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I’m going to preface this first by writing a question: The Christians believe that Jesus died for our sins of the world- to which i personally do not believe that at all- the Christians believe that the fathers can bear the sins of their sons and the sons can bear the sins of their fathers

Essentially, the misquote and miss interpretations of Isaiah chapter 53 paragraph 7.

Now we as jews do not believe that and we learn it from Ezekiel 18:10

That the son does not bear the iniquity of father and father does not bear the iniquity of the son-

But now how do i explain and how does the Torah reconcile the fact that we all in the world today bear the sin of Adam and chava?

Wouldn’t this be a contradiction to Ezekiel 18:10?

I’m having trouble with this one.

Does anybody have any explanations to this?

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  • Hi thanks for the interesting question. Could you bring your source that we all bear the sin of Adam and Chava? What, precisely, do you mean by that?
    – Rabbi Kaii
    Aug 27, 2023 at 19:58
  • The tikkun of the world? Pregnancy, from sweat of brow eat the fruits of our labour, cursed ground that was all brought down to us adama and chavas children. Essentially, we bear the sin of adam and chava Aug 27, 2023 at 20:06
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    So we bear the consequences of the sin, rather than the guilt. Got it.
    – Rabbi Kaii
    Aug 27, 2023 at 20:07
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    If a man decides to become a heretic and move to an evil neighbourhood, then his children are guaranteed to suffer immeasurably as a direct result the father's decision, as a consequence. That's understandable. What would be less understandable is Hashem being just as angry at the kids for their inevitable heresy as the father, or worse, the kids get punished because of the father's guilt. I think we should establish exactly what's going on here.
    – Rabbi Kaii
    Aug 27, 2023 at 20:15
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    We are not “accountable” for those sins in the sense christians think (that we are doomed automatically from birth bc of it). However, we are responsible in correcting it, somewhat related is Exodus 20:5-6, we are blessed if we do what is right (which automatically constitutes the correction or tikkun you mentioned), but will be punished if we “hate God” or are “enemies” of God. This means that if we continue in the way of our parents sins, then we indeed will incur guilt because of our own actions. How do we continue in Adam’s sin? By pinning responsibility/blame on others and not repenting. Aug 27, 2023 at 20:45

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The title of this question actually hints to this major problem: Judaism does believe that mankind CAN suffer FROM, or as a result of, another persons mistake, but CANNOT suffer FOR them. Therefore:

how does the Torah reconcile the fact that we all in the world today bear the sin of Adam and chava?

We don't suffer FOR Adam and Eve, to exonerate them. We undergo tikkunim and battling our evil inclination as a RESULT OF them, but for OUR OWN benefit (which is how I personally view why God would have even let this occur in the first place).

As an ex-christian, I will attempt to elucidate this for/from matter.

Christian theology teaches: Due to humanity's depraved/sinful state by the fall of Adam and Eve, human beings have lost hope in attaining complete repentance on their own. They believe their deity had to intervene on our behalf, and only their deity in the form/mode of messiah, could bear the sins of anyone. They interpret "bearing" in a vicarious manner. Hence, all punishments each "sinful" human deserves, befalls this "innocent" individual instead, to rid them of their guilt, to make humanity innocent in God's eyes. Note: According to them, the suffering can only be rendered effective if one believes in that deity/messiah suffering. This will be important to note for Isaiah 53.

Judaism does NOT subscribe to this substitution technique, most eloquently stated by King Solomon in Proverbs 17:15. Prophet Ezekiel teachings the same (Ezekiel 18:20) that, even if your dearest family members cannot "take on" your guilt in order to make you innocent, then nobody can. A sinful/guilty person CAN receive complete repentance through their own efforts, listed right after in Ezekiel 18:21-23! (Which instantly dismantles the christian's claim of needing God to intervene for us).

Furthermore, christains claim Isaiah 53:4-8 demonstrates the servant suffering vicariously. Upon a brief examination, we can determine that is NOT the case from 2 verses:

(4) Indeed, he bore our illnesses/transgressions, and our pains-he carried them, yet we accounted him as plagued, smitten by God and oppressed.

As the speaker in Isaiah 53:1-9, here we see the non-Jewish nations dumbfounded. Throughout history their claim was that Israel suffered tremendously because God was punishing them for their own sins. Rather verse 10 is their realization that God actually never forsook Israel, but wanted to elevate them at the end of days (since this chapter takes place at the end of days).

(11) From the toil of his soul he would see, he would be satisfied; with his knowledge My servant would vindicate the just for many, and their iniquities he would bear.

And here, we see what bearing really means. Israel suffered as a result of the nation's iniquitous actions toward Jews and their ideologies in thinking God abandoned Israel. We also know this cannot be the nations claiming "they suffered INSTEAD OF us", because since this takes place at the end of days, Zechariah 13-14 recounts the moments before Israel is firmly elevated and established, in which nations will rise against Israel and will actually punished for doing so. (If Israel suffered as a substitute, God exacting retribution on the nations wouldn't make sense, rather we know God delayed in punishing the nations throughout history).

Therefore my take is: These non-Jews are witnessing the unfolding of the end of days, how Israel is being saved and elevated by God. In seeing these prophecies come true (interestingly they seem to know about them as in verse 1 they claim "who would've believed us [if we told them that Israel was correct in everything all along]?"), they no longer can say Israel was wrong, but rather it was all part of God's plan. Therefore, right before the culmination, they are repenting and realizing that if God exacted retribution on the non-Jewish nations any second sooner:

  1. They would not know why they were being punished

  2. They probably would not have repented

Thereby, they declare verses 5 and 6, that by God allowing Israel to take the nations' beatings, the miracles of the end of days brings remorse to these non-Jews. (Take note how this won't require faith how christians demand it). They are also instilled with awe and admiration for Israel never being a hate-mongering, revenge-seeking nation. Only now in our days have non-Jews been exposed to Judaism in full, not just by seeing the Jewish example, but their ability to learn with Jews, have access to their Tanakh in the original language, and etc. Just how the prophecies of the messianic era will be universal and all will KNOW, so too it is the knowledge that Israel possesses and shares that will bring the world into recognition of the One True God.

I myself, bear witness, that ever since I started learning Judaism through honorable Rabbis and sources, and with you all, "their knowledge" (verse 11) has brought me out of my idolatrous ways and implanted within me love and fear of the God of Israel. I hope to merit to complete my conversion to Orthodox Judaism soon to join this beloved nation.

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