decapitate it (Rashi; Ibn Ezra; Bertenoro on Bekhoroth 1:7). The word araf here apparently means to sever the spinal column. The animal is struck on the back of the neck with a cleaver (Bekhoroth 10b, 13a) with enough force to sever the spinal column, the gullet and the windpipe (Yerushalmi, Sotah 9:5, 43a; cf. Sotah 46b). See Exodus 34:20. Also see Deuteronomy 21:4, Isaiah 66:3, Hosea 10:2.
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