December 29, 2017 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm #1439354
Rav Avigdor Miller on Onions and Potatoes
Q: Why did Hashem create onions? Who needs it?
A: I have to laugh when I hear that question, but it’s an important question though. Why did Hashem create onions? Who needs them? And the answer is because they taste good. Onions add so much to so many cooked foods. And to other foods as well. It tastes good. You know, when I walk in the street and I pass a fruit store, sometimes I see outside the store a big sack full of onions. I get excited! Ah! Onions! What would this world be without onions?! Without onions, what is the world?! It’s not a world! I see big sacks of potatoes on Kings Highway. And big bags of onions. Onions and potatoes. What’s better than that?! Boruch Hashem for onions. הודו לה’ כי טוב כי לעולם חסדו. Boruch Hashem! Onions make us happy! How can anyone even have a question about it?! Why do we need onions?!! How can it even be a question in your mind?!
So you must start training yourself. Walk by the fruit store and make sure to stop and look at the onions. And then say, “Boruch atah Hashem borei pri ha’adama.” Say it! Yes, say it. Don’t just think it. Say it! The first fifty times you don’t mean it. But after a while you’ll mean it. Don’t just leave here after our talk and forget about it. No, I really mean it. You have to practice thanking Hashem in this world. Walk past a fruit stand. You see onions outside. Say, “Ahhh! Borei Pri Ha’adama. I thank You Hashem for the onions.” Ok, so you’re a hypocrite. You don’t mean it. But do it anyhow. Do it anyhow. And after a while, you’ll actually begin to feel truly happy and thankful to Hashem that He created onions. Your superficial words will begin to influence your פנימיות. And after a while, you’ll begin to understand how good the world is. Boruch Hashem that there are onions in the world! Boruch Hashem that there are potatoes in the world!
Tape #E-180 (February 1999)December 29, 2017 1:10 pm at 1:10 pm #1439358
Onions are the bane of my existence.December 29, 2017 3:51 pm at 3:51 pm #1439390
In honor of this topic, I just added some chopped, raw onion to my cup of coffee.December 31, 2017 8:38 am at 8:38 am #1439681
I learned that the bracha on raw onions is shehakol and that only fried onions merit the bracha of borei pri ha’adama.
Did Rav Miller hold diifferently?
I did read that R’ Schneur Zalman of Liadi paskined borei pri ha’adama since raw onions are commonly eaten with bread even though they aren’t eaten by themselves like an apple.December 31, 2017 10:37 am at 10:37 am #1439695
On the topic of onions creation, Yaakov Avinu asked for maadanim- plural.
The Alter Rebbe explains that there are two types of Avodas Hashem that Hashem delights in, and they are reflected in the two types of delicacies :
Avodas hatzaddikim – where we go from strength to strength in kedusha – that’s reflected in naturally sweet delicacies – like fruit.
Avodas Baalei teshuva – when we fall into bad / darkness, but then we elevate it into kedusha through teshuva, so we turn the darkness into light and bitterness into sweetness.
This is reflected by delicacies that start off bitter, but through cooking etc become sweet, such as onions.December 31, 2017 11:15 am at 11:15 am #1439809
Ah! Onions! What would this world be without onions?! Without onions, what is the world?! It’s not a world!
I suppose the same could be said about passenger pigeons, dodos, Tasmanian tigers and aurochs.
The WolfDecember 31, 2017 11:15 am at 11:15 am #1439824
Thanks, Joseph–I enjoy your transcriptions (?) from Rav Miller’s tapes.
Raw onions with eggs is a commonly served food, but Rebbe Nachman of Breslov had a tradition from his great-grandfather the Besht not to ever eat raw onions, which he emphasized the importance of in his writings. Sichos HaRan 265.December 31, 2017 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm #1439890
Onions smell and taste bad. They also have a bad texture.January 9, 2018 3:23 pm at 3:23 pm #1446606
Onions make me cry … a lot!
So I guess they were put into this world to teach me that even something that makes me cry can be wonderful and bring so much flavor into my life.January 9, 2018 3:45 pm at 3:45 pm #1446621
Onions are bad from start to finish. From the moment you try to engage with them in any way, they do the best to make you cry. Then, when they are fully sliced open or cooked, they fill the room with a foul odor. Then, when you eat them, they taste bad and have a texture that infuriates the senses.
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