I recently said casually while watching an online Torah class that mentioned a sick boy, that the merits of my learning (meaning and intending that the merits of my learning for that Torah class ONLY) should be given to the sick boy that he should heal. I said this out loud. My intention was very much the merits for only that one class. This may seem like a silly question but it’s been bothering me:
1. Is there anyway that I could have “messed up” and somehow misspoke in a way that gives away my merits more than I intended? Meaning if I somehow wasn’t explicitly clear in what I said out loud at the time (meaning I said the merits of my learning- but intending the learning only for that one class- to go to the healing), did I somehow unintentionally “give away” my past and future merits? Why or why not.
2. If for some reason merits were given unintentionally, how can someone (without hurting the original party they were trying to help) get them back? Is there a special prayer or is personal prayer to G-d sufficient?
3. Connecting to the idea of vows/ speech- just wondering if the KolNidre service would annul any problematic issues regarding “giving away” merits through speech/vows
Thank you sincerely
I hear your worry, but you don’t have to worry at all. The reason is because we can’t just “give away” our merits to someone else. The merits we earn are for what we did, and because we perfected ourselves. This is not a sellable item. Therefore one can’t “give away” or “sell“ past mitzvos.
What we can do for another person to do a mitzvah, or learn for them in the future as a zechus for them. The reason is because it is the other person’s situation that encouraged and therefore assisted you to learn or do the mitzvah. It is similar to someone supporting another person’s learning- they get reward for helping the other person to be able to learn.
Maharam Alashkar 101 from R Hai Gaon, Eitz Yosef and Ein Yackov Sotah 21a, Halichos Olam 8 pg. 343.