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Is there an issue [transgressing the Mishna Avos (Avos 3:8) of causing oneself to forget his learning] to eat olives seeing that Horayos (13b) writes olives eaten frequently will cause one to forget his learning? If there is an issue, is there a way to remove the forgetfulness?

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    What about olive oil/things cooked with olive oil? Or are just plain olives the concern? – Gary Feb 15 '17 at 2:24
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    Do you mean a halakhic concern? A medical concern? Something else? – mevaqesh Feb 15 '17 at 2:51
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    @Gary It sounds like just olives are an issue---in fact, it sounds like olive oil is helpful for memory. See halachayomit.co.il/en/ReadHalacha.aspx?HalachaID=3295 – NJM Feb 15 '17 at 3:09
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    I seem to recall seeing in the Artscroll footnotes to that Gemara a Sefer Chassidim involving one who wanted to eat bread from which a rat nibbled (another thing that harms memory in that sugya). His Rebbe told him he could eat it, as one is only liable if he purposely tried to forget his memory. Nevertheless, given that this guy spends his time doing all sorts of wasteful things, the items that harm memory may actually be useful to him. – DonielF Feb 15 '17 at 3:55
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    @DonielF This guy's rebbe was really smart – SAH Sep 19 '17 at 21:57
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In a personal letter Rav Chaim Kanievsky wrote to me that one should wait thirty days between one "eating" of olives and the next "eating" so that one shouldn't be "ragil ba'zeisim." He said however that dipping the olives in olive oil is sufficient to remove the problem of eating olives altogether.

  • Note that unlike the title, the body didn't ask about frequency, but about consumption in general. – mevaqesh Feb 15 '17 at 13:58
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    That's why I added the prat about dipping in olive oil – Mark A. Feb 15 '17 at 18:24

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