Participating in a Seudat Mitzvah

Stories of our Rabbi -
Our Rabbi, Ha-Rav Tzvi Yehudah Ha-Cohain Kook

Our Rabbi related this Dvar Torah many times: The Gemara in Sanhedrin (71a) says that a Ben Sorer U-Moreh (Rebellious Son - see Devarim 21:18-21 who is killed on account of where his current transgressions will lead. Among others things, he eats meats and drinks wine like a glutton.) who eats as part of a group fulfilling a Mitzvah is exempt from the law of Ben Sorer U-Moreh. Rashi (ibid. 71b) brings two examples of such a group: eating a sacrifice in the Temple and eating the Korban Pesach.

But a difficulty can be raised on Rashi's comment: the Korban Pesach is eaten roasted, and a Ben Sorer U-Morer – whether he eats as part of a group fulfilling a Mitzvah or not – only receives capital punishment if he eats raw meat. How then could Rashi bring an example of the Korban Pesach which is never eaten raw?

Our Rabbi explains that the Ben Sorer U-Moreh in this case was not eating from the roasted Korban Pesach, from his own raw meat, while sitting with a group who was eating the roasted Korban Pesach. Even this slight participation with a group fulfilling a Mitzvah exempts him from capital punishment, even though he was eating raw meat.

Our Rabbi would mention this Dvar Torah when he arrived late to a Brit Milah or had to leave a Simchah early, but was at least able to make it for part of the meal. He would use this idea to emphasize the great value in participating in a Seudat Mitzvah, even if only for a short time (Be-Shipulei Ha-Gelimah of Ha-Rav Yair Oriel, pp. 84-85).