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Honoring parents and brushing teeth in the kitchen

Question:

What should be done if an adult child who pays his parents rent wants to brush his teeth in the kitchen, and his father is okay with that, but his mother wants him to brush his teeth in the bathroom. Thank you for replying.

 

Answer:

Thank you for your question.

From reading the question it would seem that the parent are needy, therefore this that the child is paying his parent’s rent is a tremendous double mitzva. It is kibbud av v’em in its highest form, because it is now giving them a place for them to live, and it is from the best forms of tzedakah. This is because if a child has parents that need money, they are the ones who should get the person’s maaser money first.

Regarding your question, even though the child is paying the rent, nevertheless, the child should respect his mother’s wishes and brush his teeth in the bathroom. Although his father is ok with it, nevertheless his mother is sensitive to it and he should respect her wishes. Even if going to the bathroom to brush your teeth irks you, and gets on your nerves, keep quiet about it, and never say anything like, “but I pay the rent here”. By saying something like that, it will hurt your mother and will take away a large part of the tremendous mitzva that the child is doing.

Best wishes

Sources:

Hamakneh ( Kiddushin 31b), Mora Horim Vkibbudam in the name of R’ Eliyashiv and R’ Benzion Abba Shaul zt”l, that a child should listen to a parent even if it isn’t a direct benefit to the parent, unless it will cause the child physical pain, a financial or spiritual loss.

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