When the Gemarah tells us that a Suma (a blind person) is "Patur" from Mitzvot, does that mean to say that he is completely outside the realm of Mitzvot, and will get no reward for doing them, or does it mean that while he has no obligation, he still gets some reward, possibly a Kiyum Mitzvah?

  • Interesting question. If you can provide examples of this contrast, it would make research easier. FWIW, I understand that despite that the Gemarah states that a Cheresh (deaf) is patur from all Mitzvot, I think Igeret Moshe claims that today they cannot use this as an excuse and MUST perform almost all mitzvoth except for those requiring hearing as being essential to the mitzvah. The main reason, here, is that today's cheresh is not the same as the one during the time of the Gemarah, and he has intelligence. And, IIRC, R. Moshe states that they receive reward for mitzvoth performed.
    – DanF
    Commented Apr 15, 2015 at 15:06
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    I don't know what it means to be "completely outside the realm of Mitzvot" FWIW. I do understand your question about reward though.
    – Double AA
    Commented Apr 15, 2015 at 16:37
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    women are also patur from many mitzvot. why should this be different?
    – ray
    Commented Apr 16, 2015 at 11:24
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    @Bochur613 You alluded to (I assume, a mishna) that uses the term, "patur", but did not give an example of the use "Aino Chayav". I'm suggesting that if you can cite examples of both in your question, it would assist in formulating an answer. More than 1 example of each, might be better, to see if there is a consistent pattern, as I hope there would be. I may relay your question to dinonline.org. This type of question is probably "up their alley".
    – DanF
    Commented Apr 16, 2015 at 14:06
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    Why does being exempt mean that reward is not received? One who does but is not commanded is termed "wino metzuvah v'oseh" and generally receives reward; albeit less than one who is commanded.
    – mevaqesh
    Commented Aug 30, 2015 at 22:07

2 Answers 2


The Gemara states about R` Yosef who was blind that he wondered whether he got more reward because he was blind and therefore non-obligated and did them anyways or less reward because he was non-obligated and so doing them was easier. Like when mom asks you to clean your room you don't want to but a day later you decide on your own that you want a clean room. What changed? You weren't being forced so it is easier.

I believe the Gemara's conclusion is that they receive less reward for the fulfillment. However, I have heard that since they are non-obligated, many times it's more meaningful to blind people so they would be fulfilling the imperative Rachamana liba bouy Hashem wants the heart.

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    This does not seem to answer the question Is there a difference between “Patur” and “Eino Chayiv” Commented Dec 28, 2015 at 8:12
  • @DannySchoemann But it does address the question body which AFAICT doesn't match the question title.
    – Daniel
    Commented Dec 30, 2015 at 20:24

The Gemara in Bava Kamma 87a indicates that a blind man is still within the realm of mitzvot and merits the reward of one for whom the mitzvah is optional rather than obligatory (mi she'eino metzuva v'oseh):

אמר רב יוסף מריש הוה אמינא מאן דאמר הלכה כר' יהודה דאמר סומא פטור מן המצות קא עבדינא יומא טבא לרבנן. מאי טעמא? דלא מפקדינא וקא עבדינא מצוות. השתא דשמעית להא דר' חנינא דאמר ר' חנינא גדול המצווה ועושה ממי שאינו מצווה ועושה, מאן דאמר לי: אין הלכה כרבי יהודה עבדינא יומא טבא לרבנן. מאי טעמא? דכי מפקדינא אית לי אגרא טפי.

Rav Yosef (who was blind) said: Originally, I would say that if one says the halacha is like Rabbi Yehuda who said that a blind person is exempt from the commandments, I will make a holiday for our rabbis. Why? For I'm not commanded yet keep the mitzvot. Now that I heard that which Rabbi Chanina said - for Rabbi Chanina said that one who is commanded and does is greater than one who is not commanded and does - if one says to me the halacha is not according to Rabbi Yehuda, I'll make a holiday for our rabbis. Why? Because if I'm commanded, I have even more reward.

(The clear implication is that even if we say a blind man is "patur", he still receives reward and is included in the mitzvot, just not the same level of reward as one who is "metzuvah" - obligated.)

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    Isn't this the same as the existing answer? Commented Dec 29, 2015 at 4:54

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