Moed Katan 4a-b:

תנו רבנן מדלין לירקות כדי לאוכלן ואם בשביל לייפותן אסור רבינא ורבה תוספאה הוו קא אזלי באורחא חזו לההוא גברא דהוה דלי דוולא בחולא דמועדא אמר ליה רבה תוספאה לרבינא ליתי מר לשמתיה א"ל והתניא מדלין לירקות כדי לאוכלן א"ל מי סברת מאי מדלין מדלין מיא מאי מדלין שלופי

The Rabbis taught in a Braisa: “We extend [on Chol HaMoed] for vegetables in order to eat them, but if it’s to improve them, it’s forbidden.” Ravina and Rabbah Tosfa’ah we’re going on the road. They saw a man who was extending a bucket on Chol HaMoed. Rabbah Tosfa’ah said to Ravina, “The Master should go and excommunicate him.” [Ravina] said to him, but it’s taught in a Braisa, “We extend for vegetables in order to eat them.” He said to him, “Do you think ‘extend’ means to extend water? ‘Extend’ means to extend sleep!”

While the Gemara ultimately refutes this based on another Braisa, what was Rabbah thinking? How does sleeping help prepare the vegetables for eating or to improve them in any way?

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Sleeping veggies are really good, in general.

Years ago, I worked on a kibbutz for a while. There are some vegetables that are "jumpy" or "hyper". Corn has a way of continuously growing. While you pick them, the stalks fly around in your face. Melons and pretty much any type of "vine" veggie has a similar problem. As you pick them, the vines bend and the melon sort of gets away from you. There are some other veggies that are similarly "movable".

Considering how much meat people eat during Yom Tov, you really need to go on a "meat detox" diet during Hol Hamo'ed and try going just vegetarian / vegan. So, to make that process easier, you should have sleeping veggies.

  • But how does your sleeping make the veggies calm? – DonielF Mar 13 '19 at 17:34
  • @DonielF Ah! Then OP's title is ambiguous. When it says "sleeping for veggies", I understand it to me that the veggies should sleep. – DanF Mar 13 '19 at 17:36
  • Unless I misunderstood the Gemara? My reading of מדלין שלופי is that the person goes to sleep. – DonielF Mar 13 '19 at 17:38

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