Wednesday, January 01, 2014


Demons or What?

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.”

Gutman’s responds:

    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.


  1. Gutman, I always love your comments. Regarding garlic and refrigeration, - can you quote me a source?

    All the best

  2. Alternatively, there might actually be a spirit world, there might actually be evil spirits, who do in fact actually attach themselves to unpeeled eggs, and that was, actually, the real reason which the sages gave, and that in reality, that reason is still very very very valid today.

    Here is a thought.

    Consider that the ruling bodies of the world are amoral sociopaths who will do anything for power and control.

    Consider also that there is plenty of evidence that these rulers involve themselves with the occult to a great degree. We can see this in their buildings, their symbolism.

    We can see it in their propaganda, and on and on and on, etc.

    The most interesting thing about all this is the question - how the hell do they put out so much of this crap in everyone's face and no one says anything? Well, that's because the instant any of us even considers pointing out that there is so much as a spirit world, wham! blam! pow! Every half witted jackass in the room starts raising their eyebrows and sneering (oh heavens no!) at the miscreant throwback.

    No Rabbi, in this you are wrong. The sages did not prevent it because of bacteria. The prevented it because they were rightfully concerned that evil spirits, which most of us can no longer see in our degraded states, might actually enter the eggs and then enter the body.

  3. 35 years ago, the “Rosh”, R’ Ezra Schochet-Rosh Hayeshiva, Chabad yeshiva, Los Angeles, told me if they are refrigerated that rule does not apply.

    And it was the roots, not the peels that really matter, that is, if the onion was peeled but the roots were still in tack the rule did not apply.

    Also, I read if these items are mixed with other foods the rule does not apply.
    If you really need an inside source I will look it up for you. Be well

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. Though this may be what the Sages had in mind, considering the foodstuffs in question (e.g. garlic, which has mild antiseptic properties) it does not appear so.
    We are told that everything physical has a spiritual soul.
    Man, the world, a fly. Thus, my father o"HS expressed the idea of bacteria slightly differently. He said, the physical 'reflection' or counterpart of the spiritual entity the sages refer to, is bacteria.
    We can therefore understand why, many times when the sages warn about some spiritual uncleanliness, there is often also a danger of bacteria.
    But to say that they are only refering to bacteria seems unreasonable and unnecessary.
    (See intro. to Sefer Bris Olom)
    Here Reb Gutman, with due respect, is turning this on its head.

    (I am all for not taking Midroshim literally, but this is not a Midrash; it is not a deeper understanding of a verse couched in esoteric terms.
    The heter of refridgeration is probably due to it being covered overnight [in the fridge].)

  6. I spoke to the Rosh and he said that he does not remember telling me that the fridge saves the peeled onions over night. However two other rabbis told me there is a source for it in a sefer that I am trying to get a hold of. Stay tuned. I will let you know if I find it. Covering these items does not save them. As for the spiritual world, yes I am aware of it, but when there are so many lenient rabbinical opinions on such a subject as there are with this one, you can bet that the problem is not spiritual. be well


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