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The Shank Bone

The Shank Bone


A piece of roasted meat represents the lamb that was the special Paschal sacrifice on the eve of the exodus from Egypt, and annually, on the afternoon before Passover, in the Holy Temple.

Since we can’t offer the Paschal sacrifice in the absence of the Holy Temple, we take care to use something that is relatively dissimilar to the actual offering. Accordingly, many communities have the custom to use a roasted chicken neck or the like.

Called the zeroah, it alludes to the verse which states, “I will redeem you with an outstretched arm (zeroah) . . .”

Preparation: Roast the neck on all sides over an open fire on the stove. Afterwards, some have the custom to remove the majority of the meat of the neck.

Role in the Seder: The shank bone is not eaten. After the meal it is refrigerated, and used a second time on the Seder plate the following night.

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Discussion (28)
April 22, 2016
Shank bone
As they are not eaten I don't season them. It doesn't affect the end result. Chag pesach sameach
April 21, 2016
I guess the main thrust of my concern is, may I season them?
Santa Fe
April 21, 2016
Shank Bone
Just prepared 10 shanks for our communal seder on Saturday. Just stick then in the oven at 180 celcius and roast until they are cooked through. Any meat, fat or sinew should be on the really really well done side. Hope this helps
Adam A
April 19, 2016
How do I prepare an actual lamb shank for the seder plate? This is the first time for us doing pesach at home and I want to do it with lamb shank and not chicken necks.
April 13, 2014
locating kosher lamb and the lamb bone
I live in Virginia Beach, and it is impossible to locate the lamb bone. Does anyone have suggestions other than travel to Philadelphia? I usually have to use a chicken leg. Chicken and hot dogs is the meat I can find around here.
Debbie Garrison
Va Beach
April 13, 2014
Re: shankbone substitute
According to Rav Huna in the Talmud, tractate Pesachim 114b, one may also use a cooked beet to commemorate the Paschal sacrifice.
Eliezer Zalmanov
April 10, 2014
Red Beet instead of Shank Bone
I read on the internet you may substitute a beet (for vegetarians) in place of the Shank bone. Is this acceptable?
April 8, 2014
Vegetarian Shank Bone
I didn't see a response to the request for a vegan/vegetarian substitution for the shank bone. Please advise.
March 4, 2014
No sacrifice can be done today as we have no temple and therefore we don't have lamb at passover. With no sacrifice, how are we atoned at the passover service? That's the whole point of the service, the atonement.
March 26, 2013
Lamb Bone
Please excuse my ignorance. I mean no disrespect. Before Passover, last week, my local grocery store had a basket of lamb bones wrapped in plastic wrap. No sign, no price. I thought maybe they were giving them away to make homemade soup. I brought two over to the deli worker who brought it in to the butcher. He said it is for Passover. What do they do with it I asked? No one knew.

I returned one to the bin thinking maybe I shouldn't be taking this, but I kept one for my soup. Walking down another isle I saw a young dark skinned woman with a shopping cart filled with Passover goodies. I decided to "help" her. Do you need one of these? I asked. I held up the bone. She looked like she had just seen an apparition. I directed her to the lamb bones "And they are free!"

What are they for and what do you do with them?
Thank you.
Long Island, NY
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