There's the well-worn discussion of cases where someone did a mitzvah when the rabbis said not to, e.g. blowing shofar or taking lulav when the otherwise-right day was shabbos.

This is usually linked to the discussion of if someone said Shema after "midnight"; do they not get the "proper mitzvah" credit, or did the rabbis cancel out the mitzvah altogether.

While both of these involve the principle of rabbinic power to cancel a mitzvah obligation in a passive manner (shev ve'al taaseh), there's a pretty serious distinction: the shofar/lulav fellow is committing an act of commission, being active when the rabbis said to just sit there and do nothing. The fellow who spaced out and missed Shema for six hours sinned by omission -- they did nothing.

It would seem like a reasonable policy (and yes, it's baalabatish) to suggest that if you get up and cross a line the rabbis said not to, they will cancel out your mitzvah. But if you just did nothing, it's hard to say the rabbis then order you to keep doing more nothing!

Does anyone suggest such a sevara, and differentiate between the cases?

  • I wonder if the active violation could be considered a מצוה הבאה בעבירה.
    – shmosel
    Oct 19 at 3:51
  • It sounds more like the person would be a zaken mamreh?
    – The GRAPKE
    Oct 19 at 7:37
  • 1
    The Halacha follows Rabbah Gamliel, who says that bdieved you are yotzei after chatzos
    – fartgeek
    Oct 19 at 11:21
  • 1
    @MichoelR that's a machlokes rishonim, how to interpret various places the Gemara says "you didn't get the mitzvah." (It may simply mean "in the right way", or "with full credit.") On your other point: there's actually a Reform responsum allowing shofar on shabbos for places that keep only one day, based on the Taz's klal. It's a nice try, but incorrect -- the Taz meant the rabbis don't (or can't, depending on how you learn) negate ever doing a mitzvah, not that they have to let you do it every single year.
    – Shalom
    Oct 19 at 16:56
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    @MichoelR sefaria.org/… לדעת התוספות בסוכה ד"ג מן התורה לא יצא כיון דרבנן גזרו ע"ז ואמרו כאלו לא קיים מצות סוכה ולהר"ן וריטב"א רק מדרבנן
    – Shalom
    Oct 20 at 13:20


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