3

Does Rambam ever mention (or reference) the principle that it is preferable to perform every mitzva oneself rather than through an agent? (See e.g. Kiddushin 41a).

2

The Rambam mentions the concept in at least two additional places, besides Kiddushin.

Hilchos Shabbos 30:6:

חייב לעשות דברים שהן לצורך השבת בגופו, שזה הוא כבודו

[A person] is obligated to do things for Shabbos himself, as this is its honor.

And in Hilchos Sefer Torah 7:1:

ואם כתבו בידו, הרי הוא כאילו קיבלו מסיניי; ואם אינו יודע לכתוב, אחרים כותבין לו

And if he writes [a Sefer Torah] with his own hand, it is as if he received it from Sinai. And if he doesn't know how to write it, others should write it for him.

The Shulchan Aruch HaRav (K.A. O.C. 250 2) explains, that vis-a-vis Shabbos it is a requirement, but when it comes to other Mitzvos it is a hiddur.

The Rambam brings the Din in Kiddushin in Hilchos Ishus 3:19 (3:25 in Mechon Mamrei) and the underlying principle of not degrading Mitzvos (which the Shulchan Aruch HaRav says is the underlying concern in the matter) in Hilchos Shechita Chapter 14 at the end.

  • 1
    Its being a requirement by Shabbos indicates that it is not the OP's principle at work. Actually, can you source that either of these is the principle of Kiddushin 41 and not localized concerns? They both seem like localized concerns bc the Rambam actually gives a specific unique reason in each case. – Double AA Mar 22 '15 at 16:18
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    @DoubleAA, right, that is the point in SAH, the limud from Shabbos is from the behavior of the Amoraim, not the concept of בו יותר מבשלוחו, but many in commentaries O.C. 250 do connect it to that concept. But it still fits the question of "to perform a mitzva oneself rather than through an agent" that the OP is asking about (which the Gemara in Kiddushin explicitly ties to Shabbos, BTW). Whatever understanding you have of the position of the Rambam starts in these halachos. – Yishai Mar 22 '15 at 16:42
  • I didnt ask the question properly, but I will leave it unedited since it stands on its own. I meant to ask about whether the Rambam agrees to the principle which applies to all mitzvos. Without citing some evidence from the SA Harav, I see no indication that Rambam agrees to this principle. (Note for example that the Ein Mishpat cites no ruling of the Rambam on it. Note also that Rambam makes no mention of a l'chatchila to do a kiddushin oneself. Note also his ruling on Nedarim 36b and we dont say that the person would rather do the hafrasha himself.) – mevaqesh Mar 23 '15 at 1:41
  • @mevaqesh, the Rambam does say to do Kiddushin himself - Ishus 3:19 – Yishai Mar 23 '15 at 14:00
  • @mevaqesh, I think you also need an updated version of Ein Mishpat. The Hebrew Books daf has the reference. – Yishai Mar 23 '15 at 14:26

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