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When we want special zechuyot (merits/credit, such as blessings, health etc.) for others as well as ourselves (bakashas etc), we often add dedications/names to our learning and prayers.

Why exactly do we do that? Is it one or more of the following, or anything else?

  • By mentioning their name/the request in the zechut of our day-to-day learning and davening, we are creating new zechut that gets added on to our the routine zechut from the learning/davening, which goes towards the name/bakasha
  • We do this in order to sacrifice or divide the zechut, and give to towards the name/bakasha
  • We should do this in combination with taking on to do something new and extra, creating new zechut for the name/bakasha

I would like to see sources, classic to contemprary, on how zechut works in this context.


An obvious question that seems hard to split from the above would be "how does rachamim (mercy) modifies things?" I.e. according to the argument: We shouldn't be thinking in terms of zechut because of how lowly we are in this generation, so instead we should be davening only for rachamim., how does mentioning a name or dedicating a learning or tefilla as a zechut work?

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  • 4) It makes the (donor)[learner] feel important and hence more likely to (donate)[learn seriously]
    – Double AA
    Commented May 23 at 1:11

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