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I recall reading (though I can't find it) that the person who was punished for collecting sticks on Shabbat was actually doing so in an effort to help others see the laws of Shabbat in practice (or something "positive" like that). Is there a concept in halacha of creating a scenario to allow others to be mekayem a mitzvah?

Examples -- Can I be less careful with my belongings so that I can lose them and give others the chance to return lost items? Can I expose myself to illness so that more people can come visit me as bikur cholim? As an extension, if I choose not to have children have I deprived potential children from being mekayem kibbud av so by not creating the situation; have I added an aveirah?

  • I believe it's the gemarra near the end of Bava Basra – robev Jul 14 at 2:38
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    Note that in all of your examples, the person is actively (or at least passively) committing a sin. Even if one normally does receive credit for causing someone to do a Mitzvah (which I believe that they do), they probably wouldn't get the credit here (due to Mitzvah Haba Be'aveirah. And even if they did get a reward, it would probably be Yatzah Scharo Behefseido). – Salmononius2 Jul 14 at 3:16
  • @Salmononius2 I don't think that's how mitzvah haba beaveria works. Do you think that if someone intentionally gets himself sick, going to visit him is a mitzvah haba beaveira? – Daniel Jul 14 at 4:27
  • @Daniel I meant with regards to whatever Mitzvah the person making himself sick would get, that Mitzvah might fall under the category of Mitzvah Haba Beaveirah. The person doing the visiting hadn't done any Aveirah, so it would be a pure Mitzvah for him. – Salmononius2 Jul 14 at 4:33
  • @Salmononius2 Got it. Makes sense. I agree that better examples could be provided for this question. – Daniel Jul 14 at 5:14

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