By Rabbi Berach Steinfeld
The Rambam in Perek Yud in Hilchos Kla’im, halacha lamed alef says a tremendous chiddush concerning the issur of Kla’im. He says that the issur of putting on Kla’im applies to both the person who wears the kla’im, and the person who may be dressing him. This only applies to a case where the person who wears the kla’im is not aware that he is doing so; however, in the event that the person knows he is wearing kla’im then the person dressing him will not transgress the prohibition of kla’im. He will only transgress the issur of “lifnei iveir.”
The Minchas Chinuch discusses this topic according to the Rambam mentioned above. Since the torah says that kla’im on tzitzis is permissible because of the rule that an aseh pushes off a lo sa’aseh, it would apply only to the person wearing the tzitzis as he is the one doing the mitzvah to push away the lo sa’aseh. However, in the case where the person dressing the other person is not doing the mitzvah, it therefore stands to reason that would it be assur.
A similar case is mentioned in Tosfos in Bava Basra, daf yud gimmel, amud alef and in Gittin, daf mem alef regarding a person who was a servant belonging to two partners. One partner freed the slave resulting in him becoming half free man and half slave. The Gemara says that the half slave part must be freed since he may not marry anyone in this status. He would be unable to marry a female slave because he is half free; and a he would be unable to marry a free woman because he is a half slave. Tosfos asks the following question. Why is the mitzvah of piryeh verivyeh (having children) not docheh (push away) the issur of “lo yihyeh kadesh” (living in sin.) Tosfos answers that this concept may apply to the slave who may fulfill the mitzvah of piryeh verivyeh and be docheh the issur. In contrast, the woman he is marrying does not have the mitzvah of piryeh verivyeh and therefore the issur could be dismissed. From this scenario we understand that another person’s prohibition may not be pushed off for my mitzvah.
The Minchas Chinuch adds that even if we would say that one’s obligation to do a mitzvah does push something off for someone else, we still would have a difficulty. The preferred way is to be mekayem the mitzvah and not commit an issur at the same time. If this is so, then one would be required to notify the person of what he would have transgressed by wearing the garment, and then he would not be oveir on kla’im just on lifnei iveir as we mentioned earlier.
The Avi Ezri in Hilchos Kla’im, Perek Yud, halacha yud ches and in the Shiurim of Reb Shmuel Ruzovsky in Bava Basra, daf yud gimmel, amud alef both argue on the Minchas Chinuch. They state it would be permissible for a person to dress up somebody else with tzitzis that has kla’im. This would not be similar to the case mentioned in Tosfos. In that case, both the man and the woman have a separate issur. The mitzvas aseh of the man may not be docheh the issur of the woman. In the scenario regarding kla’im there is only one action of putting on kla’im, which gets pushed off by the one wearing it, so it can’t be that the one putting on will have an issur, but the one wearing it won’t since it is one issur of wearing kla’im.
Since putting kla’im on someone else is a machlokes, it would be advisable not to be oveir and dress someone else with tzitzis that has kla’im.