Sunday, March 21, 2021

mitzvah habaah b'aveira by dinim derabbanan

 he Yerushalmi (Shabbos 13:2, 72a in Vilna ed) suggests that if an aveil tears kriya on Shabbos, they are yotzei the mitzvah kriya.  The Yerushalmi then asks: how is this different than a person who stole matzah and ate it on leil Pesach, in which case they are not yotzei the mitzvah?  

The gemara cryptically answers:

אמר לון תמן גופה עבירה. ברם הכא הוא עבר עבירה. כך אני אומר הוציא מצה מרשות היחיד לרשות הרבים אינו יוצא בה ידי חובתו בפסח

By kriya,  עבר עבירה; by matzah, תמן גופה עבירה.  

Whatever exactly that distinction means, the Yerushalmi demonstrates that the cases are not comparable by bringing in another example: surely if a person carried matzah from a reshus ha'yachid to a reshus ha'rabim on Shabbos and then ate it, they would be yotzei the mitzvah of matzah.  The case of kriya is just like this case.

R' Akiva Eiger asks: when you are done carrying the matzah, the aveira is over before you do the mitzvah.  When you tear kriya, the aveira and mitzvah occur simultaneously.  What's the comparison?  How does this latter case prove what the din is by kriya?

So much for trying to understand the answer of the Yerushalmi.  For now, let's back up and take a closer look at the question.  

The Bavli (Sukkah 30) quotes a machlokes whether the psul of mitzvah habaah b'aveira applies only on the first day of Sukkos or on all the days of the chag. 

קא פסיק ותני לא שנא ביו"ט ראשון ולא שנא ביום טוב שני בשלמא יבש הדר בעינן וליכא אלא גזול בשלמא יום טוב ראשון דכתיב לכם משלכם אלא ביום טוב שני אמאי לא א"ר יוחנן משום רבי שמעון בן יוחי משום דהוה ליה מצוה הבאה בעבירה... 

  ופליגא דר' יצחק דא"ר יצחק בר נחמני אמר שמואל לא שנו אלא ביום טוב ראשון אבל ביום טוב שני מתוך שיוצא בשאול יוצא נמי בגזול 

Tosfos explains there is no psul on the latter days of the chag because the chiyuv of lulav on those days is only derabbaban:

. הכא דווקא שהוא מדרבנן לא חייש אמצוה הבאה בעבירה

The Yerushalmi (Sukkah 3:6, 15a top of the page) quotes this this second view stama, as if there is no debate on the matter:

רבי יצחק בר נחמן בשם שמואל כל הפסולין אינן פוסלין אלא ביום טוב הראשון בלבד.

And we see from the Rambam that this rule does not just apply to psulei hidur, but to all psulim, even a stolen lulav, as he writes (Hil Lulav 8:9)

כל אלו שאמרנו שהם פסולין מפני מומין שבארנו או מפני גזל וגניבה ביום טוב ראשון בלבד אבל ביום טוב שני עם שאר הימים הכל כשר.

If so, the difference between the din of kriya and the din of matzah should be obvious: kriya is a din derabbanan, matzah is a chiyuv d'oraysa.  You shouldn't need some cryptic answer to distinguish between the cases -- the question shouldn't even get off the ground!

The Kaba d'Kushyasa similarly asks on the Shulchan Aruch: the S.A. paskens (Y.D. 349) that you are not yotzei kriya on a stolen garment (it's just like trying to be yotzei with stolen matzah) -- there is a psul mitzvah habaah b'aveira even though kriya is derabbanan.  Yet the S.A. paskens (O.C. 649) that you are yotzei with a stolen lulav on all the days of Y"T except the first -- there is no psul of mitzvah habaah baveira by dinim derabbanan.  How do you get these two halachos to fit together?


  1. The language implies specifically that the cheftza was obtained through an issur, making it a קטיגר. I would therefore learn גופה עבירה vs עבר עבירה along the same חפצה vs גברה lines. The stolen matzah is a גופא עבירה because the cheftza (גופא) is the object of the cheit. Tearing clothing store n Shabbos involves a shirt that wasn't made a קטיגר, the גברה was עבר עבירה.

  2. Oops, that is missing its first sentence:

    In the Yerushalmi, the phrase isn't מצוה הבאה בעבירה, but variants of שנעשה שניגורו קטיגורו. (That exact phrase is from Sukkah, vilna 12a.) The language implies ...

    1. So why should this sevara not apply to the latter days of Y"T? If the cheftza is not a good cheftza shel mitzvah, what's the difference if you are talking day 1 or chol hamoed?

  3. "How do you get these two halachos to fit together?"

    on the one hand "not yotzei", because an aveira d'oraysa [theft] negates the means to a mitzvah derabbanan;
    on the other hand "yotzei", because a mitzvah derabbanan requires less stringent conditions for its fulfillment ["habaah baveira" doesn't negate].

    so why is the stolen shirt useless but the stolen lulav okay, rather than the reverse? because there was a time when the original owner of the lulav would have welcomed the potential thief as a borrower; the owner of the garment would never agree to lend it for destruction...

  4. see toras chesed orach chayim siman 31