OPINIONS: It is a widespread custom to roast a shankbone the day before
Pesach to place on the Seder-plate to commemorate the Korban Pesach (OC
The Mishnah earlier (53a) states that there are places where people have the
practice not to eat roasted meat on Pesach night, in order not to appear as
though they are eating Kodshim b'Chutz. The TUR (OC 476) and Poskim write
that in our regions, it is the custom not to eat roasted meat on Pesach
night. Is it permitted to eat the roasted shankbone?
(a) Our Gemara says that it is only forbidden to eat roasted meat if it was
roasted "Mekulas," that is, if the entire lamb or goat was roasted together.
If even one limb was cut off of the animal, it is not forbidden because it
does not resemble the Korban Pesach.
HALACHAH: The opinion of the Rambam is cited as Halachah by the TUR and
SHULCHAN ARUCH (OC 476). The Tur adds, based on the Yerushalmi, that even
calf's meat or fowl, or any animal that requires Shechitah, may not be eaten
roasted on Seder night. Roasted or fried fish are permitted because fish
does not require Shechitah.
Rashi explains that this prohibition was stated with regard to a place which
has the custom *not* to eat roasted meat on Pesach night. Therefore, it
should be permitted to eat the shankbone, which was roasted by itself, even
on the night of the Seder.
(b) However, the RAMBAM (Hilchos Chametz u'Matzah 8:11) writes that even in
the places where they *permitted* eating roasted meat, it is prohibited if
the whole lamb was roasted. That is, our Gemara, according to the Rambam, is
discussing a place where the custom is to eat roasted meat on the Pesach
night. In a place in which the practice is not to eat roasted meat, it is
forbidden to eat even a piece of meat, such as the shankbone, that was
roasted by itself. This is also the opinion of the ROSH (Pesachim 4:6).
Does the prohibition apply to Pesach morning as well? The CHASDEI DAVID (on
the Tosefta quoted in the Gemara) says that it applies in the morning as
well. However, the DARCHEI MOSHE (OC 473) writes that the prohibition
applies only Pesach night, as the Tosefta seems to imply ("Leilei
The Tur also mentions that it is a "proper custom" ("Minhag Kosher") to eat
*cooked* meat during the Seder. It is not clear exactly why he calls it a
proper custom. The TAZ suggests that it is proper because of the obligation
to experience Simchas Yom Tov through eating meat, at the same time avoiding
roast. (It might also serve to commemorate the Korban Pesach, even though
the Korban Pesach was roasted.)