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Please Help Me:I Can Legally Drink

The halacha is that if ones father asks for food or drink from his child the father must foot the bill and the child need not pay - "mishel av".

However before Succos one must pay for his own esrog until one fifth of ones money. And so with all mitzvos - we have to shell it out. Why then does the mitzva of kibbud av not require financial expenditure.

Please help me.

Rav Ally –
By most מצות, such as אתרוג or giving צדקה, the תורה tells us (or the point of the מצוה is such) that we have to own the חפצא של מצוה. The תורה says that the אתרוג with which we fulfill our מצות לולב must be ours, it must be לכם; the צדקה money must be ours or we’re just a שליח for someone else, we’re not fulfilling our מצות צדקה. Acc. to the מאן דאמר that כיבוד אב ואם is משל אב, the point of the מצוה there isn’t the financial outlay. To be sure, the point of מצות לולב is not to own the לולב and אתרוג but to be נוטל them, but owning them is a necessary prerequisite for performing the מצוה according to the standards set forth by the תורה. By כיבוד או"א, the מצוה (acc. to this opinion) is to serve one’s parents, to show one’s servility and willingness to attend their beck and call (within the limits defined by הלכה). The תורה demands that I serve them food and drink, for example, but whether I do so with my own food or with someone else’s food is essentially irrelevant. To frame it in Brisker terms, I would say the חפצא של מצוה is the service, whose quality is not impacted if the child uses the parents’ utensils to serve them. (Note: the lack of impact is at least in the negative, it is conceivable that though using one’s own utensils, food, etc. the quality of the מצוה could be impacted in the positive sense, though I am inclined to propose that it makes no difference, despite that modern home etiquette would view it as a “nice thing” and that the other מאן דאמר who says משל בן sees it as a חיוב).

Rav Will
I am "mekabel" your answer.

Thanks for the help!!!

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About me

  • I'm Rabbi Ally Ehrman
  • From Old City Jerusalem, Israel
  • I am a Rebbe in Yeshivat Netiv Aryeh.
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