The Fifth Commandment: Honoring Parents

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The Fifth Commandment: Honoring Parents

Honoring parents – laws, insights, stories and ideas.





6" x 9"



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Honoring parents is an enigmatic mitzvah. On one hand the Sages suggest that proper fulfillment is almost unattainable; on the other hand the Torah, in a place no less prominent than the Ten Commandments, teaches that this mitzvah holds the key to long life in this world and the next.

Most people simply follow their instincts and emotions in trying to fulfill a mitzvah that, in reality, is replete with halachic detail. There is a constant need for knowledge, analysis, and guidance. This book provides it. It deals with realistic questions, and handles them authoritatively and sensitively.

  • May parents insist that their children pray with them at the same synagogue?
  • Does a daughter have the right to attend an Israeli seminary if her parents object?
  • May a surgeon operate on his parents?
  • How binding are parental instructions left in a last will? Or that no eulogies be offered? That a child not recite Kaddish?
  • What about nursing homes or home care?
  • Does this mitzvah extend to in-laws, grandparents, stepparents?
  • How do women, married or single fulfill the mitzvah?
  • When is disobedience permitted? Mandatory?

This book includes many previously unpublished rulings of HaGaon Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elashiv shlita.

Rabbi Moshe M. Lieber is the author of the The Pirkei Avos Treasury, Simchas Torah and The Pesach Haggadah Anthology. In the Fifth Commandment, he displays another dimension of his scholarship. In addition to the halachic exposition of the commandment to render honor to one’s parents, this work includes philosophical perspectives on the commandment and a sampling of inspirational stories on the subject. The Fifth Commandment is a broad canvas, encompassing all the hues and shades of this fundamental key to life.