- Merit for the Dead
- Rabbi Moshe Ben-Chaim
Reader: have you heard the idea of a maylitz yashar? I know we
don't have intermediaries. Can the idea of maylitz yashar be explained
rationally? Also, how is it possible to learn in somebody who died's
z'chus? Isn't there perfection finished once they die? I thought of a
possibility that when you learn in someone's z'chus, it means that you
have been influenced by the way they lived their life. If the way
someone lived his life affects other people, that is a z'chus for him.
But I am kind of stumped because how can his perfection change after
he is dead? I appreciate any light you can shed on this.
- Mesora: A "maylitz
yashar" (good speech or defense) refers to a go between for us, a
soul who would plead our earthly cause. Not that earthly people affect
a dead person's perfection.
- Either one is incorrect.
- I will give you my reasons why we cannot improve someone's status
once they are dead:
- 1) Practical reason: There cannot be perfection after one
dies. By definition, perfection is the good man does during his
existence as a human being. Death concludes the ability to perfect
- 2) Divine reason: God said, we have reward or punishment
based on our OWN actions, not based on another person's acts -
certainly after death
- 3) Rational reason: Our actions do not reflect a dead
person's perfection, they are due to our own decisions, not his.
Therefore, our actions have no affect on someone else's perfection.
- 4) Historical reason: One was either good or evil during his
life. History cannot change.