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I recently heard from two separate people about a custom not to eat any meat at the Seder (i.e. only fish and chicken are eaten). This was surprising to me, as the minhag mentioned in the Mishnah, Gemara and poskim refers specifically to roasted meat. Does anyone have information about this?

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up vote 19 down vote accepted

Taz (Orach Chaim 476:2) mentions such a custom. The people who did so were concerned that any kind of meat might be confused with roast (and as YS noted, the Ashkenazic custom is indeed not to eat roast meat at the Seder).

However, he understands Tur to be saying that it is improper to do so, because the joy of Yom Tov includes eating meat; the best approach, he says, is to eat cooked meat and not worry about any possible confusion.

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Thank you Alex for clarifying. It seems most likely that anyone who does have this custom either comes from those people/places the Taz was referring to or is hunting for stringencies at the expense of the joy of Yom Tov. – Yahu Apr 2 '10 at 15:23
Thanks for that answer! It seems to me that Taz was merely postulating the existence of such a custom in order to resolve the words of the Tur, but he was not personally familiar with people or places who in fact acted that way. I wonder if Yahu is correct about this stringency being "mined" from the Taz without an actual basis in tradition. – Dave Apr 2 '10 at 21:20
Dave, I may be wrong but from my not so un-extensive experience and discussions with "Mahmirim" I have received the impression that they do sometimes "mine" for stringencies. – Yahu Apr 7 '10 at 22:41
Alex the opinion in the Taz seems to forbid chicken as well, unlike the OP. cc @Dave I don't think this should be accepted as it doesn't answer the question. – Double AA Apr 5 at 15:41

Dutch jews have a dairy meal at their seders.

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Maybe they do it K'dei Sheyishalu HaTinokos (so that the children will ask). – Yahu Apr 2 '10 at 18:26
JDH, Welcome to mi.yodeya, and thanks very much for this minhag note! Please consider clicking on "register," above, to create your account. This will give you access to all of mi.yodeya's features and will allow you to take full credit for your contributions. – Isaac Moses Apr 4 '10 at 19:22
What? No way. I wish JDH were around so I could ask some follow-up questions, like, "Really???" And, "All Dutch Jews?" And also, "Is this the reason why?" And finally, "REALLY???" – Seth J Mar 12 '13 at 20:07
Is there any makor for this?! – Yehoshua Mar 27 '13 at 19:58
@SethJ, bring is as your own question. I doubt very much that JDH would be the only person knowledgeable if it is as said here. – Noach MiFrankfurt Apr 9 '15 at 14:52

IIRC, Ashkenazim have a specific custom not to eat lamb at the seder. (For fear it would be confused with a real korban pesach.)

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I assume you say "Ashkenazim" in the sense of people from communities originating in Germany. (Ashkenazim in general certainly do not have a custom to refrain from eating non-roasted lamb.) – Dave Apr 4 '10 at 5:42
I meant Askhenazim in general. I guess I misremembered. – Chanoch Apr 7 '10 at 3:50
Yahu ,watch this at 49.25 minute mark listen you tell me: torahanytime.com/scripts/media.php?file=media/Rabbi/… – SimchasTorah Apr 7 '10 at 23:01
There is an audio too. – SimchasTorah Apr 7 '10 at 23:01
Another custom to avoid confusion with the korban pesach is that Kedassia (kashrus authority) label their "kosher le'pesach" products "Kosher Al Pesach". (Kosher le pesach could be read as fitting to be a korban pesach!) – Avrohom Yitzchok Mar 12 '13 at 21:26

Many Sephardim specifically eat lamb or goat during the Seder as a remembrance.

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One may not eat roast at the Seder since the custom is not to eat any roast meat then (Shulchan Aruch Orach Chayim 476:2).

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Here it is Inside the Mishnah Berurah in english on google books books.google.com/… – SimchasTorah Mar 29 '10 at 17:48
What we call a pot-roast nowadays is not tzli-aish. Technically Tzli-aish is broiling. broiled * cooked by radiant heat (as over a grill) wordnetweb.princeton.edu/perl/webwn roast: (meat) cooked by dry heat in an oven wordnetweb.princeton.edu/perl/webwn – Yahu Apr 1 '10 at 16:33
Fair enough, but Magen Avraham (476:1) says not to eat "tzli kedar" (pot roast) either. Although it is true that one of the Rabbis I asked before Pesach said that this doesn't apply if it's baked or roasted or whatever inside an oven, only on the stovetop or on a grill. – Alex Apr 1 '10 at 21:31
There you go! What we call pot roast is oven baked. – Yahu Apr 2 '10 at 15:19
Edit your answer and I'll vote it back up! – Yahu Apr 2 '10 at 15:20

I never heard of such a custom. Perhaps it is related to the old Ashkenazic custom to not use red wine because of the blood libels. Maybe they were concerned of being accused of cannibalism.

See Alex's answer for the correct answer. Mine was just a theory that seems to be wrong.

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Wow against the Mishnah Berurah thats intresting. – SimchasTorah Apr 1 '10 at 23:11
wait when you say "old Ashkenazic" do you mean Yekki? – SimchasTorah Apr 1 '10 at 23:24
It was not a custom based on the Halachos of Pesach, rather pikuach nefesh. It was way before there was a Mishna Berurah and it was in various Ashkenazic (Yekki, Polish, even Russian) locales were they had these concerns. – Yahu Apr 2 '10 at 15:18

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