Extempore Effusions on the Completion of Masechet Hullin, Prakim 2-3


Rabbi Yohanan was interrogated:
Just how were the birdies created?
On land or on sea?
In between them, said he
Citing verses his students debated.

A menstruant woman was raped
She was dunked when she made her escape
May she sleep with her spouse
May she eat in his house
Teruma; or must we say: Hold that grape!

Shchita is done with one slice
It’s done quickly, and must be precise
Don’t drop the knife
Ere the animal’s life
Has been taken. That will not suffice.

You slaughter a beast and the blood
Lands on pumpkins of Teruma – oh crud!
Can the pumpkins now be
Made impure? Woe is me
Hence aim not for the plants but the mud.

If an animal’s soon gonna die
And you shecht it; or maybe you try.
You must check it was still
Live and well ere you spilled
Its blood. Do its limbs jerk, all awry?

If you inherit a slave — one or two
But you don’t want slaves, what should you do?
Can you then de-accession
Them from your possession
Say: Dad gave me slaves, but I’m through!

Never shecht into the sea
If you’re on a boat, then hopefully
You can shecht off the side
Of the boat as you ride
Let the blood drip down slow, steadily.

אלו טרפות

These are the Treyfot: The brain
Has been punctured within the membrane
Or the skeleton broke
Or the windpipe got poked
Or the wolf trampled, leaving it slain.

If an animal’s hechshered by you
Can you eat it? It seems wrong to do.
For you might be tempted
To have it exempted
From treyfness although it’s not true.

Rabbi Elazar always refused
Any gifts he was sent. And he’d choose
Not to go to a feast
When invited. At least
He’d explain: It’s my life I would lose!

Rabbi Zeyra said: I will not take
Any presents. But if my friends bake
And invite me to eat
Their delectable treats
I’ll accept. It’s for my honor’s sake.

Roman soldiers came into the town
So two rabbis ran, fleeing the crown.
And while fleeing they taught
Rabbi Zeyra: One ought
Check the place where the liver is bound.

Natan HaBavli related:
This poor woman I met – she seemed fated
To lose every son
When Brit Milah was done
So I said: Make your next bris belated.

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