Wednesday, July 04, 2007


Reb Elchonon in Kovetz Shiurim (Chelek Beis Siman 19) brings a Rambam that says: If one is learning and is concerned that getting married will interfere with his learning, he may delay getting married, because one who is involved in a mitzvah is exempt from doing another mitzvah and even more so, by learning Torah.

Reb Elchonon asks based on a Gemora in Moed Katan (9a) that a mitzvah that cannot be done by others, one is obligated to stop learning in order to do the mitzvah, and we don't say under those circumstances, since he is already involved in one mitzvah, he shouldn’t be obliged to perform the other mitzvah. Why does the Rambam rule that one who is learning Torah is exempt from the mitzvah of marrying; marriage is a mitzvah that only he can perform?

He answers that the fact that he is able to delay the performance of the mitzvah, and later on, he will perform it, that is tantamount to a mitzvah that others are able to perform. Regarding such mitzvos, we can apply the principle of osek b’mitzvah patur min hamitzvah, since he is preoccupied with the mitzvah of learning Torah, he is temporarily exempt from the mitzvah of marriage.

He continues that the mitzvah of learning Torah is incumbent on a person only when he is free from his life obligations, such as sleeping, eating, working for his family’s sustenance and taking care of his bodily functions.

by Rabbi Eliezer Jacobovits