Baking Matzos

Many of us schedule an appointment at the matzoh bakery and participate in the baking of matzos. Why do we do this mitzvah, but we don't go to an orchard to pick an esrog at Sukkos, or squeeze olives for oil at Chanukah, etc.

The reason is that it is commanded in the Torah to make matzohs, in addition to eating matzos on Passover. Whenever it is specifically commanded in the Torah to do something, there is a preference to doing it oneself. Nevertheless, a person can make someone else a "shaliach" or messenger to do the mitzvah on his behalf.

An example of a mitzvah that is done often by a messenger is bris milah, circumcision. Even regarding this mitzvah, there are some Rabbis who contend that it would be better if more Jews performed circumcision on their own sons rather than making mohelim, professional performers of circumcision, the designees.

- Adapted from Rabbi Reisman's shiur 3/14/99

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