[Avodah] A question for the Chevre

Moshe Zeldman mzeldman at gmail.com
Thu Feb 7 20:05:20 PST 2013

> You have a secular Jew who's on his way to Africa for the rest of his
> life, and you have an opportunity to teach him one mitzva that he'll keep
> until he dies. ... Do you teach him: a) to love Hashem, or b) not to
> take bones out of a fish on Shabbos?

> To emphasize, the question here is not a kiruv/chinuch strategy question
> -- it won't lead to more mitzvos. It's a question of priorities
> in halacha. To this Rav, it was pashut that you teach him about
> borer. Thoughts?

Did he say why? Given that Ahavat Hashem is a mitzvah as well, I would
have thought that it might get the nod based on a hashkafic point of
mitzvoth aseih being love of HKB"H vs. prohibitions being fear (Ramban
I think) which would explain why aseih docheh lo taaseh.

Joel Rich

My response:
I also thought that "osei docheh lo taase" would be a good raya. But he
pointed out that there are exceptions to that klal. For example, it doesn't
apply when the Lo Taaseh is a chiyuv kares. Which seems to suggest that, if
we make the decision of which mitzvah is more important based on their
kadima in halacha, then shmiras Shabbos outweighs Ahavas Hashem. That was
the Rav's sevara altogether. He even went so far as to say that the mitzva
of not taking a bone out of a fish ONCE in a lifetime would outweigh a
lifetime of Ahavas Hashem.
It seems that in purely halachic terms, he's correct. But I have a chush
that there's something wrong with this approach.
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