Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Only Dairy on Shavuos?

Chazal learned from the verse, “And you shall rejoice on your festival,” that one discharges his obligation of simchas Yom Tov by eating from the flesh of all sorts of offerings. Mar in Pesachim 109, states that there is no rejoicing without the enjoyment of meat, and that one can eat the meat of any dedicated offering for this.

Someone once asked Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach, zt”l, “If one doesn’t eat meat on Yom Tov, has he neglected the mitzvah of ‘v’samachta b’chagecha?’”

The Gadol answered, “Nowadays, one who doesn’t eat meat on Yom Tov isn’t entirely neglecting the mitzvah of simchas Yom Tov since he anyway cannot eat from the meat of the shelamim with which the Jewish people used to discharge their obligation when the Beis HaMikdash still stood. However, a person who abstains has not done the mitzvah b’hidur, in a really befitting fashion.”

Someone once asked a similar question to Rav Moshe Halberstam, zt”l. “Is it an absolute duty to eat meat on Yom Tov?”

The Posek responded, “Many halachic authorities like the Rambam, the Bach, and the Magen Avrohom, zt”l, hold that it is. But even those who disagree maintain that there is nevertheless a mitzvah to eat meat nowadays even in the absence of a chiyuv.”

Although the Shaagas Aryeh, zt”l, wrote that one can fulfill this mitzvah by eating anything that one enjoys, the Divrei Chaim of Tsanz, zt”l, rejected this out of hand. “His words are not necessarily true. One must eat meat!”

For this reason, the Darkei Teshuva, zt”l, held that one may not eat exclusively dairy on Shavuos. “We find that the Maharshal, zt”l, wrote that it is obvious that one must eat meat to since it is impossible to feel truly satisfied and content without eating meat at the mealI saw by my teachers that on Shavuos by day they would eat dairy at Kiddush and then wash their mouths out and wait a while before they continued to eat the meat meal. This is the proper way to celebrate Shavuos!”

. [Note: They are discussing a person who enjoys eating meat but prefers to eat only dairy or Pareve for whatever reason. If one would not enjoy eating the meat then doing so despite this is a violation of the mitzvah to enjoy Yom Tov.]


mherzog said...

That was fascinating. Check this video out: http://meat.org

Tzvi said...

Thank you - very informative. For more on the custom to eat dairy on Shavous see http://www.torahlab.org/doitright/eating_dairy_on_shavous_or_who_moved_my_cheesecake/