Teshuva in Responsa IV
A Responsum (# 125) of Rabbi Yaacov ben Yehudah Weil on penance was to become influential in later Responsa on the same theme: Jekuthiel sent Ezra to perform an errand for him and Ezra was killed on the way.
Does Jekuthiel have to do penance?
Rabbi Weil quotes a Talmudic passage (Sanhedrin 95a) which says that David was punished because, through him, Nob the city of priests was destroyed, Doeg the Edomite was banished and Saul and his sons slain. Now David was in no way responsible for any of these but, indirectly, he was involved. If David had been other than he was, none of these would have happened. It follows that a fortiori Jekuthiel, who sent Ezra on the errand that resulted in his death, must do penance.
If he is able to do so he should fast for forty days. If Ezra had left little children, Jekuthiel should do all he can to see that they are adequately looked after, as they would have been had their father remained alive.
Have me made decisions that were proper that inadvertently had a detrimental effect on someone else? Are we obligated to make amends?