[Avodah] Mitzvos are not for Hashem

Micha Berger micha at aishdas.org
Mon Jan 28 13:04:00 PST 2013

The chazal usually cited to teach that mitzvos are for our benefit,
not HQBH's, is Bereishis Rabba 44:1:
    Rav says: The mitzvos were only give letzareif bahem es haberios.
    Does is matter to HQBH who slaughters from the throat and who
    slaughters from the back of the neck?

Then there are references to the gemara that explains that "al qan
tzipor yagiu Rachamekha" is a problem for a chazan because "it arouses
jealousy of other animals" or "mitzvos are mptjomg bit decrees. Which
the Rambam and Ramban then debate. The Rambam cites this as proof that
not every detail of every mitzvah has a taam hamitzvos. The Ramban says
this means that shiluach haqen was legislated for our benefit, not the
bird's. Thus leading to the same point as BR.

However, there is a clearcut discussion in the Y-mi, Nedarim 9:1 (vilna
29a). The gemara discusses whether the pegam in one's parent's kavod
could be used as the basis of a pesach for hataras nedarim. "Im kein ein
nedrarim!?" So they conclude that it is a valid pesach only for those
nedarim whose substance directly relates to their kavod. Then the gemara
makes a parallel question about kevod haMaqom:
    Similarly, they should make a pesach for him with kavod in things
    that are between him and haMaqom.

    What is kevod haMaqom? Like "the sukkah I won't make"? "The lulav
    I won't lift"? "The tefillin I won't place"? That's kevod haMaqom???

    We hear from this that it is for his [own] soul that he provides
    hana'ah. Like "if you're just, what are you giving Him? If you sinned,
    what did you do to Him?" (Iyov 35)

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             A sick person never rejects a healing procedure
micha at aishdas.org        as "unbefitting." Why, then, do we care what
http://www.aishdas.org   other people think when dealing with spiritual
Fax: (270) 514-1507      matters?              - Rav Yisrael Salanter

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