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If The Rambam Makes Sense - Why Doesn't He Make Sense : The Answer

The rule that one cannot appoint an agent if they do not have the halachic right to perform the act themselves, applies only where it is necessary to transfer one's halachic right [a sort of power of attorney] to the agent. Example: If the kohanim in the Beis Hamikdash are agents of the non-kohanim they would not be allowed to sacrifice the korbanos on their behalf. A korban needs to belong to the one who brings it and that can only be accomplished if the non-kohanim transfer their right to perform the sacrificial service to the kohen. Since a non-kohen does not have the right to bring a sacrifice in the first place he cannot transfer that right to the kohen. [This compels us to say that the kohanim are the agents of Hashem - see Kiddushin 23b.]

However the case of the sefer torah is different. In such an instance there is no need to pass on one's power of attorney to the agent. The agent - in other words the male - has the right to write a sefer torah for himself. Therefore, it is not a problem for the woman to appoint him as her agent [even though the woman herself cannot write the torah].

That is why the ShaƔgas Aryeh does not understand the opinion of the Rambam who maintains that women are not obligated in the mitzva of writing a sefer torah. Indeed, they cannot write one themselves but they can appoint a man to do so for them. [Rav Chaim Pinchas Scheinberg Shlita]

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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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