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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.

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 (24)
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
March 24, 2013
responce to the easter question
Catholics refer to Pascal when refering to Easter because Easter occures on first Sunday after first Pasach night.
March 17, 2013
So does anyone are how long the shankbone is?
I asked last year and I'll ask again. Does anyone know how long it has to be?
March 17, 2013
To Rachel
The current wording is correct :), we are not allowed to bring sacrifices nowadays, so most communities do not serve roasted meat or poultry at the seder, so that it doesn't appear that we are trying to "replace" the Paschal lamb. For more information on this please see Can I Serve Roast Chicken at the Seder?
Mrs. Chana Benjaminson
March 16, 2013
Shank Bone
The above post says: "we take care to use something that is relatively dissimilar to the actual offering." Should it not say to use something SIMILAR to the offering? I don't want to argue about language use; I want to be sure to put my best foot forward as I prepare to host my (large!) family for my first Seder :)
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