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Q&A

Welcome to the Judaism community on Codidact!

Will you help us build our community of learners? Drop into our study hall, ask questions, help others with answers to their questions, share a d'var torah if you're so inclined, invite your friends, and join us in building this community together. Not an ask-the-rabbi service, just people at all levels learning together.

Comments on How is Mitoch Shelo lishma ba lishma allowed?

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How is Mitoch Shelo lishma ba lishma allowed?

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I'm not fully finished with this question as I haven't researched all of my premises, and if someone can point me in the direction of a resource which would stop my question before it starts, that would be great.

One important tenet which I have learned is מתוך שלא לשמה בא לשמה, that we are directed to follow Torah and obey mitzvot even if we aren't doing it for the sake of itself but for some other (or no?) reason. Eventually, we will come to do it for the right reason. Something like that.

But if, for example, the mitzvah that I am required to do requires intent/kavannah for me to have fulfilled my obligation, and I do it without that proper intent, then it remains unfulfilled. That's not the problem.

What if, in the performance of a mitzvah (without kavannah or any interest in doing the mitzvah) I say Hashem's name? Then I, by following the rule that I do the mitzvah even for the wrong reason, have taken Hashem's name in vain and have transgressed something with its essence steeped in a biblical prohibition. If the name I took in vain was in a bracha (a rabbinic mitzvah) then I have broken a torah level law by (in an empty way) performing a rabbinic one!

So how can we encourage people to do an empty act which will, in some cases, cause the breaking of a Torah level law?

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1 comment thread

I don't have resources to suggest, but is this perhaps the same underlying case as training a child t... (3 comments)
I don't have resources to suggest, but is this perhaps the same underlying case as training a child t...
Monica Cellio‭ wrote 3 months ago

I don't have resources to suggest, but is this perhaps the same underlying case as training a child to say b'rachot? A young child probably doesn't have kavannah either, but the training instills the habit and (we hope) leads to development of the proper kavannah later. Isn't the three-year-old who says motzi in the same category as your question?

rosends‭ wrote 3 months ago

I was asked that last night and I think that there is a category of "chinuch" that (I guess) allows certain things to be said. Would Mitoch Shelo Lishma be a form of chinuch?

Monica Cellio‭ wrote 3 months ago

Does chinuch require a teacher? A parent teaching a child, or possibly an observant Jew trying to get a non-observant one to do a mitzvah, might be a different case from the latter acting on his own. On the other hand, sometimes doing leads to accepting -- seems like this is one way we get baalei teshuva. So, lots of questions...