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Balancing Kibbud Av V’em: Listening vs. Discussing Parental Wishes


Hello Rabbi, I have a question regarding the principle of Kibbud Av V’em (honoring parents): To what extent should one simply listen and refrain from discussing their parents’ wishes? Let me provide an example. Recently, upon leaving the airport in Israel, my mother called and instructed me to take a taxi home. I suggested taking the train to Jerusalem, as it is more affordable. My mother was okay with it and said, “Whatever makes it easier for you.” However, should I have solely relied on pure emunah (faith) and followed my mother’s directive without questioning, considering the belief that Hashem takes care of finances, or is it acceptable for individuals to engage in discussions with their parents?



A child is allowed to discuss things with a parent, and even if you have a different opinion than your parent you are allowed to voice it. However, it has to be done in a way that does not negate what they are saying. For example, in the situation that you were in, after you mother tells you she wants you to take a taxi, you can explain to her that here in Israel, the trains are not like in the trains in New York that have all sorts of drunk and drugged up living in them, etc. Rather here the train is more comfortable, a safer way to travel, and a lot cheaper. The main thing is that you are not contradicting what they are saying, such as saying, “that’s not true”, “that’s wrong”, “no”, etc. Otherwise, you may voice your feelings and opinion, in a respectable manner.

Best wishes


שולחן ערוך יורה דעה הלכות כבוד אב ואם סימן רמ סעיף ב “איזה מורא, לא יעמוד במקומו המיוחד לו לעמוד שם בסוד זקנים עם חביריו, או מקום המיוחד לו להתפלל; ולא ישב במקום המיוחד לו להסב בביתו; ולא סותר את דבריו. וע’ ר’ יונה בס’ היראה (אות קפ”ז) “לא תסתור את דבריהם אם אמרו דבר אפילו ידעת כי אינו כן אל תאמר לא כן היה”.


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