Hazon is planning its second annual Kosher Food Conference and they have decided to shecht (ritually slaughter) an animal, probably a lamb, so attendees can see what kosher slaughter is. Nigel Savage writes on The Jew and the Carrot:
…So now we’re planning the 2nd Annual Hazon Food Conference, and started to get into this. How do we do it? Is it legal? Where do we do it? Who does it? How do we get it certified as kosher?
The first thing we found out (and this surprised me): meat has to be hung up for a few days before you can eat it. So we couldn’t, for instance, shecht a goat on Friday afternoon and then eat it for Friday night dinner. (Or a lamb either, of course). The solution to that is: we’ll shecht two animals: one on Friday afternoon, and anyone who wants to see an animal being killed will be able to see that. But we’ll also shecht one a week before, and that’ll be the one we’ll eat on Friday night.…
Doesn't it just charm you when an official of a Jewish organization that deals extensively with kosher food production issues doesn't have a clue when comes to, well, actual kosher food production?
Meat does not need to be be "hung up" for a few days before you can eat it. Think back to the Temple, Nigel, and the sacrifices offered there. The Torah (that book you sometimes refer to when making statements of purpose) actually describes various sacrifices in some detail. Nowhere in that detail is a command to "hang up" the meat for a few days before consumption. In fact, quite the opposite is true.
So one must presume you mean to say that the animal you slaughter will taste better if the meat is aged for a few days before cooking. While this may be true – certainly aged steaks are preferred in the non-kosher world – it is by no means necessary or even critical. Most meat eaten today is not aged. It is slaughtered, processed and vacuum-sealed within a couple of hours and is then either immediately frozen or refrigerated. It is not aged.
As for the problem mentioned later in the post, here is how to get your animal kosher certified:
- Ask the rabbi who certifies the conference center kitchen to recommend a shochet.
- Get a letter from the kosher certifying agency approving that shochet and permitting the use of the meat from that slaughter on a one-time basis. Make sure to point out that the slaughter is being done for Jewish educational purposes.
- Be prepared to pay to have a rabbi of the kosher certifying agency's choice supervise the slaughter, bedika (checking the lungs), treibering (removal of forbidden fats, etc.), and koshering of the meat.
- Allot several hours pre-cooking for bedika, treibering, soaking, salting and related work.
- Have a back-up plan in case the animal is ruled non-kosher after slaughter.
- Have a plan for use of the animal's hindquarters that does not include a Jew eating its meat.
In other words, there is more to kosher slaughter than the act of slaughter itself. You must be prepared to do all that is necessary to make the animal's meat kosher for use.
If you can do all that, you should be able to shecht an animal for kosher consumption at your conference.