SECTION 469 Not to Designate Meat for Pesach (1-5)

סימן תסט שֶׁלֹּא לְיַחֵד בָּשָׂר לְפֶסַח וּבוֹ ה' סְעִיפִים:

1 It is forbidden for a person to say (regarding an animal he owns), “[Its] meat will be for Pesach.”1 Needless to say, he may not make such a statement regarding a goat kid or a lamb, because of the impression that might be created. A listener might think that he is consecrating [the animal] as a Pesach [sacrifice].2 Afterwards, when [the person] partakes of [the animal’s meat], it will appear that he is eating sacrificial meat outside [Jerusalem].3

[The prohibition is not restricted to a goat kid or lamb.] One should not say with regard to any type of domesticated animal, non-domesticated animal, or fowl,4 whether alive or slaughtered, “[Its] meat shall be for Pesach.” Rather he should say, “[Its] meat shall be for the festival.” Were [the person] to say, “…for Pesach,” a listener might think that he is consecrating the [animal’s] meat [to use] the money [he receives for it] for the Pesach sacrifice, i.e., he will sell the meat and use [the proceeds of the sale] to purchase a Pesach sacrifice. Thus, when he eats this meat afterwards, it will appear that he is misappropriating a consecrated article.5

Similarly, a person should not tell his agent, “Take this money and use it to purchase meat for Pesach for me.” Instead, he should say, “…purchase meat for the festival for me.”6

א אָסוּר לָאָדָם שֶׁיֹּאמַר (עַל בְּהֶמְתּוֹ): "בָּשָׂר זֶה לְפֶסַח הוּא",א,1 וְאֵין צָרִיךְ לוֹמַרב שֶׁלֹּא יֹאמַר כֵּן עַל גְּדִי וְטָלֶה,ג מִפְּנֵי מַרְאִית הָעַיִן, שֶׁהַשּׁוֹמֵעַ סָבוּר שֶׁהוּא מַקְדִּישׁ אוֹתָם לְפֶסַח,ד,2 וְאַחַר כָּךְ כְּשֶׁיֹּאכְלֵם יְהֵא נִרְאֶה כְּאוֹכֵל קָדָשִׁים בַּחוּץ.ה,3 אֶלָּא אֲפִלּוּ עַל שׁוּם מִין בְּהֵמָהו חַיָּהז וָעוֹף,ח,4 בֵּין חַיִּים בֵּין שְׁחוּטִיםט – לֹא יֹאמַר: "בָּשָׂר זֶה לְפֶסַח", אֶלָּא יֹאמַר: "בָּשָׂר זֶה לְיוֹם טוֹב",י שֶׁאִם יֹאמַר: "לְפֶסַח", יְהֵא הַשּׁוֹמֵעַ סָבוּר שֶׁמַּקְדִּישׁ הַבָּשָׂר לִדְמֵי פֶּסַח,יא דְּהַיְנוּ שֶׁיִּמְכֹּר הַבָּשָׂר וְיִקַּח פֶּסַח בְּדָמָיו,יב וְאַחַר כָּךְ כְּשֶׁיֹּאכַל הוּא עַצְמוֹ אֶת הַבָּשָׂר – יְהֵא נִרְאֶה כְּמוֹעֵל בְּקָדָשִׁים.יג,5

וְכֵן לֹא יֹאמַר אָדָם לִשְׁלוּחוֹ: "הֵילָךְ מָעוֹת הַלָּלוּ וְקַח לִי בָּהֶם בָּשָׂר לְפֶסַח",יד אֶלָּא יֹאמַר: "קַח לִי בָּשָׂר לְיוֹם טוֹב":6

2 One may, however, say, “This is for Pesach,” with regard to fish or other substances that are not at all like meat. Certainly, a listener will not think that [the person] is consecrating this substance [to use] the money he receives for it [for the Pesach sacrifice. The rationale is that] the item in question shares no connection with the Pesach sacrifice since it is not a type of meat.7

There are authorities who maintain that one should refrain from saying, “This is for Pesach,” regarding any entity other than wheat or the like, [i.e., substances] that must be watched lest they become chametz.8 [Wheat is an exception because when] a listener hears [a person] say, “These [kernels of] wheat are for Pesach,” he will think that the speaker’s [intent] was that he will store the [kernels of] wheat and guard them1 so that they will not become chametz [so that they could be used] for Pesach. As an initial preference, it is desirable to give weight to the words of these authorities.9 Nevertheless, after the fact, even if one said “This meat will be for Pesach” regarding a live goat kid or lamb, [the meat of these animals] is permitted to be eaten. [This ruling applies] even if one makes such a statement on the day before Pesach after midday.10 [The rationale is that] after the fact, [the possibility of] a mistaken impression being created is not [sufficient grounds] for a prohibition.

(There are authorities who rule stringently [were one to make such a statement] regarding a goat kid or lamb and forbid [the person] from partaking [of the meat of these two types of animals concerning which these statements were made] whether during Pesach, before Pesach, or after [the Pesach holiday]. Even if one made such statements [not about the animals themselves, but only] regarding the meat of a goat kid or lamb, [the meat is forbidden] because of the concern that a listener will interpret the statement, “This meat is for Pesach,” as meaning that while [the animal was] alive, [the person] consecrated it [to be used as] the Pesach sacrifice. [Thus,] it will appear as if [the person] is eating consecrated meat outside [Jerusalem].

It is, however, permitted for [the person] to benefit from [the meat of these animals] because [the possibility of] a mistaken impression being created is not [sufficient grounds] to prohibit deriving benefit [from a substance], as explained in Yoreh Deah, sec. 5.11 It is desirable to give weight to the words [of these authorities] if a severe [financial] loss is not involved, nor is it a pressing situation.

All the above applies when the goat kid or the lamb belongs [to the person making the statement] or he is a partner in their [ownership]. If, however, no portion of [the animal] belongs to him, there are no grounds for stringency at all, because a person cannot cause an article that does not belong to him to become forbidden.12

ב אֲבָל עַל דָּגִים וְעַל כָּל שְׁאָר דְּבָרִים שֶׁאֵינָן מִין בָּשָׂר כְּלָל – מֻתָּר לוֹמַר: "זֶה יְהֵא לְפֶסַח", שֶׁבְּוַדַּאי לֹא יְהֵא נִדְמֶה לְהַשּׁוֹמֵעַ שֶׁהוּא מַקְדִּישׁ דָּבָר זֶה לִדְמֵי פֶּסַח, כֵּיוָן שֶׁדָּבָר זֶה אֵין לוֹ שַׁיָּכוּת כְּלָל עִם פֶּסַח,טו שֶׁהֲרֵי אֵינָן מִין בָּשָׂר כְּלָל.7

וְיֵשׁ מַחֲמִירִיןטז שֶׁלֹּא לוֹמַר עַל שׁוּם דָּבָר: "זֶה לְפֶסַח", חוּץ מִן הַחִטִּיםיז וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּהֶם מִדְּבָרִים הַצְּרִיכִים שִׁמּוּר מֵחִמּוּץ,8 שֶׁהַשּׁוֹמֵעַ שֶׁהוּא אוֹמֵר: "חִטִּים אֵלּוּ לְפֶסַח", יְהֵא סָבוּר שֶׁאוֹמֵר: חִטִּים אֵלּוּ אַצְנִיעֵם וְאֶשְׁמְרֵםיח,1 מֵחִמּוּץיט לְצֹרֶךְ הַפֶּסַח. וְטוֹב לָחֹשׁ לְדִבְרֵיהֶם לְכַתְּחִלָּה.כ,9

אֲבָל בְּדִיעֲבַד, אֲפִלּוּ אִם אָמַר עַל גְּדִי וְטָלֶה חַיִּים: "בָּשָׂר זֶה לְפֶסַח" – מֻתָּרִים בַּאֲכִילָה,כא אֲפִלּוּ אָמַר כֵּן בְּעֶרֶב פֶּסַח אַחַר חֲצוֹת,10 דְּמִשּׁוּם מַרְאִית הָעַיִן אֵין לֶאֱסֹר בְּדִיעֲבַד.

(וְיֵשׁ מַחֲמִירִיןכב בִּגְדִי וְטָלֶה לְאָסְרָם בַּאֲכִילָה לְעוֹלָם, בֵּין בְּפֶסַח בֵּין קֹדֶם הַפֶּסַח אוֹ אַחֲרָיו, אֲפִלּוּ אָמַר כֵּן עַל בְּשַׂר גְּדִי וְטָלֶה, שֶׁחוֹשְׁשִׁים לְפִי שֶׁהַשּׁוֹמֵעַ שֶׁהוּא אוֹמֵר בָּשָׂר זֶה לְפֶסַח הוּא סָבוּר שֶׁכְּבָר הִקְדִּישׁוֹ מֵחַיִּים לְשֵׁם פֶּסַח,כג וִיהֵא נִרְאֶה כְּאוֹכֵל קָדָשִׁים בַּחוּץ. אֲבָל מֻתָּרִים בַּהֲנָאָה,כד דְּמִשּׁוּם מַרְאִית הָעַיִן בִּלְבַד אֵין אוֹסְרִין בַּהֲנָאָה כְּמוֹ שֶׁנִּתְבָּאֵר בְּיוֹרֶה דֵּעָה סִימָן ה'.כה,11 וְטוֹב לָחֹשׁ לְדִבְרֵיהֶם אִם אֵין שָׁם הֶפְסֵד מְרֻבֶּה וְלֹא שְׁעַת הַדְּחָק. וְכָל זֶה כְּשֶׁהַגְּדִי וְטָלֶה הֵן שֶׁלּוֹ, אוֹ שֶׁיֵּשׁ לוֹ שֻׁתָּפוּת בָּהֶן, אֲבָל אִם אֵין לוֹ חֵלֶק בָּהֶן – אֵין לְהַחֲמִיר כְּלָל, שֶׁאֵין אָדָם אוֹסֵר דָּבָר שֶׁאֵינוֹ שֶׁלּוֹכו,12):

3 [The Sages] only forbade saying, “This meat is for Pesach.” It is, however, permitted to say, “This meat is al Pesach,” as it is common to say in Yiddish.13 [Using such wording] is permissible even [when referring to] a live goat kid or lamb. There is no concern regarding the impression that might be created, since were [the owner] to be consecrating [the meat or the animal] as a Pesach [sacrifice], he would say, “This meat is for Pesach.”

ג לֹא אָסְרוּ אֶלָּא לוֹמַר: "בָּשָׂר זֶה לְפֶסַח", אֲבָל לוֹמַר: "בָּשָׂר זֶה עַל פֶּסַח", כְּמוֹ שֶׁהוּא הַמִּנְהָג לוֹמַר כֵּן בִּלְשׁוֹן אַשְׁכְּנַז – מֻתָּר13 אֲפִלּוּ עַל גְּדִי וְטָלֶה חַיִּים, שֶׁאֵין כָּאן חֲשַׁשׁ מַרְאִית הָעַיִן, שֶׁאִם הָיָה מַקְדִּישׁ אוֹתָם לְפֶסַח – הָיָה לוֹ לוֹמַר: "בָּשָׂר זֶה לְפֶסַח":כז

4 It is forbidden to prepare a goat kid or a lamb mikulas14(on the day before Pesach after midday or on Pesach night,) i.e., to roast [the animal] whole (“[with] its head, its legs, and its inner organs”)15 like the Pesach sacrifice was roasted [in Jerusalem]. Even after the fact, it is forbidden to eat [the meat of an animal roasted in this manner] on the night of Pesach16 even if [the person] did not specify, “This meat is for Pesach.” ([This prohibition applies] even if [the animal] was roasted several days before Pesach,) as will be explained in sec. 476[:2]. See [that section] regarding all the details concerning this law.

ד אָסוּר לַעֲשׂוֹת גְּדִי אוֹ טָלֶה מְקֻלָּס,כח,14 דְּהַיְנוּ לִצְלוֹתוֹ (בְּעֶרֶב פֶּסַח אַחַר חֲצוֹת אוֹ בְּלֵיל פֶּסַח) כְּשֶׁהוּא שָׁלֵם (רֹאשׁוֹ עַל כְּרָעָיו וְעַל קִרְבּוֹכט,15) כְּעֵין צְלִיַּת הַפֶּסַח. וַאֲפִלּוּ בְּדִיעֲבַד אָסוּר לְאָכְלוֹל בְּלֵיל פֶּסַח,16 אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁלֹּא פֵּרַשׁ: "בָּשָׂר זֶה לְפֶסַח"לא (וַאֲפִלּוּ צְלָאוֹ כַּמָּה יָמִים קֹדֶם הַפֶּסַח), כְּמוֹ שֶׁיִּתְבָּאֵר בְּסִימָן תע"ו,לב עַיֵּן שָׁם כָּל פְּרָטֵי דִּין זֶה:

Alter Rebbe's Shulchan Aruch (Sichos In English)

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5 A person should not say, “How much trouble does this Pesach involve,” for it is the wicked son who says, “What is this service that you are performing?” i.e., why are you troubling yourselves for this?17

In the present era, people at large are not careful concerning this [matter]. There are authorities who have justified their conduct, [explaining] that one is only deemed wicked when he [complains], “How much trouble this is!” regarding the difficulty involved in offering the Pesach sacrifice, for that is a Scriptural commandment. Thus, [the person’s] words imply that he considers the mitzvos of the Torah as “trouble.” In the present era,18 by contrast, there is no prohibition [involved] when one says, “How much trouble [this is!],” with regard to the great care and the extra stringencies [observed when preparing for Pesach].

ה לֹא יֹאמַר אָדָם: "כַּמָּה טֹרַח פֶּסַח זֶה",לג כִּי "רָשָׁע מַה הוּא אוֹמֵר? מָה הָעֲבֹדָה הַזֹּאת לָכֶם" – מַה טֹּרַח זֶה לָכֶם.לד,17

וְעַכְשָׁו אֵין הָעוֹלָם נִזְהָרִין בָּזֶה, וְיֵשׁ שֶׁלּוֹמֵד עֲלֵיהֶם זְכוּת,לה שֶׁאֵינוֹ נִקְרָא רָשָׁע אֶלָּא כְּשֶׁאוֹמֵר: "מַה טֹּרַח זֶה" עַל טֹרַח הַקְרָבַת הַפֶּסַח, שֶׁהִיא מִצְוָה מִן הַתּוֹרָה, וְנִרְאֶה מִדְּבָרָיו שֶׁמִּצְוֹת הַתּוֹרָה הֵן עָלָיו לְטֹרַח, מַה שֶּׁאֵין כֵּן בִּזְמַן הַזֶּה18 כְּשֶׁאוֹמֵר עַל גֹּדֶל הַזְּהִירוּת וְחֻמְרוֹת יְתֵרוֹת: "כַּמָּה טֹרַח" – אֵין אִסּוּר בַּדָּבָר: