« Home | Please Help Me:I want Yaakov and Leah to be legall... » | Please Attend » | Please Help Me:Hebrew Is My Favorite Language #30 » | Please Help Me:I Am Not A Seedy Fellow #29 » | A Change In Focus » | Toldos:Bless You - Not Just For Sneezers » | Ally'sSimchas.Com3 » | Pancakes And Zionism » | Please Help Me: I Love Making Brachos #28 » | Please Help Me:I Want To Be Koneh Torah #27 »

Please Help Me:I Want To Keep My Shirt On!

Any mitzvos aseh from the Torah requires us to spend only up to one-fifth of our money. So if one has five hundred dollars and the cheaapest pair of teffilin costs two hundred dollars one is exempt from the mitzva of teffilin!!!

Curiously, in order to light Chanukah candles - a Rabbinic mitzva - one must spend everything, even to sell the shirt off his back!!!

The reason given is that lighting Chanuka candles involves pirsumei nisa. Very nice, but it is still not as important as a Biblical mitzva. So how does this D'rabbanan achieve a higher status than any D'oraisa?

Please help me.

I heard Rav Sobolofsky shlita say in the name of RAV SOLOVEITCHIK Z"TL that in cases of pirsumei nisa such as chanukah, where Hashem went above the teva (and suspended the natural laws of science to perform a miracle) so do we have to go above the teva (and suspend the natural laws of economics) and spend everything we have to do these mitzvot that involve pirsumei nisa.

This probably won't pan out but בדוחק I would say that פרסומי ניסא may be connected to the מצות עשה לקדש שם שמים (I think it's עשה ט in רמב"ם's סה"מ).

Another thought just popped into my head, which, with further thought at another junction in time, may be able to be developed. I'll try to develop it as I go along here.
When we do מצות our actions hearken back to הר סיני - when our forefathers, a whole nation's worth, made a covenant with the One G-d, a ברית that bound to the תורה all generations yet to come. When we, the unborn children to which the covenant was bound, את אשר איננו שם, do מצות, we are on some level demonstrating these beliefs, the most central being our belief in a One G-d Who gave us the תורה.
However, I cannot see how it outrightly demonstrates our belief in continued השגחה. If one wants to claim that we do it for reward, that still doesn't outwardly demonstrate to others our belief in השגחה, it simply shows that we believe in some sort of Divine Judgement when we pass on, at least to the eyes of possibly non-Jewish observers. And that's taking their perspective to the extreme, as it is possible that may see us acting and think that it is being done for its own sake and not simply to receive reward (at least חסידי אומות העולם might have that perspective).
But in a case of פירסומי ניסא there is a much stronger message: G-d is STILL with us. He continues to perform miracles. He continues to interfere on our behalf. We are not despised, as some would think. ואהב את יעקב...ואת עשו שנאתי .
And, in that light, that it's דרבנן only strengthens it (I didn't expect that to happen!). G-d didn't simply perform miracles thousands of years ago, in some "old version" of some ancient "book", as they would have it and term it, of course, but, in fact, He did it thousands of years later, at a time when we couldn't even be bound by the תורה to observe a מצוה as a result of what occurred!
Just a thought.

Theoretically one could try to link this to why one must spend all of his money to avoid violating a מצות לא תעשה, but I think one would be hardpressed to do so and would be more comfortable saying that the reasons for 100% spending are different in each case.

What if someone wont lose a fifth of there money but will lose their health. Obviously, I am not talking about pikuach Nefesh but someone will get sick for a few weeks, are they required to do the mitzvah? (I know of a person who eating matzah makes him sick for a few weeks - not life threatening - but in bed. Is he CHayav to eat matzah on Pesach. And if so, what about the mitzvah of simcha on yom tov?

Dearest Hamelech

Great question!!!

For a thorough treatment see Chazon Ovadia [on hilchos pesach from Rav Ovadiah Yoseph Shlita]. You won't regret it.

see Avnei Nezer Orach Chaim #501, Maharam Shick Orach Chaim #331, and Rav Hershel Schachter's Mipninei Harav oage 146

Post a Comment

Powered by WebAds
Segula - 40 days at the Kotel

About me

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