Monday, March 08, 2010

malkos for bal yera'eh

By now everyone has started thinking about Pesach, so maybe it’s time to focus on it here.
The Rambam paskens (Ch”uM perek 1) that someone who buys chameitz on Pesach gets malkos for bal yera’eh. Even though bal yera’ah is a lav she’ain bo ma’aseh, i.e. there is no action necessary to violate the lav; it can be violated by just passively failing to dispose of chameitz, nonetheless, if someone does take action, e.g. he/she goes to a store to buy chameitz, he/she would get malkos.

The Rambam paskens (Hil Gezeilah ch 1) that someone who pressures a neighbor into selling goods violates lo tachmod but does receive malkos because it is a lav she’ain bo ma’aseh, i.e. the desire which causes the violation of lo tachmod is a mental state, not a physical action.

Rav Scheinberg in his Mismeres Chaim (vol 1) asks: Why is it that even though bal yera’eh is a lav she'ain bo ma'aseh, there would be malkos if one takes action to violate the lav, yet even if one takes action to pressure or coerce someone to sell his property, there is no malkos for lo tachmod? What is the difference between these cases?

This is an easy one to answer if you read the post on lo tachmod a few weeks ago. Here’s the link if you missed it.


  1. Without clicking on your link to the the shitkel toireh on לא תחמוד, I would assume that the difference is that the איסור of לא תחמוד is in the לב meaning the "wanting" of another's חפץ, there's just a תנאי that you need a מעשה, but the מעשה now doesn't change the fact that the לאו is still בלב, so you can never get מלקות for it (see the steipler in parshas yisro in bircas peretz). But by בל יראה the issur isn't literlly to "see" the chametz, it's to *own* the chametz (i think it's a teshuvas haran), so if one *owns* the chametz through a Nעשה then he can get מלקות.

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  3. You already handeled the

  4. Am Ha-aretz10:36 AM

    Not so simple. The classic answer of Lo Tachmod being a lav in the realm of the heart, and the maaseh as being only a shiur for the chimood doesn't hold too well. Remembering that this is a lav that is not subject to onesh beit din, what would you say in the following scenario - a person really,really,really wants object X from his friend. He plans all kinds of schemes to acquire it, and finally pressures his friend to sell it to him. Just as the sale is about to take place, some extraneous factor prevents it from going through. Now, according to the Rambam, the person will not have violated the lav since he never took possession of the object. But he DID reach the shiur of chimood, it's just that the change of ownership never took place due to extraneous circumstances. Since the whole issue is all biydei shamayim anyway, and Hashem certainly knows if the person reached the shiur of chimood, then according to the classic answer, the person should be in violation of the lav, but in fact he isn't. There must be another svara to explain the issue.

  5. >>>but in fact he isn't.

    He isn't punished because we have no knowledge of what was in his heart. Who says k'lapei shemaya the person is innocent?

  6. Am Ha-aretz11:03 AM

    He has not violated the lav. So what is he guilty of "k'lapei shemaya"? He may be guilty k'lapei shemaya of bad midot but he is NOT guilty k'lapei shemaya of lo tachmod.

  7. Am Ha-aretz11:19 AM

    My point is that the whole lav altogether is entirely k'lapei shemaya, so if the person hasn't violated the lav, it means ipso facto that he is not guilty of it k'lapei shemaya.

  8. Yosef9:52 AM

    Has anybody else noticed that Am Ha-aretz's kushya on the standard teirutz about lo sachmod is a "knockout" kushya? I think he's right - we need another teirutz to explain the Rambam.

  9. I don't fully understand the question.

    >>>But he DID reach the shiur of chimood, it's just that the change of ownership never took place due to extraneous circumstances.

    Why don't you say the extraneous circumstances prevented the shiur chimud from being reached because a chimud that does not express itself is moot?

    I hear what you are saying about this lav being different because the shiur is k'lapei shemaya, but I am not as sure as Yosef is that this is a knockout punch. I need to think about it more.

  10. Am Ha-aretz12:46 PM

    The classic answer to the problem is that the taking of the object is not part of the aveirah - it is only a shiur in chimood, meaning, that the person's desire reached such a strong level that it impelled him to act on it with schemes, etc. Now if the only reason that he wasn't able to act out his schemes is because of an oneis, then he did reach the shiur of chimood, but due to oneis it was unable to be expressed externally. We don't really care about the external expression of the chimood in and of itself, since the whole lav is k'lapei shemaya and not subject to beit din - and since Hashem knows that the person did reach the level of chimood of the lav even without expressing it externally (due to oneis) he should be in violation of the lav - but he isn't! Kushya!

    Your statement that "a chimud that does not express itself is moot" neglects the issue that the entire lav takes place in his heart. The shiur of desire was in fact reached. His desire is not one iota less than one who was able to take possession of the object in a case where there was no oneis.