of the Rama.


B. May a Sefradi eat non-Chalak meat at an Ashkenazi home or Simcha?

No. However if he is unsure whether the meat is Chalak and he is unable to verify then he may eat it as it is a Sfek Sfeka.


C. May a Sefardi eat other foods cooked in pots that were used for non-Chalak meat?



D. If Chalak meat was cooked together with non-Chalak may a Sefradi eat the Chalak piece?



E. Geletin and Glicirine:[13]

Geletin is a substance that is used in most chewy foods and many other innocent looking products, such as medicine capsuls [advil, tylonal, vitamins]. Geletin is made from Treif animal bones after a thourough process of hydration and reformation until the fat receives its gelatin form. Glycirine is made from various parts of Treif animals. Thus, any product that contains glycerene or gelatin must have a reliable Hashgacha. Recently gelatin is being produced from fish fat for the Kosher consumer public.


F.  What is the law if one found a broken bone by his chicken?[14]

If the Hashgacha is a reliable Hashgacha, one can assume it occurred after the death of the chicken, during the processing and packaging process. If, however, one sees a bruise by the area or other evidence that the bone broke while the animal was alive, one must be stringent.



[1] 57:5

[2] 39:1

[3] 39:10

[4] 39:11

[5] 39:13

[6] 39:13

[7] 39:12

[8] 55:1

[9] 56:7

[10] 56:7

[11] 57:1

[12] Chalak: Hakashrus p. 226 and page 235

[13] Gelitin and Glicirene: Hakashrus 234

[14] Hakashrusp. 236

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