Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
 
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

HONORING OUR PARENTS Part 1

We live in a society that looks very much to the future. Technological and academic advances make the lifestyles of the past decades seem backward and unappealing. Whilst acknowledging and welcoming the new opportunities that technological advances bring, the Torah stresses the necessity to show a great deal of respect for the past. This means that a Torah Jew does not look back contemptuously at his ancestors as being ‘backward’, rather he recognizes that there is a great deal to learn from them.

This outlook is one of the underlying factors behind the commands to honor our parents, grandparents, and elders. One may nonetheless ask, ‘in what way are our parents so special that we must honor them?’

Judaism teaches that a pivotal moment in world history was the Giving of the Torah at Mount Sinai. This was so fundamental because it represented the introduction of the ultimate source of wisdom, the Torah, to the world. The generation that directly experienced that Revelation, is called the ‘Generation of Wisdom’ because they were the first generation to be exposed to the Torah’s wisdom. Since that moment, the Oral and Written Torah were passed down from father to son in a chain that goes back to Sinai. Consequently, as history develops, each generation is one stage further away from the Giving of the Torah. Therefore, younger people are supposed to look at their parents as being closer in the chain of wisdom back to Sinai and honor them accordingly.

Another aspect of the Torah’s emphasis on respecting one’s parents, is that it stresses the value of life experience. In a time when newness is in vogue, (as is demonstrated by Barak Obama’s victory in the Democratic Primaries), the value of experience can be downplayed. However, living through numerous events and enduring the ups and downs of life will surely teach a person valuable life lessons. A person may have a tendency to dismiss his parents as being behind the times and anything but a source of wisdom! However, if he were to adopt a new mindset in viewing his parents, then he could learn a great deal from them.

These are some of the fundamentals that lay behind the key mitzva of honoring our parents.


Text Copyright © 2008 by Rabbi Yehonasan Gefen and Torah.org


 






ARTICLES ON LECH LECHA:

View Complete List

“You Can Take the Girl out of Hicksville, but...”
Jon Erlbaum -

Lucky Man
Rabbi Raymond Beyda - 5767

Love and Sacrifice
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5761

ArtScroll

There is a Builder
Shlomo Katz - 5759

A Fuzzy Picture
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5759

The Internal Journey
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5759

> The Standers and the Walkers
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5760

Lech Lecha
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5769

Divine intervention in Our Wars Against Our Enemies
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5771

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

To The Place G-d Will Show Us
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5762

No Second Thoughts
Rabbi Pinchas Avruch - 5764

Avraham Initiated The 2000 Years of Torah
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5766

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Spiritual Yichus
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5764

Abraham's Dwelling
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5765

Dream the Impossible Dream
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5758

Universal Responsibility
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5763



Project Genesis

Torah.org Home


Torah Portion

Jewish Law

Ethics

Texts

Learn the Basics

Seasons

Features

TORAHAUDIO

Ask The Rabbi

Knowledge Base




Help

About Us

Contact Us



Free Book on Geulah!




Torah.org Home
Torah.org HomeCapalon.com Copyright Information