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While an assistant extends the cow's neck by pushing the cow's chin with a specially shaped poll,
the shochet performs the shechita, taking the cow's life with one cut through the trachea,
esophagus, and carotid arteries. Y.D. 20:4 explains that the shochet pulls the trachea forward
before the shechita so that it is cut first. In 22:2, the Mechaber explains that the carotid
arteries don't have to be cut as part of the shechita for the shechita to be valid, though if
they are not cut, the animal cannot be roasted whole and the arteries themselves must be removed
and discarded. As animals are rarely (and today never) roasted whole, this isn't considered a major issue.
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on Mon Aug 29 10:42:30 2005