On Daf 64B there is discussion about how many people would come to shech the korban Pesach and then would leave with the carcas for roasting (to be eaten at the seder). It seems clear that this process is done on Shabbos as far as offering the korban, but taking the carcass back would seem to be in violating of Shabbos if one were traveling outside of Yerushalyim. Would it be fair to say, that when the 14th fell on Shabbos, there would be a diminishment of people bringing the korban? Furthermore, for those who do not bring the korban (e.g., too far a journey)do they simply not have roasted meat for seder and thus miss that mitzvah?
Dr. Harry Stark, Los Angeles, USA
Dear Dr. Stark
Shalom and thanks for your inquiry.
First let me point out that the Pesach was eaten only inside the city of Yerushalayim. It may not be taken out of the city. Indeed carrying in the streets of Yerushalayim was prohibited on Shabbos. For this reason the Mishnah relates that on Shabbos, after the Korban was offered they remained within the confines of Har Habayis until after Shabbos (Pesachim 64b). We have no records to compare the number of people bringing a Korban Pesach on Shabbos vs. weekday. It is true that when the fourteenth of Nissan fell on Shabbos, people had to arrive in Yerushalayim a day earlier.
People who did not participate in the Korban Pesach do not fulfill the mitzvah of eating it. There is no mention of them required to eat roasted meat in commemoration of the Korban Pesach. [We do know that after the Beis Hamikdash was destroyed some did have the custom to commemorate the Korban Pesach by eating roasted meat (see Pesachim 53a,b). This is prohibited nowadays.]
Thanks again for your inquiry.