Wednesday, September 26, 2007

lulav and mitzvos tzerichos kavanah (I)

The person who sent me the Kisvei Maharatz Chiyus is probably going to be disappointed that I haven’t said a word about some of the major topics he addresses regarding the composition of torah sheba’al peh, but I’m enjoying the other stuff so much I haven’t had a chance to get into those parts yet. One other piece before Yom Tov (footnoite p.602 if you want to see it):

A person who mistakingly carries out his lulav on Shabbos is to’eh b’dvar mitzvah (his mistake is due to trying to fulfill a mitzvah) and is therefore patur from a korban chatas. The gemara (42) wonders how the person could carry the lulav without already having fulfilled the mitzvah – once the lulav is picked up the mitzvah is over! The gemara presents a number of scenarios to resolve this question, e.g. he picked it up upside down. Tosfos asks: why does the gemara avoid offering the simple scenario of a person who picks up the lulav without kavanah to fulfill the mitzvah?

The Mahartz Chiyus takes us on a journey through a Sha’agas Arye to resolve this question. The gemara (Nazir 23) comments that two people can eat the same korban Pesach and one will be categorized as a tzadik and one a rasha – tzadikim yeilchu bam u’poshim yikashlu bam on the same act. How? The tzadik eats l’shem mitzvah; the rasha eats achila gasa, an overindulgence. Reish Lakish objected: true, achila gasa is not ideal, but does that make the person a rasha?!

Asks the Sha’agas Arye – Reish Lakish (Pesachim 113) holds that mitzvos tzerichos kavana. If so, l’shitaso indeed the person is a rasha! Eating with intent to stuff one’s face without kavanah to fulfill the mitzvah would be a bitul mitzvah. Why does Reish Lakish not accept the gemara’s statement at face value?

For easy reading (and easy writing) let me break here and part II later…


  1. Anonymous9:10 AM

    The person who sent you the Mahartiz Chiyus sent it to you for you to enjoy and learn from. He did not send it to you with the intent of influencing your blog posts. He benefits greatly from, and has come to trust, the judgment you display, which is part of the reason he sent you the sefer in the first place.

    He is happy that you're using it, but doesn't need you to blog about it to be convinced that you are using it. On the other hand, he of course does not mind that you blog about it.

  2. Ok anonymous : )
    But I am enjoying the sefer!