Thoughts from Kollel KLAL


The passuk states that those who are remaining will melt for their aveiros and also בעונות אבותם אתם ימקו for the aveiros of their father with them they will be melted. The Gemara asks: the passuk in Ki Seitzei however states  לא יומתו אבות על בנים… איש בחטאו יומתוfathers will not die for the sons aveiros and sons will not die for their fathers aveiros, a person will die because of his own sin. We see from here one does not get punished for another’s aveiros, yet the pesukim in the tochacha say that one will get punished for the father’s aveiros. How can this be reconciled?

The Gemara answers: It depends; if a person’s sons hold onto and follow in his evil actions, they will get punished for the father’s sins also. If however the sons don’t hold on to and don’t follow in their fathers actions, they will not get punished for their father’s sins. Onkelos translates by adding the lashon of the Gemara that it depends whether “they take hold into their hands the bad actions” which the father did. A son who continues the evil ways of his father will not only be punished for his own aveiros, but also for his father’s aveiros.

Another passuk states וכשלו איש באחיו and they will trip, a man with his brother. Rashi explains when they flee to escape out of turmoil they will trip, a person with his brother. The Maharsha adds that everyone will have continuous fear in their hearts that the enemies are coming with the sword to kill them and flee in turmoil. Rashi brings another explanation from the Midrash: one will trip because of the aveiros of another since each of the Yidden are responsible one for another. The Gemara brings that this is because a person should have protested to stop another from sinning and he didn’t. The Maharsha adds that only those who were around or involved with the sin and did not give rebuke to stop him, will get punished.

The Gemara says one person can say a bracha for another to perform a mitzva. For example, one can make kiddush for another person who listens and doesn’t actually saying it himself. The Rabeinu Yonah says even if one ate a k’zayis which is a shiur d’Rabanan to bench, he can say the benching for one who ate an amount to be satiated, which is a shiur d’Oraisa. In truth even one who did not eat at all, can bench for one who ate. However, chazal required one to eat a shiur d’Drabanon to bench for someone who ate a shiur d’Oraisa. This too is because each Yid is responsible for another and connected to him. Another Yid’s mitzva is like it is my mitzva, and another’s aveira is as though it is my aveira.

May Hashem help us assist and guide another Yid by helping him do the mitzvos of Hashem.

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