שאין כותבין כתובה לזכרים ואחת שאין שוקלין בשר המת במקולין ואחת שמכבדין את התורה: that they do not write a marriage contract for a wedding between two males; although they violate the prohibition against engaging in homosexuality, they are not so brazen as to write a marriage contract as for a regular marriage. And one of the three mitzvot is that although they are suspected of eating human beings, they do not weigh the flesh of the dead in butcher shops [bemakkulin] and sell it publicly; and one is that they honor the Torah.
ואינו נוהג בעוף: והא קא חזינן דאית ליה אית ליה ולא עגיל § The mishna teaches (89b) that the prohibition of eating the sciatic nerve does not apply to a bird due to the fact that the verse is referring to the sciatic nerve as being “upon the spoon of the thigh” (Genesis 32:33), and a bird has no spoon of the thigh. The Gemara challenges: But we see that it does have a protrusion of flesh on its thigh. The Gemara answers: It has a protrusion, but that protrusion is not rounded.
בעי רבי ירמיה אית ליה לעוף ועגיל אית ליה לבהמה ולא עגיל מאי בתר דידיה אזלינן או בתר מיניה אזלינן תיקו: Rabbi Yirmeya raises a dilemma: If a bird has a protrusion on its thigh bone and it is rounded, or an animal has a protrusion on its thigh bone but it is not rounded, what is the halakha? Do we follow it, i.e., does the status of the sciatic nerve depend upon the physical properties of each particular animal, or do we follow its species, so that the sciatic nerve of an animal is always forbidden and that of a bird is always permitted? The Gemara responds: The question shall stand unresolved.
ונוהג בשליל: אמר שמואל וחלבו מותר לדברי הכל § The mishna states that the prohibition of the sciatic nerve applies to a late-term animal fetus in the womb. Rabbi Yehuda says: It does not apply to a fetus; and its fat is permitted. Shmuel says: When the mishna states: And its fat is permitted, that is according to everyone.
חלבו דמאי אילימא דשליל והא מיפלג פליגי ביה דתניא נוהג בשליל וחלבו אסור דברי רבי מאיר רבי יהודה אומר אינו נוהג בשליל וחלבו מותר The Gemara asks: The fat of what? If we say that it is referring to the fat of a fetus, don’t the tanna’im disagree about it, as it is taught in a baraita: The prohibition of the sciatic nerve applies to a late-term fetus, and its fat is prohibited; this is the statement of Rabbi Meir. Rabbi Yehuda says that the prohibition of the sciatic nerve does not apply to a late-term fetus, and its fat is permitted.
ואמר ר' אלעזר אמר ר' אושעיא מחלוקת בבן תשעה חי והלך ר"מ לשיטתו ורבי יהודה לשיטתו And Rabbi Elazar says that Rabbi Oshaya says in explanation of the baraita: This dispute applies to a nine-month-old, i.e., a full-term, fetus that remains alive after its mother has been slaughtered. And Rabbi Meir followed his general opinion in this regard (see 74a), that this fetus is considered a live animal independent of its mother. Consequently, it must undergo ritual slaughter in order for its meat to be permitted for consumption, and its fats and sciatic nerve are forbidden like those of any other animal. And Rabbi Yehuda followed his general opinion that such a fetus is not considered a live animal but rather part of its mother. Consequently, it does not require ritual slaughter, and its fats and sciatic nerve are permitted.
ואלא חלבו דגיד הא מיפלג פליגי בה דתניא גיד הנשה מחטט אחריו בכל מקום שהוא וחותך שמנו מעיקרו דברי ר"מ רבי יהודה אומר גוממו עם השופי But rather, perhaps Shmuel’s statement was said with regard to the fat of the sciatic nerve. But the tanna’im disagree about this case as well, as it is taught in a baraita: With regard to the sciatic nerve, one scrapes around it to remove it entirely in any place that it is found in the thigh, and one cuts out its fat from its source, i.e., even the fat that is embedded in the flesh; this is the statement of Rabbi Meir. Rabbi Yehuda says: One cuts out the nerve and fat so that they are level with the flesh [hashufi] of the thigh, but there is no need to scrape out the parts embedded in the flesh. Consequently, there is a dispute about the fat surrounding the sciatic nerve as well.
לעולם חלבו דגיד ומודה שמואל דלר"מ מדרבנן אסור דתניא ושמנו מותר וישראל קדושים נהגו בו איסור מאי לאו ר"מ היא דאמר מותר מן התורה ואסור מדרבנן The Gemara answers: Actually, Shmuel was referring to the fat of the sciatic nerve, and Shmuel concedes that according to the opinion of Rabbi Meir the fat surrounding the sciatic nerve is forbidden by rabbinic law but permitted by Torah law. As it is taught in a baraita: Its fat is permitted by Torah law, but the Jewish people are holy and treated it as forbidden. The Gemara infers: What, is it not that this baraita is in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Meir, who said that the fat is permitted by Torah law but forbidden by rabbinic law?
ממאי דילמא רבי יהודה היא אבל לרבי מאיר מדאורייתא נמי אסיר The Gemara challenges this: From where can it be proven that this baraita is in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Meir? Perhaps it is in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Yehuda, but according to the opinion of Rabbi Meir it is even forbidden by Torah law.
לא ס"ד דתניא גיד הנשה מחטט אחריו בכל מקום שהוא ושמנו מותר מאן שמעת ליה דאית ליה חטיטה ר"מ וקאמר שמנו מותר The Gemara rejects this challenge: It would not enter your mind that this baraita is in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Yehuda, as it is taught in a baraita: With regard to the sciatic nerve, one scrapes around it to remove it entirely from any place that it is found in the thigh, and its fat is permitted. The Gemara explains: Whom have you heard who holds that scraping is required? It is Rabbi Meir. And the baraita states that its fat is permitted. Consequently, Rabbi Meir must hold that the fat surrounding the sciatic nerve is permitted by Torah law and forbidden by rabbinic law.
אמר רב יצחק בר שמואל בר מרתא אמר רב לא אסרה תורה אלא קנוקנות שבו עולא אמר עץ הוא והתורה חייבה עליו § With regard to the sciatic nerve Rav Yitzḥak bar Shmuel bar Marta says that Rav says: The Torah prohibited only its thin, tendril-like nerve fibers [kenokanot] that branch off and run alongside the sciatic nerve, under the flesh. By contrast, the sciatic nerve itself, which is inedible and has no flavor, is therefore considered like wood rather than food, and is not forbidden. Conversely, Ulla says: The sciatic nerve is inedible and has no flavor, like wood, but nevertheless the Torah rendered one liable for eating it.
אמר אביי כוותיה דעולא מסתברא דאמר רב ששת אמר רב אסי חוטין שבחלב אסורין ואין חייבין עליהן אלמא חלב אמר רחמנא ולא חוטין הכא נמי גיד אמר רחמנא ולא קנוקנות Abaye said: It stands to reason that the halakha is in accordance with the opinion of Ulla, because Rav Sheshet said that Rav Asi said: The strands of veins that are in the forbidden fat are forbidden, but one is not liable for eating them. Apparently, when the Merciful One states in the Torah that it is prohibited to eat fat, the prohibition applies only to the fat itself but not to the strands of veins. Here also, the Merciful One states in the Torah that it is prohibited to eat the sciatic nerve, but that does not include the tendril-like nerve fibers.
גופא אמר רב ששת אמר רב אסי חוטין שבחלב אסורין ואין חייבין עליהן שבכוליא אסורין ואין חייבין עליהן לובן כוליא רבי ורבי חייא חד אסר וחד שרי § The Gemara now returns to the matter itself cited in the discussion above: Rav Sheshet said that Rav Asi said: The strands of veins that are in the forbidden fat are forbidden, but one is not liable for eating them. The strands of veins that are in the kidney are forbidden, but one is not liable for eating them. With regard to the white fat of the kidney, there is a dispute between Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi and Rabbi Ḥiyya: One of them prohibits its consumption, because it is similar to the fats that are prohibited by the Torah; and one of them permits eating it.
רבה ממרטט ליה ר' יוחנן ממרטט ליה רבי אסי גאים ליה אמר אביי כוותיה דרבי אסי מסתברא דאמר רבי אבא אמר רב יהודה אמר שמואל The Gemara relates that Rabba would scrape every remnant of white fat away from the kidney. Similarly, Rabbi Yoḥanan would scrape it away from the kidney. By contrast, Rabbi Asi would cut it from the surface of the kidney but would not scrape out the rest of it. Abaye said: It stands to reason that the halakha is in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Asi, because Rabbi Abba said that Rav Yehuda said that Shmuel said: