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Honoring unconscious parents


My elderly mother is in the ICU in critical condition, and she is not conscious, is there still a mitzvah of kibud em even though she is unaware and cannot ask for anything or tell me to do something, etc?



Yes. the halachos of kibbud av v’em, apply not only when a parent is unconscious, but even after they depart this world. The idea of kibbud av v’em is not merely so that the parent is honored, rather it is also in order for the child to show honor to the parent. The Gemora, (Kiddushin 30) says that there are three partners (who contributed to the creation) to a person, hashem, the person’s father and mother. If the person honors his parents it is as if he honored Hashem. The reason for this is, because when a person honors his parent he is showing that he appreciates the gift his parents and Hashem have given him… the merit to live and be alive.

Best wishes


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  1. My question was how is it possible to fulfill the mitzvah of kibud if the parent is in the hospital and unconscious?

    Normally, the parent asks or tells, and the son fulfills.

    Here, what can the son do to honor this parent?

    1. Kibbud av v’em is not only after the parent asks, in fact it is bigger mitzva for the child to do for the parent before the parent even asks. Itis also not dependant on the parent feelingthe pleasure of the kibbud, as we are doing it because Hashem commanded us to do it, and not specifically only to cause the parent pleasure.

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