Eating garlic on Pesach

Eating garlic on Pesach:[1]

Garlic is not Chametz, or Kitniyos, and is thus permitted to be eaten over Pesach.[2] Nevertheless, there are those who are accustomed not to eat garlic on Pesach.[3] Those families who are accustomed to follow this custom are not to swerve from it.[4] However, those families who did not receive such a custom are not required to accept it upon themselves.[5] Nevertheless, if one is part of a community in which everyone is accustomed to be stringent, he is not to be lenient in public regarding this matter.[6]

The Chabad custom: Some[7] record that there is no Chabad custom to avoid eating garlic on Pesach. [Practically, each family is to follow their Minhag.]

Dried garlic cloves versus fresh garlic cloves-Is there any truth behind the rumor that dried garlic is not Kosher Lepesach being that it comes from China, where they use flour to dry it, or soak it in beer?

This rumor has been spread for some years[8], and is not known to hold any truth to it. Dried garlic is known as cured garlic and simply refers to garlic that has been left out in the sun to dry out in order so it lasts longer. There is no flour used in the drying process, just sun, and it is not soaked in beer. The Hashgacha Organization of the Eida Hachareidis, as well as other Hasghacha organizations[9], have repeatedly denounced these rumors as false, and that their inception was made by interest filled individuals for economic gain.[10] To note, that this simply refers to Garlic cloves which have been left out in the sun to dry, in which case, as we stated, there is no difference between them and the fresh undried cloves garlic. However, garlic powder, or any other processed Garlic, certainly needs a Hashgacha for Pesach.

May those who are accustomed to not eat garlic on Pesach be lenient to eat fresh undried garlic?

Some Rabbanim suggest that the entire stringency of not eating garlic on Pesach [for those accustomed to follow it] is specifically by the dried garlic. However, fresh undried garlic may be eaten.


[1] See Sdei Chemed Asifas Dinim Chametz Umatzah 6 Mareches Ayin Os Tes; Nitei Gavriel 39:5; Otzer Minhagei Chabad p. 63

[2] Michaber Y.D. 296:3 lists garlic as Zarunei Gina, not Kitniyos; M”A 447:20 writes about eating garlic on Pesach and it status as a Davar Charif; Chayeh Adam 127:7 “It seems obvious to me, that those who don’t eat garlic on Pesach, it contains no rhyme or reason. One can permit them to eat it, as certainly there is no Chumra involved in what they are doing”; Daas Torah 467:2; Zecher Yehosef 120; Madanei Shulchan 117:25; See Beis Yosef 460; Nitei Gavriel ibid

[3] P”M 464 A”A 1 “Some are accustomed not to eat garlic on Pesach”; Chemdas Moshe 22, brought in Sdei Chemed Asifas Dinim Chametz Umatzah 6 Mareches Ayin Os Tes; Pischa Zuta 2:7 that so was custom of Belz [Minhagei Belz p. 41]; Meishiv Halacha 1:309; Otzer Minhagei Chabad Nissan  p. 63; Shevach Hamoadim p. 195

The reason: The Poskim state that they do not know the reason behind this custom. [P”M ibid; Rav of Belz stated Otzer ibid] Some however suggest that the reason is because in the times of the Temple people would avoid garlic due to its bad odor which may prevent them from making the pilgrimage to the Temple, as rules Rambam Chagiga 2:2. [Dover Meisharim p. 111]

[4] Rav of Belz ibid “Al Titosh Toras Imecha”

Other opinions: Some Poskim rule that they are not required to abide by their custom. [Chayeh Adam ibid; See P”M ibid that one is not to be lenient in this matter in front of an ignoramus although he may be lenient in private in front of Torah scholars]

[5] Chayeh Adam ibid; Bitzel Hachachma 4:113; However, see P”M ibid that one is not to be lenient in this matter in front of an ignoramus although he may be lenient in private in front of Torah scholars.

[6] See P”M ibid

[7] Hiskashrus 922 in name of Rav Yaakov Landau; Rav Eli Landau wrote to me in a correspondence that while his father did use garlic during Pesach in Eretz Yisrael, in Russia they did not eat it.

[8] This rumor is first recorded, and negated, in Chemdas Moshe 11, brought in Sdei Chemed ibid; The following statement was spread on social media to hundreds of thousands of individuals in 2019 “A most urgent message: Do not purchase garlic found in a netting which comes from China, as it is complete Chametz. The Chinese soak the heads of the garlic in barrels of bear for a few days in order to hasten the drying process, and so it last longer in stores, and preserve its color and scent. Please spread urgently everywhere. The Badataz Eida Hachareidis has publicized to remove the garlic from all the stores.”

[9] Rav Yosef Zaritzky, Irgun Kosharot

[10] The following was the official response from the Eida Hachareidis to the above rumors, made by Harav Chaim Yehuda Kohen, one of the heads of the Kashrus organization: “There is no issue with garlic. Garlic is not soaked in beer. The false rumors were spread by parties with a self-interest. Any announcement that does not come directly from our Kashrus organization should be assumed automatically to be false. There is no know issue with any garlic being soaked in beer. It is not correct. Irresponsible individuals spread this lie.”

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