20 Apr BEIN ADAM LACHAVEIRO OR BEIN ADAM LAMAKOM
In Vayikra 19:13 the posuk tells us that one is not allowed to hold back a paycheck from his worker for even a single night. The Biur Halacha in Hilchos Shabbos 242:1 says that if a person has very little money and his worker is coming to collect his paycheck and by giving him the paycheck, he will not have enough to buy food for Shabbos, he should pay his worker and not have food for Shabbos. The reason for this is that paying a worker on time is a De’Oraysa, whereas eating a meal on Shabbos is MiDivrei Kabala. Even according to the poskim that hold that seudas Shabbos is a de’Oraysa, nevertheless, not paying someone involves a mitzvas asseh and a mitzvas lo sa’aseh. The mitzvas asseh of eating a seuda on Shabbos will not be docheh a lo sa’aseh and an asseh of paying someone on time.
How can we resolve what we discussed above with the fact that a mitzvah bein adam laMakom takes precedence over a mitzvah bein adam lechaveiro? The Gemara in Bava Metziya 30a says that if a Kohen finds a lost object in the cemetery, he is forbidden to return the lost object to the owner. We do not say that the asseh of returning a lost object will be docheh the lo sa’aseh of a Kohen not becoming tamei. We are not docheh an issur for money. The Ramban explains the reason for this is since hashavas aveida is a mitzvah of bein adam lechaveiro, the owner of the lost object has to be mochel his money so the Kohen should not be oveir on the issur of tumah. Why don’t we say in the case of the worker that he should forgive his boss so his boss should be able to eat seudas Shabbos?
In the Pri Megadim 128:3 we see the opposite. In the case where a Kohen is going to do Birchas Kohanim for the first time that day and he has the mitzvah of hashavas aveida available before him, then it will depend on the machlokes of whether Birchas Kohanim is one mitzvah or three mtzvos, since each bracha is a separate mitzvah. If we say there are three mitzvos, then it will take precedence over the one mitzvah of hashavas aveida. If we consider Birchas Kohanim to be a single mitzvah, then the mitzvah of hashavas aveida takes precedence, despite the fact that Birchas Kohanim is bein adam laMakom and hashavas aveida is bein adam lechaveiro.
We could differentiate that in a case where someone borrowed money from a friend in order to bury a meis mitzvah, it would stand to reason that he can’t tell the person to whom he owes money to be mochel since he is doing the mitzvah of meis mitzvah. The person who lent him the money could say I want to do a different mitzvah with my money. The same logic would apply in the case of paying his worker on time. The worker is not required to be mochel the fact that he should get his paycheck on time so that his boss should be able to be mekayem a mitzvah. He may say I am ready to do a different mitzvah with my money. But in the case of hashavas aveida, where he is not taking from his friend as he just does not pick up the object, then perhaps his friend needs to understand that the person finding it may have another mitzvah obligation, so he does not need to pick up the lost object.
May we be zocheh to be mekayim Shabbos and hashavas aveida properly!