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garlic odour during pray


Rabbi Yoel Lieberman

Av 24, 5781
is it ok if u smell garlic smell from somebody in the minyan ? what are the smells that ok for during pray ?
ב"ה Shalom The odors by which are clearly spelled out as those which are forbidden to be smelled during Tefilla are odors which come from things decaying and rotting such as a carcass and the like. (See משנה ברורה סי' עט בשם חיי אדם, ו, משנה ברורה סי , ופסקי תשובות פ"ו:א. Therefore odors such as burning plastic, or other disturbing odors like burnt food, or someone's bad breath, in theory would not disqualify Tefilla near them. However, a foul smell of garlic or can be very disturbing to people and can take one's concentration during Tefilla. The Gemara (Sanhedrin 11a) even tells the story of a person who had eaten garlic and came to the Bet Midrash for a Torah lesson. The Rabbi teaching couldn't tolerate the smell and asked that whoever had eaten garlic should leave the room. One of the students present who had NOT eaten the garlic left the room and then the rest followed suit in order not to embarrass the person who actually eaten the garlic. Consequently, although the smell of garlic itself doesn't prevent somebody from praying near him. However if the odor is repugnant and disturbing to people's concentration in Tefilla, people should not pray near this odor. On the other hand, people must act wisely not to embarrass the person who eats the garlic, as described above in the story from the Talmud. All the best
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