If a husband and a wife attempt to live in peace and they succeed, can their happiness in this world be deducted from their happiness in the next world? Also can their shalom bayis ever be taken away from them as a punishment for sin.
Those are two separate questions. So we’ll answer one at a time. When people are happy as a result of doing mitzvos, they will never lose any reward in Olam Habo because of that happiness. Although other kinds of happiness like wealth or fame or even long life may be deducted from your reward in the World to Come – a person has to be afraid he’s being paid off in this world – but if you’re happy as a result of mitzvos, if you’re happy because you practice living peacefully with people and people like you, or husband and wife like each other, that will never be deducted as part of your payment. And so if you’ll sit in the sukkah and rejoice with your family on Sukkos, that will never be deducted from your schar in Olam Habo. That’s a klal gadol – the simcha of a mitzvah is never considered as payment in this world.
The second question: Will the happiness achieved in doing a mitzvah ever be imperiled because of somebody’s misbehavior? And the answer is that anything is imperiled by one’s misbehavior. Even your tefillin are imperiled. You see that we say מפני חטאינו גלינו מארצנו – because of our sins we were exiled from our land and we lost the Beis Hamikdash and korbanos. We lost most of the Seder Kodshim! And most of the Seder Taharos we lost. A big shas we lost because מפני חטאינו. So you see by doing sins, people can be deprived even of mitzvos. A mitzvah is a benefit – it’s a privilege to be able to do mitzvos. And sometimes, by misdeeds, a person loses that privilege. And that’s the very worst form of punishment there could be – there’s no punishment worse than losing the opportunity to do mitzvos.
TAPE # 427 (September 1983)