Today’s word, ‘shoo•mim,’ is the plural of ‘shoom,’ garlic. Unlike the melon, this word is biblical and has not changed to this very day. This vegetable appears in the Bible only once and in its plural form:
“We remember the fish, which we ate in Egypt for nothing; the cucumbers, and the melons, and the leeks, and the onions, and the garlic”
Nowadays, the name garlic, ‘shoom,’ is used mostly in singular, just like in English.
Scientists are researching a whole array of healing claims accumulated through the generations, making this all-time medicinal remedy number one on ‘grandma cures’ and remedies list.
Garlic in Judaism
The sages of the Talmud wrote about garlic that: “it is filling, warming, causing happiness, increases fertility, killing damaging organism in the digestive system, induces feelings of love, and removing feelings of jealousy” (Talmud, Bava Kamma, 82:71 [the First Gate]).
Enthusiastic references to ‘shoom’ in other ancient Jewish resources have caused the garlic to become a special food on the Jewish Friday Night Dinner, which is a ceremonial ritualistic meal for Jews. Garlic has become such a significant food for Jews that the book of Mishnah notes that whoever uses the expression ‘garlic eaters’ means Jews (Nedarim, [Vows] tractate 3:10). This tractate also notes that “eating garlic is particularly evident among Jews compared to the reported abhorrence of the (early [Romans towards this vegetable])”. This Friday Night custom was cancelled many generations ago, and we also know that the Romans grew fond of ‘shoom’ later in History.