We are continuing in siman 1, where the Chayei Adam introduces the concept of ain ma’avirin al hamitzvos. We have learned that the Chayei Adam holds that there are three limitations to this concept, in which ain ma’avirin would be superseded. The first limitation is when a person would not have time to perform both mitzvos. In such a case, one performs the mitzvah which is more chamur. The Chayei Adam gave three examples as to how to determine which is weightier: which has a greater level of kedusha, which is more tadir, or which has a time limit. Regarding the first example, we learned that the Chayei Adam holds that one would even ignore a mitzvah deoraysa applicable today in exchange for fulfilling a more chamur mitzvah deoraysa the next day
Today, we will learn the opinion of the Mishnah Berurah on this point.
The Mishnah Berurah brings the Radvaz who discusses the following question. A person was incarcerated, and was told that for one day per year they would be allowed to leave prison. They presented the individual with this offer on a Wednesday night. The Radvaz paskened that he should leave the next day in order to hear Kriyas Hatorah, because waiting for a day with more chamur mitzvos (e.g., Yom Kippur, etc.) would be considered ain ma’avirin. We see that according to the Radvaz, we do not push off an earlier mitzvah in exchange for a later mitzvah which will be more chamur.
Similarly, the Shulchan Aruch Harav discusses someone davening shemoneh esrei on Chanukah who realizes that if they skip Al Hanissim, they will be able to recite kedusha with the tzibbur. Reciting Al Hanissim is a mitzvah derabanan (of pirsumei nisa), but the Arizal holds that Kedusha is a mitzvah deoraysa (of venikdashti besoch bnei yisroel). The Shulchan Aruch Harav writes that one recites Al Hanissim because it is the mitzvah currently in front of them, consistent with the Radvaz above.
The Nishmas Adam brings the Radvaz and writes at length why he disagrees with the Radvaz. He writes that the Chacham Tzvi originally disagreed with the Radvaz, but ended up conceding to him. But the Chayei Adam maintains his disagreement with the Radvaz
The Chayei Adam continues, and points out that practically, he would concede to the Radvaz in any situation in which there is a concern that the individual will not live until the day of the more chamur mitzvah. This concern would apply not only when one is incarcerated, but in any situation in which the more chamur day is more than a few days away. The consideration that a person may die is a halachic consideration brought in the Gemara, and not just a mussar thought. The Chayei Adam is not sure precisely after how many days this concern applies, but he quotes the Magen Avraham who applies it even in regards to waiting to perform a mitzvah between erev Shabbos and Motzei Shabbos.
There are three limitations to the application of ain ma’avirin:
- If one is only able to fulfill one of the mitzvos,
- in which case they perform the mitzvah which carries greater weight;
- Or if one of the mitzvos is more tadir;
- Or if one of the mitzvos has a time limit.
In these cases, ain ma’avirin is superseded.
- Regarding a mitzvah which carries greater weight, although the Chayei Adam holds that one would even ignore a mitzvah deoraysa applicable today in exchange for fulfilling a more chamur mitzvah deoraysa the next day, the Mishnah Berurah disagrees, and holds that one would not ignore one mitzvah for another. The Chayei Adam agrees that practically, one should not ignore one mitzvah in exchange for another which is more than a day away, due to the concern that a person will not live until that mitzvah.