Quickly or Personally?

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By Rabbi Berach Steinfeld

The Gemara in Kiddushin, daf mem alef, amud alef says there is a mitzvah to be mekadesh a woman in person rather than via a shaliach (proxy.)

If the process of Kiddushin will take longer by doing it in person rather than via proxy, should the preferred method of choice be the faster option or not? Do we say that the inyan of doing it by yourself is preferred only when everything else is equal, or do we say zrizus takes precedence? We can apply the same question in reference to preparing for Shabbos. We learn that Amoraim prepared for Shabbos themselves. Is that protocol only if everything were equal? Would the situation be different if a shaliachcould do the preparation sooner or in a quicker fashion?  Would the preferred thing in such a case be to have it done via a proxy?

This chakira whether the maalah of doing it yourself takes precedence over a shaliach who can do it quicker is a machlokes between the Mishnas Avraham and the Sdei Chemed. The Mishnas Avraham says that zrizus is preferred so if it will be done sooner via a shaliach, that is the way it should be done. The Sdei Chemed, on the other hand, argues with this and says that the person himself should rather do the mitzvah, despite the fact it may take longer to get it done.

If you hold like the Mishnas Avraham that zrizus takes precedence over doing mitzvos by oneself, we could still analyze the question regarding Kiddushin. There are shittos that hold that Kiddushin is just a hechsher (preparation) for the mitzvah of having children. Others say there is a mitzvah in the Kiddushin in and of itself. If you hold that the act of Kiddushin is a mitzvah itself, then you would for sure need to have it done via shaliach if that will enable it to be done in a quicker fashion. If you hold it is just a hechsher mitzvah, then the person should rather do it by himself because it will not bring the mitzvah of having children any closer.

If one plans on doing a mitzvah at a later time, but the beginning of the mitzvah can be done now, is there an inyan to do it quicker rather than doing it by yourself later? For example, if I can buy daled minim closer to Yom Tov or have someone else pick it up for me earlier, which scenario is preferable? The mitzvah itself will not be done until Yom Tov anyway so does it matter when I purchase the daled minim? The same question can apply to preparing for Shabbos since everyone has to finish at the same time before the zman. Is there any reason to prepare for Shabbos personally, or is it preferable to have someone else do the preparations if it will result in them being completed earlier?

We can apply this question to mitzvos on Purim in the following scenario. If Reuven is only capable of being mekayem half the mitzvah of matanos lo’evyonim on Purim morning since he has only one poor person to give to and he won’t find the second person until late on Purim afternoon, is there an inyan for him to do the mitzvah by himself on Purim morning despite the fact that he will only complete half the mitzvah? It would seem from Reb Yehuda Ossad’s psak on this topic that there would be a chiyuv to be mezarez even if it means doing only half the mitzvah of matanos lo’evyonim. This would in turn translate in the case mentioned above regarding Kiddushinthat one should rather have the shaliach do the mitzvah of Kiddushin earlier via a shaliach despite the fact that the mitzvah of piryeh ve’rivya (having children) won’t happen until later.

Halacha le’maaseh is not clear. However, the lesson learned is how important it is to do mitzvos yourself and to do it as quickly as possible.

Do you have a topic or discussion you want to read about? Please send comments or questions to hymanbsdhevens@gmail.com or berachsteinfeldscorner@gmail.com.

 

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