There is a Minhag (custom) of eating garlic on Shabbat evening. Is this minhag also valid on Shabbat Yom Tov?

  • 2
    I've never heard of such a custom, but I have heard of a law to that effect.
    – Double AA
    Sep 28, 2023 at 14:11
  • Actually, according to the Rambam in his commentary to the Mishnah, explains that the directive to eat garlic is not an absolute obligation (Nedarim 8:6). Rather, “it was their way to eat garlic at the beginning of Friday night because according to their diet and locale it had an aphrodisiac effect.” Seems more like a custom and not a law.
    – Avery
    Sep 28, 2023 at 16:29
  • @Avery The Talmud explicitly calls it a "Takana", and what you said "the Rambam explains that the directive to eat garlic is not an absolute obligation" is patently false. That Rambam doesn't mention a directive at all.
    – Double AA
    Sep 29, 2023 at 14:02
  • @DoubleAA I was just quoting the Rambam on this Mishna: והיה מנהגם לאכול השום בלילי שבתות
    – Avery
    Oct 9, 2023 at 15:26
  • @Avery As I said before, that Rambam doesn't mention a directive at all.
    – Double AA
    Oct 9, 2023 at 15:50

1 Answer 1


Seemingly, there should be no difference if the Friday evening is also Yom Tov.

There is a source in the talmud Baba Kama 82A ( בבא קמא פ״ב ) that ascribes eating garlic on friday evening to Ezra (one of his takonos- ordinances).

To quote: ושיהו אוכלין שום בע"ש משום עונה דכתיב (תהלים א, ג) אשר פריו יתן בעתו וא"ר יהודה ואיתימא רב נחמן ואיתימא רב כהנא ואיתימא ר' יוחנן זה המשמש מטתו מע"ש לע"ש

translated (sefaria) The Gemara explains the next of the ordinances that Ezra the Scribe ordained: And that one should eat garlic Shabbat eve. This is due to the fact that garlic enhances sexual potency, and Friday night is an appropriate time for conjugal relations. As it is written concerning the righteous: “And he shall be like a tree planted by streams of water, who brings forth his fruit in his season” (Psalms 1:3); and Rabbi Yehuda says, and some say it was Rav Naḥman, and some say it was Rav Kahana, and some say it was Rabbi Yoḥanan who said: This is referring to one who engages in sexual intercourse every Shabbat eve.

  • 2
    Is Friday night coinciding with Rosh Hashanah or Seder night for example, an appropriate time for conjugal relations?
    – Joel K
    Sep 28, 2023 at 15:22
  • @Joel how about bachelors? or women? or travellers? there's no indication any of these factors are relevant to the enactment
    – Double AA
    Sep 28, 2023 at 16:17
  • The Talmud Yerushalmi mentions Ezra’s ordinance as well (Megillah 4:1) the only explanation given is that garlic “fosters love and elicits desire”. This would possibly apply to women also. In addition, the Mishnah references the fact that Jews eat garlic on Friday evening (Nedarim 3:10, 8:6).
    – Avery
    Sep 28, 2023 at 16:27
  • The Vilna Gaon (Maaseh Rav 124) considers the eating of garlic to be a blanket enactment to the extent that it even applies to unmarried individuals
    – Avery
    Sep 28, 2023 at 16:33
  • There are some other poskim, however, that maintain that takanas Ezra does not apply when spouses are spending Shabbos apart or when one’s wife is a niddah, let alone to unmarried persons (see Raaviyah 197; Kaf HaChaim 280:1)
    – Avery
    Sep 28, 2023 at 16:35

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