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Lay Out The Cash!

The Minchas Chinuch [423/4] cites the famous halacha that one is not obligated to spend more than a fifth of his funds in order to fulfill a mitzvas aseh. Then he adds a chiddush! He suggests that for the mitzvah of mezuzah one would be obligated to spend more than a fifth.

The reason is as follows: The Ran [Yoma perek 8] says that if someone is very ill and we have to save his life with meat and we have a choice – either to slaughter an animal on Shabbos in a kosher way [a chiyuv skila] or to feed him a neveilah [a regular lo taaseh], we should slaughter the animal! Why? Slaughtering is a much more serious sin than merely eating unkosher?! The answer is, that if we slaughter the animal we are only doing ONE [albeit serious] action. Whereas if he eats a neveilah he is doing MANY actions [every kezais eaten]. We prefer one big aveirah over many small ones.

From this the Minchas Chinuch learns that just like many small aveiros are very serious, so too many mitzvos also have a different halachic status than just one mitzvah. For one mitzvah a person should spend only a fifth. But for mezuzah, which is a mitzvah every second it is on the doorpost, one should spend even more than a fifth.

is it safe to assume that the ran in yoma is referring to a case on shabbat or yom kippur, where there is an issur skila to slaughter?

just a detail not mentioned.

yasher koach

would this then apply to any mitzvah that has infinite mitzvot stem from it? wearing tzitzit each second of the day, writting a torah that is read over and over etc.?

Reb Shlomo - you saved me. Minor detail....

Tzitzis - yes. Writing a Sefer Torah is a one time mitzva. Good point

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