When someone passes away, there are often calls to learn Torah or do mitzvos on their behalf. But can anyone do this on their behalf, or only certain people? And does this actually benefit them - and if so, in what way?
In a memorial lecture that I delivered in New York two weeks ago for my mother-in-law, Anne Samson ע"ה, I dealt with this topic. It is a topic which strongly relates to the differences between rationalism and mysticism, and has other serious ramifications, which I shall discuss in future posts. You can download a write-up of the lecture in PDF format at this link. Comments are welcome.