Apr 10, 2013

Rabbi Yaakov Galinsky

It was gratifying to see that  R' Mordechai Kamenetzky, a regular columnist for Ami Magazine, is perplexed by the same thing I wrote about: here and here

In the Pesach issue, he describes seeing a sign at the matza bakery where the bracha for hafrashas challa is written, that said, "I am doing the mitzva of separating challa for the refuah of the child Shmuel Yaakov ben Esther."  He did not how to proceed.  He felt bad about the sick child but he was doing the mitzva because Hashem said so, not for any other reason.  Should he give away the mitzva as a zechus for a sick child? Did he have the right to do so?

His compromise decision was to do the mitzva of hafrashas challa for the sake of that mitzva and then to spend ten minutes saying Tehillim for the child, for he really did care about the sick child.

In the article, he went on to tell a story from the maggid, R' Yaakov Galinsky in which giving away the zechus of a mitzva turned out to have serious repercussions.  One Shabbos, he told the entire episode to his family.  One of his children seemed surprised by it all because in school, she said, almost every mitzva they did, they were told to give away, whether it was machsom l'fi, making a loud bracha acharona, giving tzedaka, etc.

It is something people do repeatedly and without thinking, as though it is normal to give mitzvos away

His daughter asked, "What does it mean? Should we just be giving our mitzvos away to others?

R' Kamenetzky did not know what to answer.  So I am not alone.

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