A select group of 15 avreichim from Kollel Tiferes Shmuel Manchester and their Rosh Kollel Harav Avigdor Roth, made a visit to Machzikei Hadass Manchester beis hashechitah.
After over a year of learning maseches Chullin b’iyun, the kollel spent a few months learning and reviewing the sugyos relevant to shechitah. This was followed by learning Shulchan Aruch, Hilchos Shechitah, enabling the yungeleit to master the many halachos of shechitah.
During the course of the year, expert shochet Rabbi Avrohom Weisfish visited the kollel to deliver shiurim on hilchos shechitah, including a demonstration of how to check the knife (bedikas sakinim) and the exact makom hashechitah. He also explained the various halachic issues that arise in today’s modern commercial shechitah.
As a completion of the halachos, the kollel arranged for a group of yungeleit to visit the local Machzikei Hadass beis hashechitah and see a demonstration of halachah l’maaseh.
After much planning and efforts by MH Kashrus Director Rabbi Yehoshua Abenson, the MH office obtained the permits necessary to allow the group access to observe shechitah. This involved much red tape, owing to the strict food hygiene, health and safety laws.
Also in line with U.K. law, the visit was coordinated with the government’s onsite slaughter inspector, to allow an official students’ viewing of religious slaughter. Plant owner Mr. Richard had to also arrange for his on-site staff to stay overtime at the end of a long day’s work, to allow the demonstration to take place.
The shechitah facility is a relatively minor plant that processes approximately 200 animals daily. The use of a small plant is a major advantage for kosher meat production, as they are better able to accommodate the various hiddurim that are required for producing MH glatt kosher meat.
In order to comply with the health and safety requirements, the yungeleit donned disposable protective clothing on arrival at the plant.
Rabbi Menachem Seemon, rosh hashochtim of Machzikei Hadass, then performed shechitah on a few animals. Rabbi Seemon was a former close talmid of Rabbi Meir Bransdorfer, zt”l, of the Eidah Hachareidis, Yerushalayim. Rabbi Bransdorfer was internationally renowned for his expertise in hilchos shechitah and treifos, and having personally trained and observed Rabbi Seemon for many years, he would use him as his personal shochet mumcheh.
Rabbi Seemon then expertly opened up a carcass, showing the yungeleit the different internal organs, and explained the treifos that are often found, and for which the expert bodkim of Machzikei Hadass check every animal. He also explained in detail the hiddurim performed by the shochtim and bodkim of Machzikei Hadass.