Monday, September 06, 2010

Avoda Zara 23b - 24a - Kibud Av for a Goy - Dama Ben Nesina

I posted here about kibud av being a mitzvah for a goy also, although not one of the 7 mitzvos.
Another interesting point - Who's owned the precious stone and would have profited from the sale, the dama (son) or (nesina) father? If it were owned by the father it wouldn't make sense that the son "fulfilled" kibud av by not waking him. When a father demands that the son wake him or if the son is sure that the father would want to be woken (so that he can sell a diamond or go to minyan) it would be a violation of kibud av NOT to wake him. Therefore, if the stone was owned by the father, the refusal to wake him shouldn't be a fulfillment of kibud av, rather a violation. But, if the stone were owned by the son, why was he not allowed to wake the father - the din of kibud av for even a Jew is משל אב, meaning that it is at the fathers expense. Certainly the mitzvah for a goy would not extend beyond the requirement for a Jew, so the son would not have to incur a loss to avoid waking his father. How then can we learn from dama ben nesina עד היכן כיבוד אב ואם, if it were the father's stone he violated kibud av, if it were the son's stone he wasn't required to suffer a loss? From here we learn a fundamental distinction between a loss and a lack of profit. When we say that kibud av is משל אב, that means that the father must incur the loss if there is a loss of principal , but the son is obligated to incur a loss of profits because מניעת הריוח - loss of potential profits, doesn't qualify as a loss. This would also be the rationale for the Rosh who would require a son to miss work and lose that days profits in order to go help his father.

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