Skip to main content

Thought for the Day: Of Onions and Eggs

Look, I enjoy a good s'gula as much as the next guy.  Well... to be honest, that's only true if the next guy is my friend who says that if it were possible to think, chas v'shalom, that HaShem made a mistake, it would be in not referring to the 10 fundamental concepts of existence that are engraved on the two tablets He gave to Moshe as, "The 10 S'gulos".  A guy may come late to davening, be lax with kashrus, and not give a hoot as to the quality of an eiruv; but a s'gula?  That's יהרוג ולא יעבור/die rather than transgress and more.

That being said, I am very, very careful not to eat hard-boiled eggs nor (raw) onions that were left over night.  Those aren't s'gulos, those are straight from Chazal as being dangerous.  Why are they dangerous?  That, as they say, is shrouded in mystery; or, if you prefer to be more frum about it, על פי סוד.  Please note, "shrouded in mystery" is not at all the same is "I don't know".  Philosophically, the phrase, "I don't know", means "but I could,  at least principle know"; whereas the expression "על פי סוד" (I want you to know I a frum, after all) means that we know with certainty that the reason lies beyond the boundary of human understanding.

There are halachic ramifications, also.  In particular, and this is something that על פי סוד does share with s'gulos, that smallest differences mean the danger (or benefit, in the case of s'gulos) has been avoided.  Here are a few examples.  Leave a bit of shell on that egg or a bit of peel (or some root) on the onion, and you are out of danger.  Only whole (and some say diced, as well) eggs and onions by themselves are dangerous when left overnight, so mix them with oil or salt or mayonnaise (eg, to make egg salad and tuna salad) and again you are safe.  Industrial produced hard-boiled eggs  (do a web search, you'll find lots) are not a problem.  (According to R' Moshe, but I have heard that some chasidishe hashgachos disagree.)

As long as we are talking about onions, I'd like to mention a very practical concern that I just saw this morning in the OU's daily halacha email: bugs in onions.  I had never thought about it, but bugs can live in the rooty part of the onion and even inside the top layer or so.  The OU recommends, especially during the summer months when infestations are typically worse, to peel off any loose outer layers and then wash the onion.  They also recommend using onions that are firm, as that also reduces the risks of bugs being in any deeper layer.

Here's one s'gula I really like: if you learn halacha every day, then you are guaranteed olam ha'bah.  That's a pretty good return on investment!


Popular posts from this blog

Thought for the Day: Using a Mitzvah Object for Non-Mitzvah Purposes

As I am -- Baruch HaShem -- getting older, I am more cognizant of the fact that I'd like to stay as healthy as possible right up the moment I leave this world.  Stuff hurting is not the problem (I am told there is an old Russian saying that once you are 40, if you wake up and nothing hurts -- you're dead), stuff not working, however, is a problem.  To that end, for several years now I commute to work by bicycle (weather permitting, 30 minutes on an elliptical machine when weather does not permit).  I recently took up some upper body weight training.  Not because I want to be governor of California, just simply to slow down loss of bone mass and extend my body's healthy span.  Simple hishtadlus.  I have an 18 month old grandson who is just the right weight for arm curls (yes... I am that weak), so I do about 10 reps when I greet him at night.  He laughs, I get my exercise; all good.  (Main problem is explaining to the older ones why zeidy can't give them the same "…

Thought for the Day: Thanking HaShem Each and Every Day for Solid Land Near Water

Each and every morning, a Jew is supposed to view himself as a new/renewed creation, ready for a new day of building his eternal self through Torah and mitzvos.  We begin the day with 16 brachos to praise/thank/acknowledge HaShem for giving us all the tools we need to succeed.  We have a body, soul, and intellect.  We have vision, mobility, and protection from the elements.  Among those brachos, we have one that perhaps seems a bit out of place: רוקע הארץ על המים/Who spreads out the land on/over the water.  After all, it's nice to have a dry place to walk, but does that compare to the gratitude I have for a working body and vision?  As it turns out, I should; as explained by the R' Rajchenbach, rosh kollel of Kollel Zichron Eliyahu (aka, Peterson Park Kollel).  Your best bet is to listen to the shiur; very distant second is to continue, which I hope will whet your appetite for the real thing.

First... since we have dry land, I don't have to slog to work through even a foot…

Thought for the Day: Hydroponically Grown Humans... I Feel Sick

I am quite openly not at all objective about abortion in particular and the treatment of human embryos and fetuses in general.  I am, after all, the survivor of a failed abortion attempt.  Not "thought about it, but couldn't go through with it"; not "made appointment, but then chickened out at the lost moment"; but, "tried a procedure, but was unsuccessful in attempt to abort".  Nonetheless, I try very hard to listen to the liberal arguments (which I also used to chant as part of the general liberal catechism), and am genuinely empathetic to the plight of women who find themselves in that difficult position.

What I heard on NPR this morning, however, has left me feeling physically ill.  You can read about it, if you like, but here's the bottom line:  Scientists in Cambridge have achieved a new record, they fertilized a human ova and then kept it alive in vitro (that is, in a test tube/petri dish in a laboratory) for 14 days.  The scientist involve…