May one eat garlic on Rosh Hashanah?

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May one eat garlic on Rosh Hashanah?

Background: Customarily, just as certain foods are eaten on Rosh Hashanah to serve as a good omen for the coming year[1], so too certain foods are avoided due to them containing a negative component. Thus, it is customary not to eat nuts[2], or sour [or bitter[3]] foods on Rosh Hashanah.[4] Now, the question is asked whether garlic contains any negative competent for which it should be avoided on Rosh Hashanah. The following is the ruling:

The law: Some are accustomed not to eat garlic on Rosh Hashanah.[5] Others[6] however are not particular in this matter. Each person and community is to follow their custom.


[1] Admur 583:1-5; Michaber 583:1; The Talmudic source of the Simanim is found in Gemara Horiyos 12a. The Gemara mentions the following Simanim: Kara Rubya; Karty; Silka; Tamri. It does not mention the apple, ram, or fish.

[2] Admur 583:6; Rama 583:2 [“Some do not to eat Egozim as it is the Gematria of sin and causes saliva”]; Darkei Moshe 589:3 in name of Mahril

Other opinions: There were some Poskim that did not avoid eating nuts as well as other foods that increase seed. [Darkei Moshe 583:1 in name of Kol Bo; Kaf Hachaim 583:26]

[3] M”E 583:3; Kaf Hachaim ibid; Piskeiy Teshuvos 583:5

[4] Admur 583:2; Teshuvos Hageonim 114 brought in Kaf Hachaim 583:18

[5] Implication of Tashbatz 118 and Kol Bo 64  [29a] and Darkei Moshe 583:1 that some were accustomed to avoiding garlic just as they avoid nuts; Ketzei Hamateh 583:17; Piskeiy Teshuvos 583:8

The reason: As garlic increase one’s seed and since relations are abstained on Rosh Hashanah therefore these foods are to be avoided. [Implication of Elya Raba 583; See Admur 608:8 regarding Erev Yom Kippur]

[6] Tashbatz 118 and Kol Bo 64 [29a] in name of Maharam, brought in Darkei Moshe 583:1; Kaf Hachaim 583:26

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