As I understand it, if someone is too poor to get married/do a specific mitzva, it is a mitzva in itself to help them perform it.

In the case of mitzvos which are continuous, such as the laying of tefillin, or the wearing of tzitzis, does the person who purchased the tefillin/tallis for an individual receive merit for each time an individual performs the mitzva using that particular tallis/tefillin, or is it a one-time deal?

In other words, take this scenario:

Shmuel buys a tallis for a friend who begins wearing it to daven everyday. Moshe buys a tallis for another friend who wears it only sporadically [not necessarily because he stops davening, but because he received another tallis over time].

Do both Shmuel and Moshe get the same amount of zechus from the fact that they enabled the mitzva in the first place, or does Shmuel get more because Moshe's friend only uses it sometimes?

  • What's the Nafka Mina? I trust God will be sure to give everyone the correct number of points eventually.
    – Double AA
    Commented Aug 16, 2017 at 14:15
  • @Double AA - I suppose it's more of a case of, if two important people [e.g., paternal and maternal grandparents] gave talleisim, and you want to do a mitzva in both their merits, should the talliesim be worn on alternating days? Would it be an issue to not wear one of the talleisim at all?
    – Qoheles
    Commented Aug 16, 2017 at 14:46
  • Why would the person who was given the Tallesim have any obligation to do things to maximize other people's points? He should just wear whatever he prefers.
    – Double AA
    Commented Aug 16, 2017 at 14:47
  • 1
    Not necessarily an obligation, but a personal desire. For instance, if my first tallis was purchased by my wife, and then later my father gives me a tallis in the merit of my grandfather -- and I want to do it, but I already use my current one -- would there be any merit if I didn't wear it at all? Or if I do use the new one, what happens to the fact that I had been previously davening using the one my wife got me? (Naturally I would want to maximize her mitzvos.) I suppose that's the nafka mina.
    – Qoheles
    Commented Aug 16, 2017 at 14:53

1 Answer 1


Firstly I'm not sure. But here are some thoughts on the matter: The Gemorah in Bava Basra on 9a states:

גדול המעשה יותר מן העושה שנאמר והיה מעשה הצדקה שלום ועבודת הצדקה השקט ובטח עד עולם . We see from here that not only is there reward for someone who causes another person to do a mitzva but it's even greater then the doer of the mitzva, at least in certain cases. Perhaps this is also the why the Gemora in Brochos 17a says that the women got a greater promise then the men in that they get reward for mitzvos that they aren't commanded to do by helping their husbands and children learn Torah (see Pnei Yehoshua there).

(Also check out Sanhedrin daf 99 and the ahavas eisan on B"B 9a. We also see a similar concept- Zikuy Harabim in Pirkei Avos 5:18).

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