Simchat Yom Tov

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Simchat Yom Tov

  1. There is a mitzvah of simcha on Yom Tov.[1]

Meat Specifically

  1. It is preferable to eat meat at the Yom Tov meals. While some consider this to be an obligation, others hold that there is no technical requirement to do so. [2]

Both Meals or One Meal

  1. It is preferable to have meat both at the nighttime and daytime meal of Yom Tov. Those who have a practice to eat one dairy meal, however, have what to rely on.[3]

In a Bread Meal

  1. Whether the meat has to be eaten within the context of a bread meal is a discussion.[4]


  1. Women are obligated in simchat Yom Tov. Some say that this includes eating meat each day of Yom Tov and Chol Hamoed.[5]
  2. A husband should get his wife a gift for simchat yom tov.[6] Most poskim hold that it doesn't have to be clothing specifically; any gift that she would appreciate is sufficient.[7]

See Shavuot#Eating_Dairy_on_Shavuot for more details on this topic.


  1. Rambam (Aseh 54), Chinuch 488.
    • Rav Hershel Schachter (Bikvei Hatzoan p. 81) writes that simcha on Pesach may be a composite mitzvah for all of Pesach, whereas simcha on Sukkot is a separate mitzvah for each day of Yom Tov and Chol HaMoed. He supports this contention from the fact that Hallel with a bracha is only said on the first day and that the Korbanot Mussaf of Sukkot were different every day. Similarly, Rabbi Mordechai Willig (Pesachim shiur 110 on simchas yom tov) quoted Rav Yerucham Fishel Perlow on Rasag p. 254-5 says that there's only mitzvah to eat meat once on pesach.
  2. The Rambam (Yom Tov 6:18) rules that the Mitzvah of Simchat Yom Tov is fulfilled through consumption of meat and wine. The Beit Yosef 529:2 asks why the Rambam codifies the consumption of meat on Yom Tov when the Gemara (Pesachim 109a) states clearly that the mitzvah of Simcha is fulfilled through eating meat only during the time of the Beit HaMikdash, while nowadays the mitzvah is fulfilled through wine alone. Accordingly, the Shulchan Aruch O.C. 529:1 writes that one must have wine at each Yom Tov meal and makes no mention of the consumption of meat. The Eliyah Rabba 529:6 and Bei’ur Halacha 529 s.v. Keitzad explain that Shulchan Aruch intentionally omitted the obligation to eat meat because of his question in the Beit Yosef.
    • The Yam Shel Shlomo (Beitzah 2:5) answers the Beit Yosef’s question by reinterpreting the Gemara to mean that nowadays, one must have wine in addition to meat, as opposed to the times of the Beit HaMikdash when one could fulfill the Mitzvah through meat without wine. Thus, Mor U’Ketziah 529, Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 103:7, Aruch HaShulchan 529:5, and Chazon Ovadia (Yom Tov, p. 319) rule that it is an obligation to eat meat on Yom Tov.
    • The Bach 529, however, explains that although there is no obligation to eat meat nowadays, there still is a mitzvah to do so, and one would fulfill the Mitzvah of Simcha thereby. The Magen Avraham 529:3, Shulchan Aruch HaRav 529:7, Mishna Brurah 529:11, and Kaf HaChaim 529:28 agree.
    • See also the Sha’agat Aryeh (Siman 65), who argues that Simchat Yom Tov does not obligate one to eat meat in particular; rather, it is fulfilled by what is subjectively considered enjoyable by each person (see Pesachim 109a). Birkei Yosef 529:4 agrees. Darkei Teshuva 89:19 quotes Rav Chaim of Sanz as disagreeing with the Sha’agat Aryeh.
  3. The Darkei Teshuva (89:19) mentions a number of minhagim regarding eating dairy on Shavuot and a large part of the discussion is whether it is necessary to have meat at both meals. Those who hold that it is sufficient to have one meat meal include the Steipler (Orchot Rabbeinu v. 2 p. 98), Otzrot Yosef (Rav Dovid Yosef 13:7), Rav Hershel Schachter (Bikvei HaTzon p. 81), Sfat Emet (Sukkah 48a), Rabbi Mordechai Willig (Pesachim Shiur 110, min 40-50; Kol Tzvi Yoma 5778), and The Radiance of Shabbos p. 163 fnt. 33 cites Rav Chaim Pinchas Sheinberg.
    • What is the source for having bread on Yom Tov? Rosh Brachot 7:23 holds that it is because of simchat yom tov. The same is found in Tosfot Harosh Brachot 49b s.v. shabatot and Tosfot Rabbenu Peretz 27a s.v. iy. Levush 188:7 codifies the opinion of the Rosh. However, the Rashba Brachot 49b says that it is because of oneg yom tov. Rabbi Akiva Eiger 1 assumes like the Rashba. Biur Halacha 188:8 s.v. seudat cites the Rashba. Furthermore, Rashba Sukkah 27a cited by Bet Yosef 188 holds that there is no obligation of bread on Yom Tov besides the first night of Pesach and Sukkot. The same is true of the Tosfot Sukkah 27a s.v. iy and this also seems to be the opinion of the Rambam Sukkah 6:7. Bet Yosef 188 quotes the Rabbenu Yerucham who posulates that this is indeed the approach of the Rambam. There is a third group of rishonim who indicate that one needs to eat bread but aren't clear whether they hold like the Rashba or Rosh. These include the Ran Sukkah 12b s.v. matniten, Ritva Sukkah 27a s.v. alma, Mordechai Beitzah n. 669, Raah on Brachot 49b, and Meiri Sukkah 27a. Birkat Hashem v. 2 p. 356 argues that all rishonim including the Rosh agree with the Rashba that the obligation for bread stems from oneg and not simcha.
    • According to the Rashba, seemingly there is not an obligation to eat the meat in a bread meal since the obligation for the meat and the bread stem from two different places. The obligation of bread is motivated by Oneg Yom Tov. However, the meat is because of simcha (Pesachim 109a). Furthermore, the obligation to have a bread meal at all on Yom Tov is a debate. The Rambam, the one who holds that it is necessary to have meat today, holds that there's no obligation to have a bread meal on Yom Tov besides the first night of Pesach and Sukkot. However, the description of the Rama of how to have dairy and meat in the meal of Shavuot in order to fulfill simchat Yom Tov is within the context of a bread meal. The same is true of the later poskim. Though it isn't necessarily the case that it isn't possible to fulfill it outside the context of a meal.
    • See also Aruch Hashulchan 495 regarding Purim who maintains that it is critical to have the meat meal with bread otherwise it isn't a seuda. Perhaps that is a paradigm for simchat Yom Tov as we see the poskim compare and learn the laws of simchat Yom Tov from Purim. Rav Shraga Feivel Pavarsky in Bet Yitzchak v. 24 p. 388 learns from Rambam Yom Tov 6:18 that it isn't necessary to have the meat of simchat yom tov in the meal. The Radiance of Shabbos p. 163 writes that meat should be eaten at the day meal, implying that it must be eaten in the context of the bread meal. Rav Hershel Schachter (Piskei Corona #51) clearly indicates that it isn't necessary to have the meal as part of the bread meal in order to fulfill simchat yom tov as he writes that when there's very little space in the sukkah they can just make kiddush and eat bread in the sukkah, say birkat hamazon, and then eat meat at home. However, note that he is writing for an extenuating circumstance and perhaps can't be extended.
  4. Peninei Halacha 1:10:3 writes that every women is obligated in simcha and it isn't just an obligation upon her husband to gladden her. Chol Hamoed Kehilchato ch. 1 fnt. 5 quotes the Aderet (Bnei Binyamin), Rabbi Akiva Eiger (responsa 1 addition), and Shagat Aryeh that women are obligated to eat meat for simchat yom tov. He says that although women are obligated to get a new piece of clothing for simchat yom tov, that is only once over the entire holiday, however, meat applies every day.
  5. Gemara Pesachim 109a, Shulchan Aruch O.C. 529:2
  6. Though the Gemara and Shulchan Aruch specify clothing, Peninei Halacha 1:10:4 quotes the Chut Shani 22:2 p. 161, Shevet Halevi 8:124, and Rav Shlomo Zalman (Shulchan Shlomo 529:5) who hold that a husband can fulfill the mitzvah of gladdening his wife for simchat yom tov with another gift such as a cooking utensil or flowers. Rav Elyashiv disagreed (Leket Dinei Yom Tov 1:4).