It says in Vayikra Perek 17 Pasuk 13 (Parshas Achrei-Mos):

"וְאִישׁ אִישׁ מִבְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל וּמִן הַגֵּר הַגָּר בְּתוֹכָם אֲשֶׁר יָצוּד צֵיד חַיָּה אוֹ עוֹף אֲשֶׁר יֵאָכֵל וְשָׁפַךְ אֶת דָּמוֹ וְכִסָּהוּ בֶּעָפָר"

And any man of the children of Israel or of the strangers who sojourn among them, who traps a quarry of a wild animal or bird that may be eaten, and sheds its blood, he shall cover it [the blood] with dust.

Rashi says there (See also Sifsei Chachamim):

אשר יצוד: אין לי אלא ציד, אווזין ותרנגולין מנין, תלמוד לומר ציד, מכל מקום. אם כן למה נאמר אשר יצוד, שלא יאכל בשר אלא בהזמנה הזאת

Who traps: [Had the verse stated only this phrase,] we would know only [that this law applies to] creatures that require trapping. But how would we know [that the law includes also] geese and roosters, [which do not require trapping]? Scripture, therefore, adds [the word] צֵיד -a quarry, meaning in any way [even if not trapped]. But if so, why is it stated, “who traps”? [To teach us] that one should not eat flesh except with this preparation, [meaning, that just as one does not go out to trap every day, neither should one eat meat regularly at all his meals, as if he had to go out and trap it]. — [Torath Kohanim 17:111; Chul. 84a]

While I don't think this Rashi is accepted "halacha l'maseh" however still, according to this what would be a possible "heter" (why is it permissible) for people now a days to eat meat or poultry on a regular basis? Or is the answer only going to be since we see this Rashi is not accepted l'halacha that we don't need to come up with a reason why one is allowed to eat lots of meat now a days.

(Text and Translation from Chabad.org)

  • Why do you assume that Rashi's opinion is the halakha? Is this found in any of the Law codes? Commented Apr 19, 2013 at 10:47
  • 1
    @RabbiMichaelTzadok ain hachi nami. I'll edit it to clarify.
    – Yehoshua
    Commented Apr 19, 2013 at 10:50
  • In Torat Kohanim it says: "אם כן למה נאמר אשר יצוד? רבי אומר לימוד תורה דרך ארץ שלא יאכל אדם בשר אלא בהזמנה זו". Chulin 84a also uses the term "למדה תורה דרך ארץ", to describe the rule "that one should not eat flesh except with this preparation".
    – Tamir Evan
    Commented Apr 20, 2013 at 20:17
  • @RabbiMichaelTzadok Re: limiting meat consumption being found in any of the Law codes: How about Mishneh Torah Hilkhot De'ot 5:21[10], which states( in translation): "The Sages have directed [us] regarding the ways of the world: A person should eat meat only with appetite as [Deuteronomy 12:20] states: "If your soul should crave to eat meat..." It is sufficient for the healthy to eat meat [once weekly,] from Sabbath eve to Sabbath eve."
    – Tamir Evan
    Commented Apr 20, 2013 at 20:32
  • 1
    @Yehoshua Harav Meir Eliyahu is and Rav Mizrachi both said it IIRC. Commented Aug 18, 2013 at 20:48

2 Answers 2


The approach given in an Ask Moses article is derived from the previous Lubavitcher Rebbe zt”l. I extract some portions below which indicate that we have to be on the right spiritual level to eat meat. (But then, it seems to imply that one can eat it frequently).

Necessity vs. Luxury The human being cannot live without the vegetable and mineral components of his diet. Thus, he is compelled to eat them by the most basic of his physical drives—the preservation of his existence. Meat, however, is not a necessity but a luxury; the desire for meat is not a desire motivated by need, but desire in its purest sense—the desire to experience pleasure. This means that the elevation of meat requires a greater spiritual sensitivity on the part of its consumer than that of other foods.

The license given to man to partake of the world and subjugate it to serve him is not unconditional. It is contingent upon his sensitivity to the spiritual essence of G-d’s creatures, and his commitment to serve them by making them component parts of his sanctified life. It takes an individual with broad spiritual horizons to properly relish a steak.


Rashi is quoting the Gemara in Chullin (84a). If you look at the continuation of this Gemara, you will see that the concern is about proper balance of financial and health requirements, in other words, the Gemara maintains that meat is healthy but one shouldn't spend too much money on it if he cannot afford to. The Gemara concludes that "for us" who are weak, we must do our utmost ("even borrow") to buy meat (Soncino translation; consult your doctor before dietary implementation):

Hence R. Eleazar b. ‘Azariah said: A man who has a maneh may buy for his stew a litra of vegetables; if he has ten maneh he may buy for his stew a litra of fish; if he has fifty maneh he may buy for his stew a litra of meat; if he has a hundred maneh he may have a pot set on for him every day. And [how often for] the others? From Sabbath eve to Sabbath eve. Said Rab: We must defer to the opinion of the Elder. R. Johanan said: Abba comes from a healthy family, but as for us, whosoever amongst us has a penny in his purse should hasten with it to the shop-keeper. R. Nahman said: As for us, we must even borrow to eat.

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