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Why Don't We Lash?

The Rambam rules [Chametz Umatza 1/3] that if one bakes or buys chametz on Pesach he receives malkos because it is considered a "lav shyesh bo ma'aseh". Even though the transgression is the fact that he has chametz in his possession [which is not a maáseh] and not the fact that he baked it, nevertheless since the averah came about as a result of an action it is considered a "lav sheyesh bo maáseh". Hence the malkos.

The Rambam [same gentleman] also ruled [Chagigah 1/1] that if one enters the Beis Hamikdash on the Regel without a korban chagigah he does not receive malkos because it is a "lav she'ain bo ma'aseh". The transgression is being in the Beis Hamikdash empty handed [v'lo yarau panai raikum] and the state of being is NOT a maáseh.

True. But the state of being came about as a result of a ma'seh [i.e. coming in to the Beis Hamikdash]. This man should get malkos also?

I once heard Rav Michael Rosensweig שיחיה לימים טובים וארוכים that, based on evidence in his יד חזקה, it's clear that רמב"ם believes that for something to be a לאו שיש בו מעשה both its מחייב and implementation must be מעשה-oriented. Thus, רמב"ם can characterize לא תחמוד as a לאו שאין בו מעשה even though one is not חייב until he takes the חפץ; even where the implementation is ALWAYS through a מעשה it can still be a לאו שאין בו מעשה since its מחייב is a failure in the realm of דעות (the מעשה gauges how pernicious one's thoughts are about someone else's object), its מחייב is "מחוסר מעשה". What emerges, then, is that the שהייה of חמץ on one's property or the תשביתו-neglect is such that it is not an omission but a commission. Now that the מחייב is מעשה-oriented all we need is the actual implementation to be through a מעשה, e.g., purchasing חמץ.

According to this approach, one would have to say that despite that לא יראו פני ריקם is implemented through a מעשה its מחייב is not; the מחייב of not having the קרבן ראייה is inactive, whereas neglecting to rid oneself of חמץ can be seen as if one actively put it there himself.

I hope this helps.

גוט מועד!

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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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