Talk:Acquiring Rights to a Mitzvah

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What right does a person have to a mitzvah? Here are some approaches and sources on the topic.

  • There is no real acquisition on a mitzvah or honor but it isn’t respectful to take away a position that someone already has. Source: Mishna Gittin 59b, Yoma 12b, Macot 13a. Shulchan Aruch OC 53:25, 153:22, Rama CM 149:31, YD 245:22
    • Maharik 113 understands that it is obvious that someone who did a mitzvah previously is entitled to do it again unless someone else has a good reason to change that. Implied in his words is that a person has a rabbinic “acquisition” of the right to do the honor, similar to the other institutions of the Mishna Gittin 59a.
    • Ravdaz 4:11 writes that it is a chazaka to do a mitzvah and it is a fortiori from the concept of not switching the eruv from one house to another.
    • Chatom Sofer 1:12 writes that there is no Biblical source to say that there is inheritance of spiritual roles or honors.
  • There is an inheritance on a spiritual position. If it is his such that he can bequeath it, there is a fortiori that a person owns the position to the extent that someone can’t take it away from him.
    • Rivash 271 implies this. His three reasons that a person can’t take away someone else’s rabbanut from someone who inherited the position from his father are 1) There is inheritance for rabbanut as we see by the king and kohen gadol. 2) There is a chazaka on a mitzvah as we see in Yerushalmi Horiyot 19b. 3) The rabbi can’t be lowered in his status because of the principle of maalin bkodesh.
    • Chikrei Lev 24 says that a position of authority is like a monetary acquisition as you can bequeath it and maybe even sell it to a third party!
    • Mordechai Bb 834 states that this is incorrect. Bet Yosef and Biur Halacha 153 quote this and say it depends on minhag. Chatom Sofer 1:12 and Rashba 300 imply the same.
  • Biblically a person acquires the right to continue to do an honor or mitzvah because of the concept of chazaka.
    • Rabbi Akiva Eiger 2:12 quotes that the Ranach 2:70 in understanding the trumat Hadeshen there are no chazaka on mitzvot at all except for gelilah or the like which the community would sell. However, the Maharik holds that there are chazaka on mitzvot even if the community doesn’t sell it. But S”A 153 quotes Maharik and Rama YD 245 quotes trumat hadeshen? He answers that really there are chazakot on communal exclusive honors which could be sold but not for teaching torah which isn’t restricted just to the rabbi.
  • Biblically a person is entitled to continue to do his mitzvah in the position he previously did it and no one may stop him. Source: Yerushalmi Horiyot 19b from Shemot 26:30, Rivash 271, Rama YD 245.