by Reb Gutman Locks @ Mystical Paths
Isaac asked: “Gutman, what’s the deal with this one?”
Part of an internet “Daily Jewish Law” article:
“Things forbidden because of danger: The Gemara states that if one does any of these things one takes his life into his own hands. One of these things is eating an egg, garlic, or onion that was left peeled all night. The poskim (law deciders) tell us that the reason is because a damaging, evil spirit rests upon them”
One medieval rabbinical source states that “there is no longer a harmful evil spirit present like there was during the era of the Talmud.” But another Gemora argues that “although such a spirit is not as common it still exists in our days.”
As I was taught; that law applies only if those items were not refrigerated, so we see that the sages were more concerned with a bacteria than with a demon.
Whenever you read something strange in the Gemora, or in our history, ask your question to as many people as you have to until you get an answer that satisfies you. There always will be an answer. The wildest stories in the Gemora sometimes might not seem to be literally true (although not impossible), but they will always be morally true. There will always be a valid lesson. Look for the current application of that lesson in all of your Torah studies.