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We (and the kohanim) are to eat the kobanot satiated (see below for sources). What is the reason behind this mitzva? It would seem that we would get more enjoyment from eating if we were hungry.

Was the korban pesach eaten only when satiated? quotes the Rambam giving this halacha about Korban Pesach only, but the Rambam does not say why it is so.

Update: Regarding other korbanot, I offer this "all sacrifices must be eaten when one is satiated, to make sure that one does not leave the table of the King when hungry, thus giving a sense of honor and respect to the eating of the sacrifice." Source: http://www.yutorah.org/lectures/lecture.cfm/743728/harav-avigdor-nebenzahl/the-korban-todah-and-sippur-yetziat-mitzrayim/

I see this reason as a non-sequitur rather than a logical reason. If I am invited to go to Shabbos lunch on a day that my shul has a great kiddush, I try hard not to eat anything at the kiddush so I have a good appetite for the lunch. I would think a kihg's table would deserve, even demand, a good appetite as well.

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    Possible duplicate of Was the korban pesach eaten only when satiated? – Daniel May 22 '16 at 22:36
  • You seem to be confusing starting eating while hungry and finishing eating without being full. The line says you shouldn't start hungry so you don't finish hungry. You then argue from a case where you know there will be huge amounts of food to eat later. The only thing non-sequitur here is your argument. – Double AA May 23 '16 at 21:22
  • @DoubleAA Reread my question: "If I am invited to go to Shabbos lunch on a day that my shul has a great kiddush, I try hard not to eat anything at the kiddush so I have a good appetite for the lunch. I would think a kihg's table would deserve, even demand, a good appetite as well." There is no confusion there about starting hungry and finishing satiated. I am saying that to appreciate a meal, and do justice to it, one must be hungry at the outset of the meal. – Yehuda W May 23 '16 at 23:04
  • @YehudaW Depends how big the meal is. To finish satiated when you only have a little to eat, means you need to pregame. Like an appetizer. The confusion is there even if you don't see it yet. – Double AA May 23 '16 at 23:19
  • @DoubleAA Would you say that not finishing hungry is also what Ramba"m meant when he invoked eating the karban pesach as "achilas sova"? I would, but I'm having trouble fitting together the sources. – WAF Mar 8 at 9:23
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We are required to ensure that no matter how little we eat of any korbon, we do not leave the meal hungry. We are also forbidden to have anything after the korbon Pesach. Thus while one can eat other items after or with most korbanos in order not to leave the meal hungry, by the time the korbon Pesach is eaten, one must be satiated.

Rambam Maaseh Hakorbanot - 10:11

Halacha 11

If there was only a small amount [of sacrificial meat], ordinary food and terumah should be eaten with it so that it will be eaten in a satisfying manner.[36] If there is a large amount [of sacrificial meat], ordinary food and terumah should not be eaten with it so that one will not have overeaten.[37] Similar concepts apply with regard to the remainder of the meal offerings.[38]

This gives the basic halacha but it does not explain why. The reason appears to be that the mizbeach is considered "shulchan hamelech", the table of the King. This means that one would be insulting the king if one is not "statisfied" and leaves the table either hungry or having overeaten.

The Korban Todah and Sippur Yetziat Mitzrayim Speaker: HaRav Avigdor Nebenzahl

What do we answer the wise son? All the laws of Pesach until "ein maftirin achar haPesach afikoman". We cannot eat anything after having eaten the Korban Pesach. The sacrifice must be eaten when one is satisfied. In fact, all sacrifices must be eaten when one is satiated, to make sure that one does not leave the table of the King when hungry, thus giving a sense of honor and respect to the eating of the sacrifice. What makes the Korban Pesach unique is that one may not eat anything after partaking of it, not so in other sacrifices.

On Pesach they would eat a special Korban Chagiga prior to the Korban Pesach. In order to fulfill the commandment of not eating anything after the Korban Pesach, we are required to eat the Korban Chagiga prior to eating the Korban Pesach.

  • "We are also forbidden to have anything after the korbon Pesach" seems completely irrelevant. – Double AA May 23 '16 at 13:27
  • @DoubleAA i added an explanation why it is relevant. – sabbahillel May 23 '16 at 13:59
  • I don't see it... – Double AA May 23 '16 at 14:19
  • My point is: I think it is disrespectful to come to a meal without a healthy appetite. So I am seeking other possible explanations for the requirement to come to the meal satisfied. – Yehuda W May 23 '16 at 23:06
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I found one answer: The audio file here (beginning at minute 44) says, All kodshim are eaten satiated because that is the way a King eats. Kings do not come to the table really hungry. http://www.yutorah.org/lectures/lecture.cfm/791610/rabbi-azarya-berzon/defining-achilas-sova-a-unique-halacha-in-korban-pesach,-or-a-universal-halacha-in-all-kodshim/

This seems to be related to the idea that the korban pesach is not eaten hungry so that you will not break the bones (to get to the tasty marrow).

Another reason turned up by a web search: "A korban is not a sacrifice or an offering to satiate the lust of a self-absorbed heavenly ego-maniac. Please. A korban is a spiritual experience intended to bring one closer to the Almighty." http://www.arachim.org/Eng/ArticleDetail.asp?ArticleID=1508&AdminShow=1

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