Shabbat Parashat Metzora| 5766
From the works of Hagaon Harav Shaul Yisraeli zt”l - Bedikat Chametz And Its Beracha Via a Shaliach - Part II - From Amud Hay’mini, siman 47
[We saw last time that the Magen Avraham says that a shaliach (agent) who does bedikat chametz for his friend, not in his presence, makes a beracha before beginning. The precedent he brought for someone making a beracha on someone else’s mitzva, not in his presence, is from a mohel doing a brit milah for someone else’s child. We explained the Rosh’s discussion of whether one who “steals” another mohel’s opportunity to do milah is penalized, as relating to the beracha he made, not the mitzva, which anyway relates to the father.]
The beracha that a shaliach makes does not relate to his connection to the obligation to do the mitzva, for he does not have one. Nor does it relate to the m’shaleiach (the one who authorizes the shaliach), for the beracha is made even if the m’shaleiach does not hear it. Rather, the institution to make a beracha before doing a mitzva relates to the one who, in practice, performs an obligatory mitzva, not necessarily the one who is obligated in the mitzva. (In truth, it sounds from the Magen Avraham, that if the one who is obligated is present as the mitzva is done, he can also make the beracha, and he only adds that the shaliach can also make the beracha.)
For this reason we never find shlichut on the recitation of a beracha, only shomeia k’oneh (he who hears the beracha is like one who makes it). The beracha does not relate back to anyone else, which would lend itself to the concept of agency, but was intended for whoever is authorized to perform the mitzva. Now we can also understand why, according to certain opinions, a father who performs the brit milah on his son makes a different beracha than another mohel does. The father makes the beracha as one who performs a mitzva that relates to him directly and, thus, makes the beracha, “…lamul” (see Pesachim 7b). The beracha of a regular mohel was instituted for one who performs the mitzva that is not directly incumbent upon him and recites the more general form of the beracha,“al hamilah.”
The Rosh discussed whether a mohel who “stole” the opportunity to do milah from his friend has to pay him for taking the beracha,which was instituted for him as the one who would have performed the mitzva. Rabbeinu Tam exempted the mohel who preempted his counterpart, because the mohel who was chosen could have answered “Amen” to the beracha, and then he too would have been connected to the beracha,based on shomeia k’oneh. The Rosh exempted him for a more complex reason. The father did not give over the right to the mitzva to the mohel. Rather, as any Jew could be obligated to do the milah if the father decided not to, any mohel has a connection to the mitzva and its beracha.
Now we can understand how the Magen Avraham brought a proof from the beracha of the mohel to that of the person who does bedikat chametz for his friend. In both cases, the justification for his making the beracha is the fact that he is the one who, in practice, is carrying out the mitzva. In both cases, the main fulfillment of the mitzva is by the m’shaleiach. Nevertheless it is the shaliach who recites the beracha. Just like in regard to milah, we can demonstrate that the shaliach to do the mitzva of bedika has a theoretical connection to it. Since he could buy the chametz and be obligated to find and destroy it, and he is the one who is actually carrying out the mitzva, it is appropriate for him to make the beracha. Not only does the Rosh not contradict the Magen Avraham, but the logic behind the two is one and the same. It also follows that the m’shaleiach cannot make the beracha on the mitzva which the shaliach performs. Rather the one who performs the mitzva is the one who is to make the beracha.
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