If someone enters a room, and he knows that one of the seats in the room is his father's seat, but he does not know which seat it is, is he forbidden to sit in any seat because all the seats are kavua, and kol kavua k'mechtza al mechtza, so sitting in any seat would be a sofek D'oraiso?

[See HERE for explanation of the term kol kavua...]

  • 1
    He should take one out of the room and sit in it. :-)
    – msh210
    May 8, 2018 at 19:12
  • @msh210 That would take us into the complicated subject of "Porush Shenilkach min hakavuah". May 8, 2018 at 19:19
  • When do we apply the rule of kol kavu’a? Maybe we should say it’s batel b’rov, and, as msh suggests, he should remove a single chair and the rest are permitted?
    – DonielF
    May 8, 2018 at 22:50
  • @msh210 Removing the chair from its previous location would not change anything since his question arose before he removed it. If there is reason to permit using 1 of the chairs then it has to apply at the time of the original question and then there would be no need to remove it. He could sit in it in its place. May 9, 2018 at 8:01
  • I'm sorry I commented and didn't mean for it to generate a whole conversation. My point was that removing a chair would render that chair parish so we could consider it meruba parish and it'd be permitted. (I didn't know about the issue of parish shenikach min hakavua.) That said, my comment was only meant as a joke anyway because of of Ribbis just said and because it was anyway only advice of how to avoid needing to answer the question. (Hence the smiley.) I shouldn't've so commented, the rest of this conversation shouldn't've happened, and I plan to delete the whole lot.
    – msh210
    May 9, 2018 at 8:37

1 Answer 1


I posed this question to a Talmid Chacham, (I don't recall his name). He said that "The Steipler Gaon" (R' Yaakov Yisrael Kanievsky ZTzL - Father of R' Chaim Kanievsky) pointed out (in response to a similar question), that in a case like this we would not say kol kavua k'mechtza al mechtza. This is because the question does not concern in issur (prohibition) related to the chair itelf, but rather to a chiyuv (obligation) of אִישׁ אִמּוֹ וְאָבִיו תִּירָאוּ [You shall each revere his mother and his father]. Since the question is about wheter the usual occupant of the seat, is or is not the father whom the questioner has to revere, and since the seat's usual occupant is פריש (seperated from all the other people who have seats there), we would say כל דפריש מרובא פריש, and assume that any seat's usual occupant is of the majority who are not his father, and thus he would be allowed to sit in any seat which is available to him.

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