Tuesday, June 19, 2007

the avos feel pain after death

In this week’s parsha, the Jewish people request permission from the King of Edom to pass through his territory and make the case that although they descend from the same family the Jewish people alone bore the burden of Egyptian slavery, so in effect, they owe us one. Commenting on “Vayare’u lanu v’la’avoseinu” (20:15) Rashi explains that the deceased Avos feel pain when their children are persecuted. I have not had a chance to check the meforshei Rashi yet, but the point here seems hard to fit with Brachos 18b. The gemara describes how R’ Chiya’s sons were in grief because they forgot their learning and debated back and forth whether their deceased father was aware of their pain or not. Is it only the Avos which suffer when their children feel pain? Is it only the pain of persecution (like Egyptian slavery) which is felt, but the gemara was unsure whether it extended to other grief that children may suffer? Other possibilities?


  1. The Maharam Shik (O.C. 293) writes that the meisim know what is going on in this world and when they hear we are in pain they will also be in pain. This is how we can daven at kivrei avos.


  2. I looked up the tshuvah, and he quotes the rashi and he quotes the gemara as well. True, the maskanas hagemara is that meisim know what is going om but he does not explain what the hava amina is in light of the rashi.

  3. Aren't these "d'varim haomdim b'rumo shel olam"?