Nowadays, getting Kosher meat is easy. You simply go to the market and buy the Kosher meat wrapped up nicely in a package, complete with reliable Kosher certification symbols. But only a few generations ago, shopping for Kosher chicken was a real big deal.
Here’s a typical scene from the so-called “good old days”:
First, the homemaker would buy a live chicken at the market, or take one of her own from the family chicken coop in the backyard. Then she would bring the chicken to her local Shochet, to have it slaughtered according to Jewish law.
If there was any question whether the chicken was slaughtered properly, or if the chicken looked sickly or had a fractured bone, she would show the chicken to the town’s specially trained expert Rabbi.
BTW: A question of Jewish law is called a She’ailah, popularly pronounced Shylah!
So picture this:
A bunch of homemakers lined up in front of the Rabbi’s home, each one of them holding a slaughtered chicken and waiting for the Rabbi’s verdict. If you didn’t know any better, this would look like quite a peculiar scene!
How strange indeed!