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?


7 Answers 7


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.

  • 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
    Commented Apr 2, 2010 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
    Commented Apr 2, 2010 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
    Commented Apr 7, 2010 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
    Commented Apr 5, 2016 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
    Commented Apr 2, 2010 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
    Commented Apr 4, 2010 at 19:22
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    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
    Commented Mar 12, 2013 at 20:07
  • Is there any makor for this?!
    – Yehoshua
    Commented Mar 27, 2013 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. Commented Apr 9, 2015 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.)

  • 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
    Commented Apr 4, 2010 at 5:42
  • I meant Askhenazim in general. I guess I misremembered.
    – Chanoch
    Commented Apr 7, 2010 at 3:50
  • Yahu ,watch this at 49.25 minute mark listen you tell me: torahanytime.com/scripts/media.php?file=media/Rabbi/… Commented Apr 7, 2010 at 23:01
  • There is an audio too. Commented Apr 7, 2010 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!) Commented Mar 12, 2013 at 21:26

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


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).

  • Here it is Inside the Mishnah Berurah in english on google books books.google.com/… Commented Mar 29, 2010 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
    Commented Apr 1, 2010 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
    Commented Apr 1, 2010 at 21:31
  • There you go! What we call pot roast is oven baked.
    – Yahu
    Commented Apr 2, 2010 at 15:19
  • Edit your answer and I'll vote it back up!
    – Yahu
    Commented Apr 2, 2010 at 15:20

I am Sephardi of Spanish origin and my family minhag is to eat oven-roasted lamb and rice for the Seder. Rabbi Dr. R.M. Saloman, Jerusalem.

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    Welcome to Mi Yodeya! This seems more like a comment than an answer. When you earn enough reputation you'll be able to post a comment on any question.
    – DonielF
    Commented Apr 10, 2017 at 12:01
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    The question was about a minhag to eat only chicken or fish. This does not answer the question. Commented Apr 10, 2017 at 12:07
  • @sabbahillel I think it's okay. It records a counter-minhag.
    – MTL
    Commented Apr 10, 2017 at 12:23
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    @Shokhet Why does that help? The OP was clearly aware of the custom that you don't only eat fish/chicken at the Seder.
    – Double AA
    Commented Apr 10, 2017 at 12:38

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.

  • Wow against the Mishnah Berurah thats intresting. Commented Apr 1, 2010 at 23:11
  • wait when you say "old Ashkenazic" do you mean Yekki? Commented Apr 1, 2010 at 23:24
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    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
    Commented Apr 2, 2010 at 15:18
  • See my answer at mi.yodeya.com/questions/644/red-white-wine-at-the-seder/651#651
    – Yahu
    Commented Apr 2, 2010 at 15:27

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