Why does a person receive reward in the afterlife for doing mitzvos without any kavanah, without any intention? According to what you said tonight, the reward in the Next World is dependent primarily on a person’s thoughts?
He doesn’t get reward. There is no reward for things done without intention. When it states in the poskim that a mitzvah doesn’t require kavanah – there’s an opinion that holds מצוות אינם צריכות כוונה, that a mitzvah does not need intent – it’s a mistake to think that means that there will be reward. What it means only is that a man who took an esrog and a lulav in his hand, let’s say he took the arba’ah minim with the intention of throwing at somebody, so he is yotzei the mitzvah because he did the act of picking up the daled minim, and after that he can’t make a bracha anymore. That’s why we pick it upside down. We take the esrog upside down because otherwise, we would immediately be yotzei, we’d be performing the mitzvah as soon as we pick it up, before we even make the bracha. So we take it upside down and that way the mitzvah is not performed. And then, after we make the bracha, and then we turn it right side up to do the mitzvah.
We do that because we take into account the opinion that considers a mitzvah done without kavanah as a mitzvah, but that’s only in olam hazeh; it’s only in regards to this world. It’s only means that the beis din cannot force him to do the mitzvah again and he’s not allowed to make another bracha. But reward he will not get. Reward you get only according to the measure of the intent.
You hear that? So you learned something tonight. That’s important and very many people. are under the wrong impression. You don’t get reward for things you didn’t intend to do. Only that if you did it, so as far as beis din, as far as the Jewish court is concerned, it’s done already. You’re not obligated to do it again, and you can’t be forced by beis din to do it again. And if you wish to do it again, you cannot make the bracha because it’s all done already. That’s all it means; but reward in the Next World you won’t get.
TAPE # R-48