Monday, August 4, 2008

Gittin Daf 25

While discussing the concept of bereira (retroactive determination) the Gemara brings a case where a man told his children, "I will slaughter the Korban Pesach on behalf of whichever one of you comes first to Yerushalayim." Once the first child enters, he acquires his portion, and his siblings acquire through him. R' Yochanan explains the father's intentions were "kdei l'zarzan b'mitzvos" to train them to be zealous in Mitzvos. Really, the father gave a share directly to each child at the time of slaughter!
One can ask on the Gemara, how can the father lie to his children just to train and educate them about zerizus (alacrity) ?
I believe that the answer gives us a tremendous lesson in life for ouselves and in educating our children. A mitzvah performed with zerizus and a mitzvah performed without zerizus may seem similar, but they are actually worlds apart. The father is not lying when he says the first one will be the one who will merit the Korban Pesach, because a mitzvah is indeed fundamentally different when performed with zerizus.
"I'll get up in five more minutes." "I know basically what's going on in the daf yomi today, it's enough to get by." "Why does it have to be done now? As long as I get it done it shouldn't matter when I do it." Sound familiar? Procrastinating not only affords the possibility that it may never get done but actually changes the quality of the Mitzvah that is done.

1 comment:

Mark Kerzner said...

I agree with the reasoning but not with examples. Rather, the person thinks it is a mitsva to sleep for another five minutes, because then I will daven better. It is a mitsva to make it easy on myself so that I am not afraid to go to the shiur. It is a mitsva to ignore studying kaballah, because I need to study Talmud :)