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I don't have a thorough answer about the mechanism of substitutive atonement -- in general, in Judaism, a person dies for his own sin. In those instances where it LOOKS like one is dying for another, the rabbis explain that the death of a particular person is designed to inspire others to repent and avoid their own punishment. The death brings about ...


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See this short introduction (by R. Mordechai Katzenelnbogen) regarding the commentary of Rashi (page 6 on the site; page 10 of the actual book). He only quotes R. Yaakov Emden (as you did) and R. Tzvi Hirsch Chajes as arguing against the authenticity of the commentary to Avot. But he is certain that Rashi did indeed author a commentary to Avos and attributes ...



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