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Neshama Aliyah


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#1 mamash

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Posted 01 January 2012 - 10:12 PM

What does it mean when we say the neshama should have an aliyah? What is the aliyah, and how does learning, making a bracha, a siyum, etc. help the neshama of the niftar?

#2 taon

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Posted 01 January 2012 - 10:48 PM

It means that the neshama should go to a higher place in gan eden. Mitzvos done in memory of that neshoma are counted as their zechus, since you did it becuase of them.

#3 mamash

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Posted 02 January 2012 - 09:57 AM

It means that the neshama should go to a higher place in gan eden. Mitzvos done in memory of that neshoma are counted as their zechus, since you did it becuase of them.


1) If that's how it works, how come R' Meir couldn't have pulled Acheir out of Gehinnom during R' Meir's lifetime (Chagigah 15b), the same w/ R' Yochanan etc. and everyone else in the gemara who had to wait until they died. What good were they when they died, they could have done much more while they were alive by doing mitzvos for the aliya of the neshama...

2) How much of a mitzvah really goes to the dead person? Yissachar and Zevulun (where I learn and he supports me) is not even a simple deal, and now suddenly the dead person gets equal (or is it all?) merit because it's in his memory?

3) What does it mean to go higher? His neshama moves closer to Hashem? The neshama goes to the higher shiur in yeshiva shel maalah?

#4 Rabbi Shapiro

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Posted 06 January 2012 - 03:11 PM

The Taz in Hilchos Tzedaka (249:5) says the reason why doing MItzvos L'Zecher a deceased person works (as it says in Shulchan Aruch 249:16), is because it "reminds" Hashem, kavyochol, that the deceased person would have actually done this Mitzvah had he been alive. He gets credit for wanting to do that Mitzvah that now only someone else can do in his memory. Therefore, doing Mitzvos in memory of someone only works if the deceased did those MItzvos himself, and he really would have wanted to do more had he been given more life. But doing Mitzvos to help a deceased Rasha does not work. (However, a child doing something L'iluy a parent is an exception and it does help, due to the rule of ברא מזכה אבא.)

This idea appears elsewhere in the Taz as well. In Hilchos Aveilus (344:1) he explains the Halachah that you are allowed to exaggerate a bit during a Hesped, because we assume if the deceased would have been given more life, he would indeed have gown and fulfilled the speaker's description, even right now it is an exaggeration. Same idea.

Re the "going higher". It means to a higher level of Olam Habah.

The "pulling out of Gehenom" is a different idea. That is because it is a humiliation for the Rebbi if his Talmid is in Gehennom. That only applies when the Rebbi is "upstairs" with the Talmid.

#5 mamash

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Posted 06 January 2012 - 04:09 PM

Thanks.

1) The Taz was discussing giving tzedaka, how do we know this applies to other mitzvos as well? Just like a rasha would not have given the tzedaka had he been alive, and therefore giving tzedaka on his behalf doesn't help, why would learning torah on behalf of a deceased woman help? She wouldn't have done the learning if she was alive...

2) If you do a mitzvah for a deceased, do you get any schar? If I'm already chayav to do a particular mitzvah (e.g. giving maaser to tzedaka), and when I do the mitzvah I have in mind l'ilui nishmas... Have I accomplished anything for the deceased? Myself?

#6 Rabbi Shapiro

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Posted 08 January 2012 - 02:44 PM

Thanks.

1) The Taz was discussing giving tzedaka, how do we know this applies to other mitzvos as well? Just like a rasha would not have given the tzedaka had he been alive, and therefore giving tzedaka on his behalf doesn't help, why would learning torah on behalf of a deceased woman help? She wouldn't have done the learning if she was alive...

2) If you do a mitzvah for a deceased, do you get any schar? If I'm already chayav to do a particular mitzvah (e.g. giving maaser to tzedaka), and when I do the mitzvah I have in mind l'ilui nishmas... Have I accomplished anything for the deceased? Myself?

1) Because the reason it works by Tzedaka is equally true for other MItzvos as well. It awakens the Zechus of the Nifter who would have done the MItzvah had he been alive. If you need more, the Taz in Hilchos Aveilus uses this reasoning to permit exaggeration in Hesped, not limited to exaggeration in how much Tzedaka the niftar gave. The reason he talks about Tzedaka specifically is simply because he was commenting on the Ramah in Hilchos Tzedaka.

2) You don't do Mitzvos "for the deceased." You awaken the merit of the deceased. Therefore, you do get schar.

#7 mamash

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Posted 08 January 2012 - 03:24 PM

What about learning Torah in memory of a woman, she wouldn't have done the mitzvah had she been alive?

#8 Rabbi Shapiro

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Posted 08 January 2012 - 05:32 PM

What about learning Torah in memory of a woman, she wouldn't have done the mitzvah had she been alive?

But she has the Zechus of Torah anyway - נשים במאי זכיין וכו - so when you learn you awaken that Zechus.

#9 FS613

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Posted 11 March 2012 - 10:56 AM

If a Baal Tishuvah has parents who were "Reform," and they never became Torah-observant before they died,

and he organizes a Mishnayos learning L'iluy Nishama, or he gives Tzedaka L'iluy Nishama, or he donates to Kollel L'iluy Nishama,
or he's very wealthy and he donates to construct a building for a Kollel and wants to dedicate it L'iluy Nishama, for a departed parent or parents;

1) Are any of these activities actually counted for an iluy Nishama for his departed parent or parents (as they had no association with Torah and Mitzvos)?

2) Even if the parent or parents never were Torah-observant Jews,

a) do they get some Zchus if their son or daughter became Torah-observant, and

b.) does this Zchus count towards resurrection in the time of Moshiach?

3) If a "Reform" couple dies as "Reform,"

but their son becomes a Baal Tishuvah and eventually becomes a Rov and maybe even a Godol,

would this also count as a Zchus for the "Reform" couple, and would the Zchus count towards resurrection in the time of Moshiach?

Thank you.

#10 Rabbi Shapiro

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Posted 25 March 2012 - 08:25 AM

1) Yes.

2) It depends. If they did not believe in the 13 Ikarim, no, it does not help them. If they did, but were non-observant, then If they did something that contributed to their children's being frum, yes, it is a zechus. About Techiyas Hameisim, the consensus is, no, it will not help them.

3) Same as #2.

#11 Menorah

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Posted 29 March 2012 - 06:16 AM

Someone who wasn't frum doesn't return by techiyas hameisim?

#12 Rabbi Shapiro

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Posted 01 April 2012 - 09:19 AM

Correct.

#13 FS613

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 06:45 PM

1) Does a non-Frum person not return by Techiyas HaMaysim,
either because he didn't learn Torah or because he didn't support and (women) encourage Torah study, and also because he didn't keep the Mitzvos?

2) If a Frum Jew keeps the Mitzvos, as he was taught to do by Frum parents, and he believes in the 13 Ikarim, and he learned Torah in Yeshiva elementary school and high school; but after Yeshiva High School graduation, he works and does very little Torah study:
Does he merit Techiyas HaMaysim?

Thank you.

#14 ilavHashem

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 08:43 PM

what if in their mind they were frum...like modern orthodox of a "frum" reform person with no exposure to frumkeit
what about a tinok shenishba

#15 Rabbi Shapiro

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 10:03 PM

what if in their mind they were frum...like modern orthodox of a "frum" reform person with no exposure to frumkeit
what about a tinok shenishba

Someone who could never have become frum because he was not exposed to it or was exposed to some bogus version of it (like in your example of a Reform Jew), and did not have the ability to see that his frumkeit was bogus can not be punished for his Aveiros, but neither can he be rewarded for Mitzvos that he never did. Olam Habah is a reward, and without Mitzvos you cannot get the reward.

It is not their fault that they were not given the chance to do Mitzvos, but it is not a tree's fault that it was not given the chance to do Mitzvos either. And a just as tree cannot come to Hashem and say he should get Olam Habah because he never had a chance to do Mitzvos, so too a Jew who never had a chance to do Mitzvos cannot come to Hashem and say he should get Olam Habah because he never had a chance to do Mitzvos. (See also here.)

Or just as a Malach cannot come and say it's not fair he was not made a person and had no opportunity to earn Olam Habah, a Jew who had no opportunity to earn Olam Habah similarly cannot lay claim to Olam Habah. Hashem decides who gets opportunities based on His reasons, and if someone did not get an opportunity because he was made a Malach or a tree or a Tinok Shenishba, it means that it was not part of Hashem's plan for those creations to earn Olam Habah.

#16 Rabbi Shapiro

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 10:10 PM

1) Does a non-Frum person not return by Techiyas HaMaysim,

either because he didn't learn Torah or because he didn't support and (women) encourage Torah study, and also because he didn't keep the Mitzvos

Correct. But the biggest reason is because he did not believe in the Torah. That is worse than not fulfilling it.

2) If a Frum Jew keeps the Mitzvos, as he was taught to do by Frum parents, and he believes in the 13 Ikarim, and he learned Torah in Yeshiva elementary school and high school; but after Yeshiva High School graduation, he works and does very little Torah study:

Does he merit Techiyas HaMaysim?

Yes.

#17 FS613

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Posted 22 May 2012 - 08:45 AM

Regarding Techiyas HaMaysim:

If a person considers himself "Modern Orthodox,"

but aside from keeping Shabbos and Yom Tov (except for inviting Reform family members to drive on Shabbos to a Simcha), keeping Kosher, wife going to the Mikvah, wearing Tzitzis, Tefillin, and Tallis, making a Bris and a Bar Mitzvah, sending children to a "Modern Orthodox" Yeshiva, learning some Torah,

the person and his family do not keep the laws of modesty, the laws of Tznius and Yichud and dressing properly to cover parts of the body that should be covered (including the wife not covering her hair), the laws of proper speech (including not speaking Loshon Hora and Nivul Peh), the laws of not touching a member of the opposite gender who's not allowed to be touched, the laws of not going mixed swimming or doing mixed dancing,

would a person with that type of lifestyle merit ressurection?

Thank you.

#18 Rabbi Shapiro

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Posted 22 May 2012 - 02:15 PM

Yes.

#19 FS613

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 04:31 PM

What happens to the souls which are not resurrected?

Do they exist forever in some sort of "limbo" ?

Thank you.

#20 Rabbi Shapiro

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Posted 26 June 2012 - 12:48 PM

What happens to the souls which are not resurrected?

Do they exist forever in some sort of "limbo" ?

Thank you.

They either disappear totally or they stay in Gehennom forever, depending on how bad they were (for the second case, see Rashi Chagigah 16b).