This is the approved revision of this page, as well as being the most recent.
|This article is good.|
- We are obligated to eat a festive meal with delicious foods and fancy dishes like on every other Yom Tov night, each according to his means. 
- One must ensure not to eat or drink too much during the meal, as Halacha requires eating the Afikoman after the meal with an appetite and also he may come to fall asleep too quickly 
- Though it isn’t obligatory, one who leans during the entire meal is praiseworthy. 
- If one chooses to eat while reclining he should certainly be careful not to talk because of the danger, unless it is about Yetziat Mitzrayim, in which case the Mitzvah will protect from harm. 
- Though strictly speaking one only needs to refrain from speaking about things unrelated to the mitzvot of the seder themselves, there is a midat chasidut not to engage in such conversation until after afikoman 
Minhagim About Certain Foods
- There is a Minhag to eat a hard boiled (or roasted) egg during Shulchan Orech.  This is the sephardic minhag as well.  This applies during the second seder as well.  However, since this is just a custom and not an obligation, one should be careful to leave room so that he has an appetite for the afikoman which is an important obligation. 
- Some have Minhag not to dip any foods during Shulchan Orech so as not to dip more than two foods at the Seder (Karpas and Maror).
- It is permitted to drink wine during Shulchan Orech.
Avoiding Roasted Foods at the Seder
- The Minhag is not to eat roasted meat at the Seder. 
- If the Zroah (shankbone) was roasted it is forbidden to eat it at the Seder. However, if the Zroah was cooked in another way it may be eaten. 
- It is permitted to eat a roasted egg as well as roasted fish.  since they do not require shechita.
- Pot roasting is considered as ordinary roasting for this Halacha. However, a food that was cooked after it was roasted is not considered roasted.
- Broiled liver shouldn't be eaten.
- Shulchan Orech at the Seder by Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz
- Rambam 7:8, Yalkut Yosef Moadim pg. 406
- Rama 476:1 based on Maharil, Mishna Brurah 476:6-7, Chazon Ovadia Chelek 2: page 103
- Rama 472:7 based on Rambam Hilchot Chametz Umatza 7:8 writes that ideally one should lean for the whole meal. Chazon Ovadia vol. 2 pg. 103 and Mishna Brurah 472:23 say that it is praiseworthy to lean during Shulchan Orech, but there's no obligation. Orchot rabbeinu vol 2 pg 59 says that the chazon ish and steipler didn’t lean. Halichot shlomo 9:footnote 135 says Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach didn’t either
- The Prisha O.C. 170 comments that although the Gemara forbids talking while eating because of a danger of choking, that was only in Talmudic times when they would lean while eating. Ben Ish Chai (Behar n. 5) and Birkei Yosef 170:1 agree that if one is leaning, then the danger of choking would apply. Therefore on Pesach when we do lean, one should be careful not to talk because of the danger. However, Rav Chaim Palachi (Zechira LaChaim v. 2 p. 6) says that if one speaks of the exodus, the merit will protect him from any harm. Chazon Ovadia (v. 2 p. 105) agrees.
- Yalkut Yosef Moadim pg. 405. Rabbi Howard Jachter ([ http://koltorah.org/ravj/ZecherLemikdashKehillel.htm Zecher Lemikdash Kehillel]) states that Rav Chaim Soloveitchik refrained from engaging in conversation throughout the Seder meal out of concern for the opinion of the Rashbam Pesachim 120a “Yashnu Kulan” and Tosfot “Baacharona” that the main fulfillment of matza on seder night is the afikoman. According to this, talking about unrelated matters could constitute an interruption between the beracha and matza and the fulfillment of the mitzva. The Shelah subscribed to this approach as well. Rabbi Jachter adds that Rav Chaim did not consider the meal itself to be an unwarranted interruption between the recitation of the Beracha and the performance of the Mitzva because the meal constitutes an integral part of the Seder where we demonstrate our freedom by participating in a festive meal. This idea of Rav Soloveitchik, is also brought in “Exalted Evening” Haggada on Shulchan Orech and Harirei Kedem Chelek 2 Siman 78, that the meal itself constitutes an integral part of the Seder where we demonstrate our freedom by participating in a festive meal. The meal at the seder is different from the regular yom tov meals. It is an integral part of the experience and telling the story of yetziat mitzrayim
- Rama 476:2 writes that there's a minhag to eat an egg at the Seder. He writes two reasons: 1. the first night of pesach falls out on the same night of the week as Tisha B’av. 2. To remember the destruction, that we no longer bring the korban pesach. Mishna Brurah 476:11 quotes the Gra (Maaseh Rav 187) that the egg has nothing to do with mourning but rather is to remember the korban chagiga which was brought along with the korban pesach. He adds therefore, that it should specifically be the egg from the seder plate which is there for that purpose. Maamar Mordechai 473:1 says to refrain from eating the egg from the seder plate, so that it remains full. see Beit halevi on Parashat Bo 12:42 for explanation of the mourning. Nitei Gavriel (vol 2, 95:1) writes that it's better to have a hard-boiled egg than a roasted one. see Ten Minute Halacha by Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz for more on this subject
- Yalkut Yosef English Edition pg. 262 writes that many sephardic Jews have the custom of eating the egg after Kiddush and reciting the boreh nifashot afterwards before eating Karpas. However, Dailyhalacha by Rabbi Eli Mansour says that the Syrian custom is like the Rama. Rav Ovadia's son-in-law, Rav Aharon Botbol (first ten minutes), tells how eating it after Kadesh is a uniquely Baghdadi custom recorded by the Ben Ish Chai. Other communities were actually quite careful not to eat anything other than Karpas, Matzah, and Maror until Shulchan Orech.
- Mishna Brurah 473:13.
- Mishna Brurah 476:13 from Chayei Adam 130:9. Iggerot Moshe OC 1:156 that this is a warning for those who would eat more than one egg
- Nitei Gavriel (vol 2, 95:12)
- Rama 476:2, Nitei Gavriel (vol 2, 95:14). Mishna Brurah 476:14 quotes the Taz 475:6 that dipping korech in charoset doesn’t count as an added dipping because it is just because of a safek and is counted with the dipping of maror
- Shulchan Aruch 473:3, Mishna Brurah 473:12
- Chazon Ovadyah (vol 2, p. 103)
- Mishna Pesachim 53a says in a place where the minhag is to eat, one may eat. In a place where the custom is not to eat, one shouldn't. This is brought down in Shulchan Aruch 476:1. Magen Avraham 476:1, Mishna Brurah 476:32, Kaf Hachaim 476:1, Chazon Ovadia chelek 2: pg. 103 say that the minhag is not to eat roasted foods. Chayei Adam 130:6 says that even if one is not eating the Zroah at night it shouldn't be discarded because this would be a disgrace to the Mitzvah.
- Chazon Ovadyah (vol 2, p. 103)
- Mishna Brurah 476:9
- Chazon Ovadyah (vol 2, p. 103), Mishna Brurah 476:1, Kaf Hachayim 476:4 Baer Heitev 476:1. If it is roasted after being cooked Mishna Brurah and Kaf Hachayim says that one shouldn't be lenient based on the Peri Chadash quoted by the Baer Heitev and Shaar Hatziyun 476:2, but if he is a little bit sick he can be lenient.
- Aruch Hashulchan 476:4