We are beginning siman 6, where the Chayei Adam discusses the concept of zrizin makdimin lemitzvos (those who have alacrity rush to perform mitzvos). It is interesting to note that the concept is not about zrizin u’makdimin, those who have alacrity and those who rush to perform mitzvos (which would indicate two actions), but rather it refers to a type of person, a person who uses their alacrity( Zariz) pushes themselves to perform mitzvos as soon as they are able.
This concept is a demonstration of chavivus hamitzvah, care for a mitzvah. Things which people do not want to do tend to be pushed off, while things which people want to do tend to be done quicker. For example, a person who likes to eat will eat sooner rather than later once their food is ready, and a person who does not enjoy talking to someone will push it off.
Zrizin makdimin is a form of hiddur mitzvah, because by doing the mitzvah with alacrity one demonstrates hiddur towards it.
The Sefer Nasiach Bechukecha will discuss the difference between zrizin makdimin and chaviva mitzvah b’sha’atah.
The Chayei Adam begins the siman by writing that if one has a mitzvah to perform which is meant to be performed during daytime, they should get up as early as possible to perform it. We learn this concept from Avraham Avinu, about whom the Torah writes that he got up early to perform the command of Akeidas Yitzchak.
Similarly, if one has a mitzvah to perform which is meant to be performed during nighttime, they should perform it at the beginning of the night. For example, if one has the opportunity to daven maariv at a minyan right after tzeis hakochavim or at a later minyan, they should daven at the earlier minyan. It is important to note that prior to tzeis hakochavim, it is not yet the zman for davening maariv, so zrizin makdimin does not apply.
If one has the option to perform a mitzvah earlier, but with a small crowd, or later with a larger crowd, the concept of zrizin makdimin takes precedence over the concept of b’rov am hadras melech. The Chayei Adam brings a proof from Rosh Hashanah 32b. The Gemara says that on Yomtov, Hallel is said with Shacharis, while the tekiyos are blown with Mussaf on Rosh Hashanah. That’s Because more people show up later, because of the concept of b’rov am. The Gemara asks why Hallel is different, and answers zrizin makdimin. The Gemara counters that zrizin makdimin should apply to the tekiyos as well, and the Gemara concedes, and explains the tekiyas shofar was pushed to mussaf because the non-Jewish rulers would place guards in the shuls during shacharis to prevent the shofar from being blown.
The Chayei Adam concludes from this Gemara that Hallel is said earlier due to zrizin makdimin, and shofar would be blown earlier as well–due to the concept of zrizin makdimin–if not for the issue of the guards preventing them. There is much discussion in halacha about this question, which we will discuss in future shiurim, be’ezras Hashem.
Zrizin makdimin lemitzvos is a form of hiddur mitzvah in which one performs a mitzvah as early as possible.
The Chayei Adam holds that the concept of zrizin makdimin takes precedence over b’rov am hadras melech.