Enjoy receiving the bulletin every week and we usually discuss it at the shabbos table. Here is my question–I am currently undergoing physical therapy for a knee injury. Part of it involves daily stretching of some of the muscles to a point where it hurts. Someone has to push the leg into position for me on days when I am not going to the therapist. Is it mutar for my children to do that, or does it violate the issur of wounding a parent?

Answer:

It is permitted for the children to help you stretch the muscles.

Sources: The Gemara (Sanhedrin 84b) and rishonim dispute the question of a child taking out a thorn for his father, and potentially wounding him. This is a particularly difficult problem, because wounding the parent is a capital offense, and for this reason, a number of Amoraim were careful concerning this issue. Rambam (Mamrim 5:7) rules that it is permitted for a son to take a thorn out for his father only where there is nobody else to do it. This is ecohed by Rema (Yoreh De’ah 241:3), However, the above discussion refers to concern for actually wounding one’s parent, whereas in the case presented by the question, there is no concern for causing a wound, but only for causing discomfort. Under such circumstances, it would be permitted for the children to perform the procedure, and doing so is itself an act of honoring the parent, who wishes them to do it.

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