Zechut Avot

June 21, 2006

[f.]; merit of the “Avot,” the forefathers Avraham, Yitzchak and Yaakov, possibly also referring to the merit of great ancestors, in general, that accrues to the benefit of later generations. The merit of the forefathers, in particular, is an inexhaustible or nearly inexhaustible reservoir of merit, that is of great benefit to their descendants on “Rosh HaShanah,” Judgment Day, and on other occasions when we need some extra guidance in making important decisions that revolve around moral issues. The idea is thus closely related to the idea of “Maasei Avot Siman LeBanim,” that the actions of our forefathers are models and prototypes of behavior for their descendants to follow.