# 2838 Know Your Onions

Q. We just learned on the Daf that eating onions is dangerous and can put the eater on sakana (danger of life). How come everyone practically eats onions with eggs on Shabbos, herring with onions, or just salads with onions?
A. Indeed, Talmud (Eiruvin 29b) teaches that one should avoid eating onions because of the poison embedded in them. A story is told of Rabi Chanina (ibid.) being placed in life danger due to the onions he ate and how he was saved by the tefilos and prayers of his colleagues, only because he was very needed by his generation.
Maharsham (2: 262) maintains that that onions are not considered being fit to eat raw, (in regard to bishul akum), since there is danger involved in eating them.
Baal Shem Tov (On the Torah. Yisro: 46) quotes that one should be extremely careful not to eat raw onions. He adds in the Ran’s name, that this applies even when eaten mixed with eggs.
However, Horav S. H. Vozner zt’l (Kol Torah 45: Tishrei), mentions that the danger is not physical, but rather due to the accepted tradition not to eat raw onions.
Chayei Adam (51: 2) asserts, that although raw onions are good even when raw, consuming them depends on the custom of the particular place. Divrei Dovid (Y.D. 3: 11: n. 6) mentions that on Sephardic countries onions would be eaten raw by themselves. So it is in some Latin-American countries.
On question 286 regarding the brocho on raw onions and onions from schmaltz herring we wrote: “Mishna Berura (25, 5) rules that since raw onions are normally eaten only when mixed with salads or other dishes and rarely by themselves their brocho is shehakol. If they were fried and thus became better, their brocho changes to hoadomo.(ibid 7)
Horav Shlomo Miller’s opinion is that onions salted and placed in oil or marinated in vinegar are kovush (pickled) and halachakly considered cooked. Since they have improved, if they are then eaten by themselves and not as an integral part of the herring (tofel), the brocho recited over them is hoadomo.”
Much has been written about the preparing of eggs mixed with raw onions on Shabbos day, especially on the table by Chassidik Rebbes and their followers (See Nezer Hatorah p. 160 and others, quoting this as the minhag of the Divrei Chaim of Tzanz, Bobover Chassidim and others). Halacha sefarim deal with the particular ways of doing it correctly.
Horav Shlomo Miller’s Shlit’a opinion is that in places where people abstain from eating raw onions, one should also follow the custom.
Rabbi A. Bartfeld as advised by Horav Shlomo Miller and Horav Aharon Miller Shlit’a

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