Shabbat 76 - How much to carry?
We mentioned many times that one should not carry items in a public area on Shabbat. What is considered a significant amount for which one would have to bring a sacrifice if he carries it by mistake? Here is a general rule: if it is something that people normally store, and its quantity is significant enough for people to care about it and store it, carrying this amount is considered a bona fide violation of Shabbat.
It also depends on the intended use. For example, if one carries processed straw, then the significant amount is a cow's mouthful. If it is stalks of straw, it should measure lamb's mouthful, and if it is grass, fit for young goats or sheep, the amount is their mouthful.
Leaves of garlic and of onion are fit for human consumption, so the amount for which one is liable on Shabbat becomes a standard measure of minimal amount of food, that is, a dried fig. If these leaves dry out, then again they are not fit for humans and revert to animal food, so the significant amount is the mouthful of a young sheep or goat.
Art: Pierre Auguste Renoir - Onions