Is there any unambiguous source which says it is a halacha to eat "meat" at a Seudat miztvah?

I am aware of the many opinions which says that meat is only optional. I'm looking for sources which say it is not

  • In this Kof-K Publication (Halachically Speaking - Making a Siyum), he brings the following: "Upon finishing a mesechta, there is a mitzvah to wash on bread and have a seuda. If one is unable to do this then eating mezonos is suffice." He doesn't mention anything about meat. I haven't looked up the sources he brings so maybe they discuss it there. I've also never seen a siyum on Erev Pesach (for the fast of the first born) that served meat. I'm not sure if that proves anything though. Also, even though a siyum is... – Menachem Sep 12 '11 at 19:30
  • ...a joyous celebration, I've never seen anyone mandate wine at the celebration either, even though the Talmud tells us that these days there is no joy without wine. Since that same Talmud is (I think) the source for having meat at festive occasions, maybe we have to say that the Joy of a Siyum is a different level of joy with regards to the obligations of what one must eat at it. – Menachem Sep 12 '11 at 19:30
  • I am aware of the many opinions which says that meat is only optional. I'm looking for sources which say it is not. – avi Sep 12 '11 at 19:33

In Tshuvos V'hanhagos 3:294, R. Moshe Shternbuch writes that ideally a bris should have a seudah with meat because of the use of the word 'sasson' (in addition to simcha) which implies a more extravagant affair -- something which people will notice as being fancier, like a wedding seudah. So at least for a bris and wedding seudos mitzvah, it would seem ideal to serve meat.

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    What people will notice as fancy sounds inherently subjective, which makes me wonder whether R' Shternbuch considers that angle, as Shalom says R' Welcher does. – Isaac Moses Sep 12 '11 at 14:27
  • He writes "specifically meat" when he describes a "nice meal" – Curiouser Sep 12 '11 at 14:29
  • but does he discuss the idea of subjectivity at all? – Isaac Moses Sep 12 '11 at 14:30
  • No, he does not. He assumes "unambiguously" (as the questioner asked) that a nice meal involves meat and thus one should serve meat at a bris or wedding. – Curiouser Sep 12 '11 at 14:32
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    @avi: He starts off referring to his previous tshuva where he said meat wasn't necessary at a bris because it was too expensive and people don't usually eat it in the morning; however, he then says that there is a basis to disagree with his previous decision and he elaborates that here. So he changed his mind, although he retains the earlier defense of no-meat for those who can't afford it. – Curiouser Sep 12 '11 at 23:31

Well we allow it during the Nine Days, when we otherwise wouldn't. But that could simply be "the meal is so joyous you can have meat if you want it", not "you must have it."

Someone asked Rabbi Herschel Welcher about meat for Purim Seudah. He said the meal should be whatever you consider a festive meal; for many of us, that means meat; but if you're a dairy person and eggplant parmigiana or whatnot is what does it for you (and let's say you'd do it every so often for shabbos too), then that's fine too.

With regards to yomtov, in Temple times there was an obligation to eat sacrificial meat; today there's some talk about whether the "meat and wine for men" as described by the Gemara as fulfillment of "yom tov joy" is an objective requirement, or merely an illustration for most people.

Although the biography of Rabbi Moshe Feinstein (prefacing Igros Moshe vol. 8) said he would make sure to eat one piece of meat at all yomtov meals; even if the meal was dairy, he would then have a small piece of meat afterwards. But again that's his personal practice ...

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