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I Could - Therefore I Am

There is a well known rule called "arvus". This means that one who is obligated in a certain mitzva has the power to fulfill someone else's halachic obligation. Rebbi Akiva Eiger [Orach Chaim 267] investigated the following question: Can a person who has not yet accepted upon himself the Shabbos, make Kiddush for one who has already accepted Shabbos. He suggests, that even though he has not yet begun Shabbos since he has the option of accepting Shabbos he is considered obligated and can therefore make kiddush for his friend.

From this Rebbe Akiva Eiger, the Imrei Bina [Shabbos 11] extracted the following halacha: A person who lives in Israel and finds himself outside of Israel on the second day of Yom Tov is considered obligated in kiddush to the extent that he could make Kiddush for a Jew who lives outside of Israel and is actually obligated to make Kiddush. Since the Israeli could theoretically decide to remain in Chutz L'aretz which would effectively obligate him in kiddush, he is considered obligated in the mitzva, thus enabling him to fulfill the non-Israeli's obligation. This would be comparable to the case of the Jew who could accept upon himself the Shabbos which enables him to make kiddush for someone else even before he actually does.

However if you think about it, there is a distinction between the two cases and they cannot be compared. What is the difference between them?

I can think of two differences, but I'm not sure if either is sufficient to create a distinction between the cases.

1. Accepting Shabbat early is a mitzvah; moving to Chu"l is not a mitzvah, and depending on the circumstances may be an averah.

2. Someone who has not yet accept Shabbat is destined to accept Shabbat soon; there is no reason that the Israeli should ever necessarily decide to remain abroad. (Similar to "devar sheyesh lo matirin", perhaps the range of future options affects the current status)

One possible answer might be that even if you decide you are going to become a resident of chu"l I would think that you would not be considered a resident for 30 days. I think that is the amount of time that you are given to live in a community without having to pay the tax (or something like that). Only after that time are you considered a member of the community. If that is the case then you would not be obligated in the mitzva even if you decided to stay. But there is nothing preventing you from accepting shabbos right now.

I think, along the lines of beisrunners second answer, you could say that if you wanted to, you can accept shabbos right now and be chayav in kiddush, but if you're not keeping yom tov sheini because youre israeli, than you can't accept yom tov right now and be chayav in that kiddush.....not until you establish yourself later on as a ben chutz la'aretz

let's say the guy who made shabbos early did so a half hour before-the guy who has not yet accepted shabbos will be chayav for sure in a half hour. with israel/chu"l, there is a hopefully strong chance that the israeli will never be chayav at any point to do y.t. sheini. and as mentioned above, putting oneself in that situation may even be assur...

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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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