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Regarding the passukim at the end of Malachi:

"Hinei anochi sholeich lachem es Eliyah hanavi ... v'heishiv lev avos al banim, v'lev banim al avosam."

"Behold I shall send to you Eliyah haNavi, and he will return the hearts of fathers to the children, and of the children to their fathers."

(Which is also quoted in a Mishnah at the end of Ediyus.)

I was hoping to find a lot of Chazal explaining what it is that goes wrong in the father-son and son-father connection, and what it is that sets it right again.

I looked through all the standard meforshim on Tanach for this passuk, and the standard meforshim on Aggadah for the Mishnah, and found very little, and basically nothing explaining the pashtus of this passuk.

Do you have any insights or marei makomos to suggest here?

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    sefaria.org/Malachi.3.24?lang=he&with=Midrash&lang2=he In seferia there is plenty May 9, 2023 at 7:20
  • See Mishna Eduyot 8:7.
    – Harel13
    May 9, 2023 at 9:15
  • Thanks, but I'm not just looking for AN explanation of this passuk (or Mishnah). I'm looking for something that specifically explains: What is it here that goes wrong in the father-son and son-father connection, and what it is that sets it right again.
    – Elyah
    May 9, 2023 at 14:48
  • @Elyah the mishna indeed explains, bringing an example from a problematic behavior of priestly families regarding familial purity.
    – Harel13
    May 10, 2023 at 7:03
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    I've heard Rav Manis Friedman, based on Lubavitcher Rebbe and Chabad Chassidus, often talk about how in the days before Moshiach, there would be a big disconnect between parents and children in terms of values. Children would not seem to be related to their parents anymore. I would find a shiur on this if you like? Either way I feel that it is definitely connected to this pasuk
    – Rabbi Kaii
    May 10, 2023 at 14:49

2 Answers 2

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According to the Malbim, it means that the children will do teshuva to return to the ways of their fathers (keep the Torah) and as a result their fathers will reconcile with them. So the friction was caused by the children abandoning their parents' ways, and the resolution is for the children to repent.

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    This answer, though, assumes that it's only the children who have gone astray and need to return to their fathers. It doesn't seem to cover our current situation, where the fathers have gone astray and it may even be the children have already done teshuva.
    – Elyah
    May 10, 2023 at 5:54
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One little part of an answer I heard a long time ago:

Regarding the fathers, the passuk says they will return to THE children.

But regarding the children, it says they will return to THEIR fathers.

Implying --

  • When a parent does teshuva, there's a high likelihood they'll influence their children to do the same.
  • But the other way around -- when a child does teshuva, it's not very likely they'll be able to influence their own parents to change their lives.

For the parents, the influence has to come from elsewhere -- THE children, but not THEIR children.

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  • Any chance you can remember where? Sounds great
    – Rabbi Kaii
    May 10, 2023 at 10:24
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    I think it was in a mussar sicha I heard at Ohr Somayach in Jerusalem, which would have been either from Rav Mendel Weinbach or from Rav Notta Schiller (L'havdil bein chaim l'chaim). And it would have been about 25 years ago!
    – Elyah
    May 10, 2023 at 14:45

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