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Rambam - 3 Chapters a Day

Mamrim - Chapter 4, Mamrim - Chapter 5, Mamrim - Chapter 6

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Mamrim - Chapter 4

1

A rebellious elder who differed with the Supreme Sanhedrin concerning a matter whose willful violation is punishable by kerait and whose inadvertent violation requires a sin offering is liable for execution. This applies whether the court forbids the matter and he permits it or the court permits the matter and he forbids it. Even if he bases his statements on the received tradition, saying: "This is the tradition I received from my masters," and they say: "This is what appears to us as appropriate on the basis of logical analysis," since he differs with their ruling and performs a deed or directs others to do so, he is liable. Needless to say, this applies if they also rule on the basis of their having received teachings through the Oral Tradition.

Similarly, he is liable for execution if he differs with them with regard to a decree that they issued to safeguard a prohibition whose willful violation is punishable by kerait and whose inadvertent violation requires a sin offering is liable for execution. For example, if he permits the consumption of leaven on the fourteenth of Nissan during the sixth hour or forbids deriving benefit from it in the fifth hour, he is worthy of execution. Similar laws apply in all analogous situations.

א

זֶה שֶׁחָלַק עַל בֵּית דִּין הַגָּדוֹל בְּדָבָר שֶׁחַיָּבִין עַל זְדוֹנוֹ כָּרֵת וְעַל שִׁגְגָתוֹ חַטָּאת. בֵּין שֶׁהָיוּ הֵן אוֹסְרִים וְהוּא מַתִּיר בֵּין שֶׁהָיוּ הֵן מַתִּירִין וְהוּא אוֹסֵר הֲרֵי זֶה חַיָּב מִיתָה. אֲפִלּוּ הוּא הָיָה אוֹמֵר מִפִּי הַקַּבָּלָה וְאָמַר כָּךְ קִבַּלְתִּי מֵרַבּוֹתַי וְהֵן אוֹמְרִים כָּךְ נִרְאֶה בְּעֵינֵינוּ שֶׁהַדִּין נוֹתֵן. הוֹאִיל וְנָשָׂא וְנָתַן עֲלֵיהֶן בַּדָּבָר וְעָשָׂה אוֹ שֶׁהוֹרָה לַעֲשׂוֹת הֲרֵי זֶה חַיָּב. וְאֵין צָרִיךְ לוֹמַר אִם הֵם מוֹרִים מִפִּי הַקַּבָּלָה. וְכֵן אִם חָלַק עֲלֵיהֶם בִּגְזֵרָה מִן הַגְּזֵרוֹת שֶׁגָּזְרוּ בְּדָבָר שֶׁיֵּשׁ בְּשִׁגְגָתוֹ חַטָּאת וּזְדוֹנוֹ כָּרֵת. כְּגוֹן שֶׁהִתִּיר הֶחָמֵץ בְּיוֹם אַרְבָּעָה עָשָׂר בְּנִיסָן בְּשָׁעָה שִׁשִּׁית. אוֹ אֲסָרוֹ בַּהֲנָאָה בְּשָׁעָה חֲמִישִׁית. הֲרֵי זֶה חַיָּב מִיתָה. וְכֵן כָּל כַּיּוֹצֵא בָּזֶה:

2

The above applies whether the rebellious elder disputes a matter whose willful violation is punishable by kerait and whose inadvertent violation requires a sin offering or he disputes a matter which leads to a situation involving a prohibition whose willful violation is punishable by kerait and whose inadvertent violation requires a sin offering.

What is implied? If they disputed whether relations with a woman are adulterous or incestuous, if a shade of blood would render a woman ritually impure or not, if a woman is impure because of birth or not, if a woman is a zavah or not, if this fat is forbidden or permitted and the like, their difference of opinion involves a prohibition whose willful violation is punishable by kerait and whose inadvertent violation requires a sin offering.

What is meant by a matter that will lead to a prohibition whose willful violation is punishable by kerait and whose inadvertent violation requires a sin offering. For example, the Sages differed concerning the declaration of a leap year, if the leap year must be declared before Purim or may be declared throughout Adar, he is liable. For this leads to partaking of chametz on Pesach. Similarly, if they differed with regard to a matter of financial law or with regard to the number of judges able to adjudicate matters of financial law, he is liable. For according to the opinion which maintains that the defendant is liable to the plaintiff, everything which he expropriated from him was expropriated according to law and according to the decisions of the court. But according to the opposing view, whatever he expropriated is stolen property. If he uses it to consecrate a woman, she is not consecrated. And yet according to the opinion that the person expropriated his own property, the consecration is valid. If another person engages in relations with her willfully, he is liable for kerait and if he engages in relations with her inadvertently, he is liable to bring a sin offering. Thus their difference of opinion led to a matter whose willful violation is punishable by kerait and whose inadvertent violation requires a sin offering.

Similarly, if their difference of opinion concerned lashes, if one person was liable to receive lashes or not, or they differed with regard to the number of judges in whose presence lashes must be administered, he is liable. For according to the opinion who says that he should not be lashed, the court is injuring him and the judges are liable to make financial restitution. Anything expropriated from them is taken according to law. But according to the opinion which says that he is liable for lashes, everything he expropriates from them is stolen property. If he uses it to consecrate a woman, she is not consecrated.

Similarly, if they differed with regard to whether or not a person is obligated to pay after making an endowment evaluations or interdicted property, he is liable. For according to the opinion that says that he is not liable to pay, if it is taken from him, it is stolen property and if it is used to consecrate a woman, the consecration is not valid.

Similarly, he is liable if he differed with the majority concerning the redemption of consecrated property, had they been redeemed or not. For according to the opinion that the redemption is invalid, if he used that article to consecrate a woman, the consecration is not valid.

Similarly, if they differed with regard to bringing an eglah arufah, whether a city is obligated to bring or not, he is liable. For according to those who say that city is obligated to bring the calf, it is forbidden to derive benefit from it and if he uses it to consecrate a woman, the consecration is not valid. Similar concepts apply if they differed with regard to orlah. And similar concepts apply with regard to leket, shichechah, and pe'ah, if they differ whether it belongs to the poor or to the owner, he is liable. For according to the opinion which says that it belongs to the owner, it is stolen property in the hands of the poor and if one consecrates a woman with it, she is not consecrated.

Similarly, if the rebellious elder differs with the court with regard to a category of factors that impart ritual impurity, e.g., blemishes on the skin, blemishes on homes, or blemishes on garments, he is liable. For according to the opinion that the person is pure, he is permitted to enter the Temple and partake of consecrated foods, but according to the opinion that he is impure, if he enters the Temple or partakes of consecrated food willfully, he is punishable by kerait, and if he does so inadvertently, he is liable for a sin offering. Similar concepts apply if they differed with regard to the purification of a person afflicted by tzara'at, if he can be purified or not.

Similarly, he is liable if they differ with regard to the obligation to make a sotah drink the water which conveys the curse: Is a woman required to drink the water or is she not required? For according to the person who says that she must drink, if her husband dies before she drinks, she is forbidden to her yevam, while according to the person who says that she is not required to drink, she may perform the rite of yibbum. Similar laws apply in all analogous situations.

It is necessary to investigate and examine whether a difference of opinion will lead to these consequences. If it will lead to another consequence - which after a series of even 100 consequences - that will bring about a situation involving a prohibition whose willful violation is punishable by kerait and whose inadvertent violation requires a sin offering, the rebellious elder is liable. This applies regardless of whether he ruled leniently and the others ruled stringently or he ruled stringently and they ruled leniently.

ב

אֶחָד שֶׁנֶּחְלְקוּ בְּדָבָר שֶׁחַיָּבִין עַל זְדוֹנוֹ כָּרֵת וְעַל שִׁגְגָתוֹ חַטָּאת. אוֹ שֶׁנֶּחְלְקוּ בְּדָבָר הַמֵּבִיא לִידֵי דָּבָר שֶׁחַיָּבִין עַל זְדוֹנוֹ כָּרֵת וְעַל שִׁגְגָתוֹ חַטָּאת. כֵּיצַד. נֶחְלְקוּ בְּאִשָּׁה זוֹ אִם הִיא עֶרְוָה אִם לָאו. אִם מַרְאֵה דָּם זֶה מְטַמֵּא בְּאִשָּׁה אוֹ לֹא. אִם זוֹ טְמֵאָה לֵידָה אוֹ לֹא. אִם זוֹ זָבָה אוֹ לֹא. אִם חֵלֶב זֶה אָסוּר אוֹ מֻתָּר. וְכָל כַּיּוֹצֵא בְּאֵלּוּ. הֲרֵי זֶה חוֹלֵק בְּדָבָר שֶׁחַיָּבִין עַל זְדוֹנוֹ כָּרֵת וְעַל שִׁגְגָתוֹ חַטָּאת. וְכֵיצַד דָּבָר הַמֵּבִיא לִידֵי דָּבָר שֶׁחַיָּבִין עַל זְדוֹנוֹ כָּרֵת וְעַל שִׁגְגָתוֹ חַטָּאת כְּגוֹן שֶׁנֶּחְלְקוּ בְּעִבּוּר שָׁנָה אִם מְעַבְּרִים עַד הַפּוּרִים אוֹ בְּכָל אֲדָר הֲרֵי זֶה חַיָּב שֶׁזֶּה מֵבִיא לִידֵי חָמֵץ בְּפֶסַח. וְכֵן אִם נֶחְלְקוּ בְּדִין מִדִּינֵי מָמוֹנוֹת אוֹ בְּמִנְיַן הַדַּיָּנִין שֶׁדָּנִין דִּינֵי מָמוֹנוֹת הֲרֵי זֶה חַיָּב. שֶׁהֲרֵי לִדְבָרָיו שֶׁל זֶה שֶׁאוֹמֵר שֶׁזֶּה חַיָּב לָזֶה כָּל שֶׁנָּטַל מִמֶּנּוּ כְּדִין נָטַל וְעַל פִּי בֵּית דִּין נָטַל. וְלִדְבָרָיו שֶׁל זֶה שֶׁאוֹמֵר פָּטוּר אוֹ שֶׁאָמַר שֶׁאֵין אֵלּוּ רְאוּיִין לָדוּן כָּל שֶׁנָּטַל גֵּזֶל הוּא בְּיָדוֹ וְאִם קִדֵּשׁ בּוֹ אִשָּׁה אֵינָהּ מְקֻדֶּשֶׁת. וּלְדִבְרֵי הָאוֹמֵר שֶׁלֹּא נָטַל הַבָּא עָלֶיהָ בְּמֵזִיד עָנוּשׁ כָּרֵת בְּשׁוֹגֵג חַיָּב חַטָּאת וְנִמְצָא הַדָּבָר מֵבִיא לִידֵי דָּבָר שֶׁחַיָּבִין עַל זְדוֹנוֹ כָּרֵת וְעַל שִׁגְגָתוֹ חַטָּאת. וְכֵן אִם נֶחְלְקוּ בְּדִינֵי מַכּוֹת אִם זֶה חַיָּב מַלְקוֹת אוֹ אֵינוֹ אוֹ שֶׁחָלַק בְּמִנְיַן הַדַּיָּנִים שֶׁלּוֹקִין בִּפְנֵיהֶם הֲרֵי זֶה חַיָּב שֶׁהֲרֵי לְדִבְרֵי הָאוֹמֵר אֵינוֹ לוֹקֶה חוֹבְלִין הֵם בּוֹ וְחַיָּבִין לְשַׁלֵּם וְכָל שֶׁיִּטּל מֵהֶן כְּדִין נוֹטֵל. וּלְדִבְרֵי הָאוֹמֵר בֶּן מַלְקוֹת הוּא כָּל שֶׁיִּטּל מֵהֶן גֵּזֶל הוּא בְּיָדוֹ וְאִם קִדֵּשׁ בּוֹ אִשָּׁה אֵינָהּ מְקֻדֶּשֶׁת. וְכֵן אִם נֶחְלְקוּ בַּעֲרָכִין אוֹ בַּחֲרָמִין אִם זֶה חַיָּב לִתֵּן אוֹ אֵינוֹ הֲרֵי זֶה חַיָּב. שֶׁהֲרֵי לְדִבְרֵי הָאוֹמֵר אֵינוֹ חַיָּב לִתֵּן אִם לָקְחוּ מִמֶּנּוּ הֲרֵי זֶה גֵּזֶל וְהַמְקַדֵּשׁ בּוֹ אִשָּׁה אֵינָהּ מְקֻדֶּשֶׁת. וְכֵן אִם חָלַק עֲלֵיהֶן בְּפִדְיוֹן קָדָשִׁים אִם נִפְדּוּ אוֹ לֹא נִפְדּוּ הֲרֵי זֶה חַיָּב שֶׁהֲרֵי לְדִבְרֵי הָאוֹמֵר אֵין זֶה פִּדְיוֹן אִם קִדֵּשׁ בּוֹ אִשָּׁה אֵינָהּ מְקֻדֶּשֶׁת. וְכֵן אִם נֶחְלְקוּ בַּעֲרִיפַת הָעֶגְלָה אִם אֵלּוּ חַיָּבִין לְהָבִיא אוֹ לֹא הֲרֵי זֶה חַיָּב שֶׁהֲרֵי לְדִבְרֵי הָאוֹמֵר חַיָּבִים לְהָבִיא הֲרֵי הִיא אֲסוּרָה בַּהֲנָאָה וְהַמְקַדֵּשׁ בּוֹ אִשָּׁה אֵינָהּ מְקֻדֶּשֶׁת. וְכֵן אִם נֶחְלְקוּ בְּעָרְלָה. וְכֵן אִם נֶחְלְקוּ בְּלֶקֶט שִׁכְחָה וּפֵאָה אִם זֶה לַעֲנִיִּים אוֹ לְבַעַל הַבַּיִת הֲרֵי זֶה חַיָּב שֶׁהֲרֵי לְדִבְרֵי הָאוֹמֵר לְבַעַל הַבַּיִת הֲרֵי זֶה גֵּזֶל בְּיַד הֶעָנִי וְאִם קִדֵּשׁ בּוֹ אִשָּׁה אֵינָהּ מְקֻדֶּשֶׁת. וְכֵן אִם חָלַק עֲלֵיהֶן בְּאָב מֵאֲבוֹת הַטֻּמְאָה כְּגוֹן נִגְעֵי בָּשָׂר אוֹ נִגְעֵי בָּתִּים אוֹ נִגְעֵי בְּגָדִים הֲרֵי זֶה חַיָּב שֶׁהֲרֵי לְדִבְרֵי הָאוֹמֵר טָהוֹר מֻתָּר לְהִכָּנֵס בַּמִּקְדָּשׁ לֶאֱכל קָדָשִׁים וּלְדִבְרֵי הָאוֹמֵר טָמֵא אִם נִכְנַס אוֹ אָכַל בְּמֵזִיד עָנוּשׁ כָּרֵת וּבְשׁוֹגֵג חַיָּב חַטָּאת. וְכֵן אִם נֶחְלְקוּ בְּטָהֳרַת מְצֹרָע אִם יֵשׁ לָזֶה טָהֳרָה אוֹ אֵין לוֹ. וְכֵן אִם נֶחְלְקוּ בְּהַשְׁקָאַת סוֹטָה אִם זוֹ צְרִיכָה לִשְׁתּוֹת אוֹ אֵינָהּ צְרִיכָה הֲרֵי זֶה חַיָּב שֶׁהֲרֵי לְדִבְרֵי הָאוֹמֵר צְרִיכָה אִם מֵת הַבַּעַל קֹדֶם שֶׁתִּשְׁתֶּה הֲרֵי זוֹ אֲסוּרָה לִיבָמָהּ וּלְדִבְרֵי הָאוֹמֵר אֵינָהּ צְרִיכָה מִתְיַבֶּמֶת. וְכֵן כָּל כַּיּוֹצֵא בָּזֶה צְרִיכִין לִבְדֹּק וְלַחְקֹר אִם הָיְתָה מַחְלֹקֶת זוֹ מְבִיאָה לִידֵי דָּבָר זֶה וְדָבָר זֶה מֵבִיא לִידֵי דָּבָר שֵׁנִי אֲפִלּוּ אַחַר מֵאָה דְּבָרִים אִם יָבוֹא בַּסּוֹף לְדָבָר שֶׁזְּדוֹנוֹ כָּרֵת וְשִׁגְגָתוֹ חַטָּאת. בֵּין שֶׁהָיָה הַזָּקֵן מֵקֵל וְהֵן מַחֲמִירִין בֵּין שֶׁהָיָה הוּא מַחְמִיר וְהֵן מְקִילִין חַיָּב:

3

If the difference of opinion between the rebellious elder and the court will not lead to such a situation, the rebellious elder is not liable for execution unless the difference of opinion concerns tefillin.

What is implied? If the rebellious elder gave a directive to add a fifth compartment to tefillin or he himself made tefillin with five compartment, he is liable. This applies provided he first made four compartments as required by law and then made a fifth compartment and attached it to the outer compartment. For when an outer compartment is not exposed to the open space at all times, it is unacceptable.

The obligation of a rebellious elder in such a matter is a law transmitted by the Oral Tradition. If, however, they differed with regard to other mitzvot, e.g., he disputed one of the laws concerning a lulav, tzitzit, or a shofar, one claiming that it is unacceptable and the other claiming that it is acceptable, one claiming that the person fulfilled his obligation and the other claiming he did not fulfill his obligation, or one says: "He is pure," and the other says: "He is impure two degrees removed," the elder is not liable for execution. Similar laws apply in all analogous situations.

ג

וְאִם לֹא תָּבִיא הַמַּחֲלֹקֶת לִידֵי כָּךְ הֲרֵי זֶה פָּטוּר. חוּץ מִמִּצְוַת תְּפִלִּין בִּלְבַד. כֵּיצַד. הוֹרָה לְהוֹסִיף טוֹטֶפֶת חֲמִישִׁית בַּתְּפִלִּין וְיַעֲשֶׂנָּה חָמֵשׁ טוֹטָפוֹת הֲרֵי זֶה חַיָּב. וְהוּא שֶׁיַּעֲשֶׂה בַּתְּחִלָּה אַרְבָּעָה בָּתִּים כְּהִלְכָתָן וְיָבִיא חֲמִישִׁית וִידַבֵּק בַּחִיצוֹן. שֶׁהַבַּיִת הַחִיצוֹן שֶׁאֵינוֹ רוֹאֶה אֶת הָאֲוִיר תָּמִיד פָּסוּל. וְחִיּוּב זָקֵן מַמְרֵא עַל דָּבָר זֶה הֲלָכָה מִפִּי הַקַּבָּלָה. אֲבָל אִם נֶחְלְקוּ בִּשְׁאָר מִצְוֹת כְּגוֹן שֶׁחָלַק בְּדָבָר מִדִּבְרֵי לוּלָב אוֹ צִיצִית אוֹ שׁוֹפָר זֶה אוֹמֵר פָּסוּל וְזֶה אוֹמֵר כָּשֵׁר. זֶה אוֹמֵר יָצָא יְדֵי חוֹבָתוֹ וְזֶה אוֹמֵר לֹא יָצָא. זֶה אוֹמֵר טָהוֹר וְזֶה אוֹמֵר שֵׁנִי לְטֻמְאָה הֲרֵי זֶה פָּטוּר מִן הַמִּיתָה. וְכֵן כָּל כַּיּוֹצֵא בָּזֶה:

Mamrim - Chapter 5

1

A person who curses his father and mother should be executed by stoning, as Leviticus 20:9 states: "He cursed his father and his mother; he is responsible for his death." He is stoned to death whether he curses them while alive or after they died. It is necessary that his act be observed by witnesses and they warn him as is required with regard to other individuals executed by the court.

The above applies to both a man and woman, and also to a tumtum and an androgynus, provided they reached majority, the age when they can be subjected to punishment.

א

הַמְקַלֵל אָבִיו וְאִמּוֹ נִסְקָל שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא כ ט) "אָבִיו וְאִמּוֹ קִלֵּל דָּמָיו בּוֹ". וְאֶחָד הַמְקַלֵּל בְּחַיֵּיהֶן אוֹ לְאַחַר מִיתָתָן הֲרֵי זֶה נִסְקָל. וְצָרִיךְ עֵדִים וְהַתְרָאָה כִּשְׁאָר כָּל מְחֻיָּבֵי מִיתוֹת בֵּית דִּין. וְאֶחָד הָאִישׁ וְאֶחָד הָאִשָּׁה וְכֵן הַטֻּמְטוּם וְהָאַנְדְּרוֹגִינוּס. וְהוּא שֶׁיִּהְיוּ גְּדוֹלִים שֶׁהִגִּיעוּ לִכְלַל הָעֳנָשִׁין:

2

A person is not liable for execution by stoning unless he curses his parents with one of God's unique names. If he cursed them with another term used to refer to Him, he is not liable for execution by stoning. He should, however, be lashed, as he would be lashed for cursing any other proper Jew.

ב

אֵינוֹ חַיָּב סְקִילָה עַד שֶׁיְּקַלְּלֵם בְּשֵׁם מִן הַשֵּׁמוֹת הַמְּיֻחָדִין. אֲבָל אִם קִלְּלָם בְּכִנּוּי פָּטוּר מִן הַסְּקִילָה. וְלוֹקֶה כְּדֶרֶךְ שֶׁלּוֹקֶה עַל קִלְלַת כָּל אָדָם כָּשֵׁר מִיִּשְׂרָאֵל:

3

Similarly, a person who curses his paternal and maternal grandfather is considered as if he cursed any other person.

ג

וְכֵן הַמְקַלֵּל אֲבִי אָבִיו וַאֲבִי אִמּוֹ הֲרֵי זֶה כִּמְקַלֵּל אֶחָד מִשְּׁאָר הַקָּהָל:

4

What is the source which serves as a warning against cursing one's father and one's mother? We have heard the punishment explicitly stated, the warning, however, is not stated explicitly. Instead, it can be inferred from Leviticus 19:14: "Do not curse a deaf-mute." Since a person is warned not to curse any Jew, his father is also included, for he is also Jewish.

ד

אַזְהָרָה שֶׁל מְקַלֵּל אָבִיו וְאִמּוֹ מִנַּיִן. עֹנֶשׁ שָׁמַעְנוּ בְּפֵרוּשׁ אֲבָל הָאַזְהָרָה הֲרֵי הִיא בִּכְלַל לֹא תְקַלֵּל חֵרֵשׁ. הוֹאִיל וְהוּא מֻזְהָר שֶׁלֹּא לְקַלֵּל אָדָם מִיִּשְׂרָאֵל הֲרֵי אָבִיו בִּכְלַל יִשְׂרָאֵל:

5

A person who strikes his father or mother should be executed by strangulation, as Exodus 21:15 states: "One who strikes his father or his mother should certainly die." It is necessary that his act be observed by witnesses and they warn him as is required with regard to other individuals executed by the court.

The above applies to both a man and woman, and also to a tumtum, and an androgynus provided they reached majority, the age when they can be subjected to punishment.

A person is not liable for strangulation until he wounds his parents. If he does not wound them, it is as if he strikes another Jew. If he strikes them after their death, he is not liable.

ה

הַמַּכֶּה אָבִיו וְאִמּוֹ מִיתָתוֹ בְּחֶנֶק שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (שמות כא טו) "מַכֵּה אָבִיו וְאִמּוֹ מוֹת יוּמָת". וְצָרִיךְ עֵדִים וְהַתְרָאָה כִּשְׁאָר כָּל מְחֻיָּבֵי מִיתַת בֵּית דִּין. וְאֶחָד הָאִישׁ וְאֶחָד הָאִשָּׁה וְכֵן הַטֻּמְטוּם וְאַנְדְּרוֹגִינוּס וְהוּא שֶׁיַּגִּיעוּ לִכְלַל עֳנָשִׁין. אֵינוֹ חַיָּב חֶנֶק עַד שֶׁיַּעֲשֶׂה בָּהֶן חַבּוּרָה אֲבָל אִם לֹא עָשָׂה בָּהֶן חַבּוּרָה הֲרֵי זֶה כְּמַכֶּה אֶחָד מִיִּשְׂרָאֵל. וְהַמַּכֶּה אוֹתָן לְאַחַר מִיתָה פָּטוּר:

6

When a person strikes his father on his ear and causes him to become deaf, he is liable for execution. The rationale is that it is impossible for him to become deaf without there being an internal wound. Instead, we can be certain that at least a drop of blood was released within the ear and that caused him to become deaf.

ו

מִי שֶׁהִכָּה אֶת אָבִיו עַל אָזְנוֹ וְחֵרְשׁוֹ חַיָּב וְנֶהֱרָג. שֶׁאִי אֶפְשָׁר שֶׁיֵּעָשֶׂה חֵרֵשׁ בְּלֹא חַבּוּרָה אֶלָּא יָצָאת טִפַּת דָּם בִּפְנִים בָּאֹזֶן וְנִתְחָרֵשׁ:

7

When a person lets blood for his father, or if he was a doctor and amputated flesh or a limb, he is not liable. Even though he is not liable, the initial and preferred option is for him not to perform the operation. Nor should he remove a thorn from the flesh of his father or mother lest he cause a bruise.

When does the above apply? When there is another person there who is capable of performing these actions. If, however, there is no one else there capable of doing this but him and they are suffering, he may let blood or amputate according to the license that they grant him.

ז

הַמַּקִּיז דָּם לְאָבִיו אוֹ שֶׁהָיָה רוֹפֵא וְחָתַךְ לוֹ בָּשָׂר אוֹ אֵבָר פָּטוּר. אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהוּא פָּטוּר לְכַתְּחִלָּה לֹא יַעֲשֶׂה. אוֹ לְהוֹצִיא סִלּוֹן מִבְּשַׂר אָבִיו אוֹ אִמּוֹ לֹא יוֹצִיא שֶׁמָּא יַעֲשֶׂה חַבּוּרָה. בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים כְּשֶׁיֵּשׁ שָׁם אַחֵר לַעֲשׂוֹת. אֲבָל אִם אֵין שָׁם מִי שֶׁיַּעֲשֶׂה אֶלָּא הוּא וַהֲרֵי הֵן מִצְטַעֲרִין הֲרֵי זֶה מַקִּיז וְחוֹתֵךְ כְּפִי מַה שֶּׁיַּרְשֵׁהוּ לַעֲשׂוֹת:

8

What is the source which serves as a warning against striking one's father and one's mother? We have heard the punishment explicitly stated, the warning, however, is not stated explicitly. Since a person is warned not to strike any Jew, his father and mother are also included.

ח

אַזְהָרָה שֶׁל מַכֵּה אָבִיו מִנַּיִן. עֹנֶשׁ שָׁמַעְנוּ אַזְהָרָה לֹא שָׁמַעְנוּ. הוֹאִיל וְהוּא מֻזְהָר שֶׁלֹּא לְהַכּוֹת אָדָם מִיִּשְׂרָאֵל הֲרֵי אָבִיו וְאִמּוֹ בִּכְלָל:

9

A shituki is liable for cursing or striking his mother, but not his father. Although his mother is questioned and she says: "He is the son of so-and-so," he should not be executed by stoning or strangulation because of her testimony.

A person who is conceived through relations between a Jew and a maid-servant or a gentile woman, by contrast, is not liable for cursing or striking his father or his mother. Similarly, a convert - even if he was conceived outside the faith, but born within the faith - is not liable for cursing or striking his father.

ט

שְׁתוּקִי חַיָּב עַל אִמּוֹ וְאֵינוֹ חַיָּב עַל אָבִיו אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁנִּבְדְּקָה אִמּוֹ וְאָמְרָה בֶּן פְּלוֹנִי הוּא אֵינוֹ נִסְקָל אוֹ נֶחְנָק עַל פִּיהָ. אֲבָל בְּנוֹ מִן הַשִּׁפְחָה וּמִן הָעַכּוּ''ם אֵינוֹ חַיָּב לֹא עַל אָבִיו וְלֹא עַל אִמּוֹ. וְכֵן גֵּר שֶׁהוֹרָתוֹ שֶׁלֹּא בִּקְדֻשָּׁה אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁלֵּדָתוֹ בִּקְדֻשָּׁה אֵינוֹ חַיָּב עַל מַכַּת אָבִיו וְקִלְלָתוֹ:

10

Just as such a person is not liable for cursing or striking his father, he is not liable for cursing or striking his mother. This is derived from Exodus 21:17: "One who curses his father and mother shall die." Implied is one who is liable for cursing his father is liable for cursing his mother. Since such a person is not liable for his father, he is not liable for his mother.

י

כְּשֵׁם שֶׁאֵינוֹ חַיָּב עַל אָבִיו כָּךְ אֵינוֹ חַיָּב עַל אִמּוֹ. שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (שמות כא יז) "וּמְקַלֵּל אָבִיו וְאִמּוֹ" אֶת שֶׁהוּא חַיָּב עַל אָבִיו חַיָּב עַל אִמּוֹ וְזֶה שֶׁאֵינוֹ חַיָּב עַל אָבִיו אֵינוֹ חַיָּב עַל אִמּוֹ:

11

A convert is forbidden to curse or to strike his gentile father or to degrade him, so that people will not say: "They came from a more severe level of holiness to a lesser level of holiness, for this person degrades his father."66 Instead, he should offer him certain measures of honor.

A servant, by contrast, has no connection to his natural parents. His natural father is as if he was not his father with regard to all matters. This applies even if they were both freed.

יא

הַגֵּר אָסוּר לְקַלֵּל אָבִיו הָעַכּוּ''ם וּלְהַכּוֹתוֹ. וְלֹא יְבַזֵּהוּ כְּדֵי שֶׁלֹּא יֹאמְרוּ בָּאוּ מִקְּדֻשָּׁה חֲמוּרָה לִקְדֻשָּׁה קַלָּה שֶׁהֲרֵי זֶה מְבַזֶּה אָבִיו. אֶלָּא נוֹהֵג בּוֹ מִקְצָת כָּבוֹד. אֲבָל הָעֶבֶד אֵין לוֹ יִחוּס אֶלָּא הֲרֵי אָבִיו כְּמִי שֶׁאֵינוֹ אָבִיו לְכָל דָּבָר אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁנִּשְׁתַּחְרְרוּ:

12

When a person's father and mother are absolutely wicked and violate transgressions - even if they were sentenced to death and being taken to their execution - it is forbidden for a son to strike them or curse them. If he curses them or wounds them, however, he is not liable. If they repent, even if they are being taken to their execution, he is liable and is executed because of them.

To whom does the above apply? To the convicted person's son. If, however, an unrelated individual struck or cursed a person after he was sentenced to death, even though he repents, he is not liable, for that person will be executed. If, however, he embarrasses him, he is liable to pay a fine for embarrassing him.

יב

מִי שֶׁהָיוּ אָבִיו וְאִמּוֹ רְשָׁעִים גְּמוּרִים וְעוֹבְרֵי עֲבֵרוֹת. אֲפִלּוּ נִגְמַר דִּינָן לַהֲרִיגָה וְהֵם יוֹצְאִים לֵהָרֵג אָסוּר לְהַכּוֹתָן וּלְקַלְּלָם. וְאִם קִלֵּל אוֹ חָבַל בָּהֶן פָּטוּר. וְאִם עָשׂוּ תְּשׁוּבָה הֲרֵי זֶה חַיָּב וְנֶהֱרָג עֲלֵיהֶן אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהֲרֵי הֵן יוֹצְאִין לְמִיתָה. בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים בִּבְנוֹ. אֲבָל אַחֵר שֶׁבָּא וְהִכָּהוּ וְקִלֵּל אַחַר שֶׁנִּגְמַר דִּינוֹ אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁעָשָׂה תְּשׁוּבָה הֲרֵי זֶה פָּטוּר הוֹאִיל וְהוּא הוֹלֵךְ לְמִיתָה. וְאִם בִּיְּשׁוֹ חַיָּב בִּקְנַס הַמְבַיֵּשׁ:

13

If a person's father or mother committed a transgression punishable by lashes and the son is a court attendant, he should not lash them. Similarly, if they were obligated to be placed under a ban of ostracism, he should not be the agent to apply this ban. Nor should he push them or degrade them while acting as the emissary of the court even though it is fit to do this to them and they have not repented.

יג

עָבַר אָבִיו וְאִמּוֹ עַל עֲבֵרָה שֶׁלּוֹקִין עָלֶיהָ וְהָיָה הוּא חַזָּן לִפְנֵי הַדַּיָּנִים לֹא יַכֶּה אוֹתָם. וְכֵן אִם נִתְחַיֵּב נִדּוּי לֹא יִהְיֶה שָׁלִיחַ לְנַדּוֹתָם. וְלֹא יִדְחֹף אוֹתָם וְלֹא יְבַזֶּה אוֹתָם בִּשְׁלִיחוּת בֵּית דִּין אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהֵן רְאוּיִין לְכָךְ וְלֹא עָשׂוּ תְּשׁוּבָה:

14

A son should not serve as an agent to strike or curse his parents except if they entice others to worship idols. For concerning such a person, the Torah Deuteronomy 13:9 states: "Do not have pity and do not cover up for him."

יד

לַכּל אֵין הַבֵּן נַעֲשֶׂה שָׁלִיחַ לְהַכּוֹתוֹ וּלְקַלְּלוֹ חוּץ מִמֵּסִית וּמַדִּיחַ. שֶׁהֲרֵי אָמְרָה תּוֹרָה (דברים יג ט) "לֹא תַחְמל וְלֹא תְכַסֶּה עָלָיו":

15

In any situation where a person is obligated to take an oath to his son, we always saw that he never obligated him to take an oath that involves a curse. Instead, he should have him take an oath that does not involve a curse.

We already explained, that when a father kills his son, none of the slain person's brothers becomes "the redeemer of the blood."

The Torah showed concern not only for striking or cursing one's parents, but also for shaming them. Anyone who shames his parents, even with words alone or merely with an insinuation, is cursed by the Almighty, as Deuteronomy 27:16 states: "Cursed be he who degrades his father and his mother." And Proverbs 30:17 states: "The eye that mocks a father and scorns the training of a mother, the ravens... will gouge it out." The court has the right to administer stripes for rebellious conduct because of this and to punish in the manner they see fit.

טו

מִי שֶׁנִּתְחַיֵּב שְׁבוּעָה לִבְנוֹ כָּךְ רָאִינוּ בּוֹ תָּמִיד שֶׁאֵינוֹ מַשְׁבִּיעוֹ בִּשְׁבוּעַת הָאָלָה. שֶׁהֲרֵי זֶה בָּא לְקִלְלַת אָבִיו. אֶלָּא מַשְׁבִּיעוֹ שְׁבוּעָה שֶׁאֵין בָּהּ אָלָה. וּכְבָר בֵּאַרְנוּ שֶׁהָאָב שֶׁהָרַג אֶת בְּנוֹ אֵין אֶחָד מֵאֶחָיו שֶׁל נֶהֱרָג נַעֲשֶׂה גּוֹאֵל הַדָּם. וְלֹא עַל הַכָּאָה וְלֹא עַל הַקְּלָלָה בִּלְבַד הִקְפִּידָה תּוֹרָה אֶלָּא אַף עַל הַבִּזָּיוֹן. שֶׁכָּל הַמְבַזֶּה אָבִיו אוֹ אִמּוֹ אֲפִלּוּ בִּדְבָרִים וַאֲפִלּוּ בִּרְמִיזָה הֲרֵי זֶה אָרוּר מִפִּי הַגְּבוּרָה. שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (דברים כז טז) "אָרוּר מַקְלֶה אָבִיו וְאִמּוֹ". וַהֲרֵי הוּא אוֹמֵר (משלי ל יז) "עַיִן תִּלְעַג לְאָב וְתָבֻז לִיקְּהַת אֵם" וְגוֹ'. וְיֵשׁ לְבֵית דִּין לְהַכּוֹת עַל זֶה מַכַּת מַרְדּוּת וְלַעֲנשׁ כְּפִי מַה שֶּׁיִּרְאוּ:

Mamrim - Chapter 6

1

Honoring one's father and mother is a positive commandment of great importance, as is fearing one's father and mother. The Torah equates the honor and fear of one's parents with the honor and fear of God Himself. Exodus 20:12 states: "Honor your father and your mother," and Proverbs 3:9 states: "Honor God from your wealth." Similarly, with regard to one's father and mother, Leviticus 19:3 states: "A person must fear his mother and father," and Deuteronomy 6:13 states: "And you shall fear God, your Lord." Just as He commands us to honor and fear His great name; so, too, He commands us to honor and fear our parents."

א

כִּבּוּד אָב וָאֵם מִצְוַת עֲשֵׂה גְּדוֹלָה וְכֵן מוֹרָא אָב וָאֵם. שָׁקַל אוֹתָן הַכָּתוּב בִּכְבוֹדוֹ וּבְמוֹרָאוֹ. כָּתוּב (שמות כ יב) "כַּבֵּד אֶת אָבִיךָ וְאֶת אִמֶּךָ" וְכָתוּב (משלי ג ט) "כַּבֵּד אֶת ה' מֵהוֹנֶךָ". וּבְאָבִיו וְאִמּוֹ כָּתוּב (ויקרא יט ג) "אִישׁ אִמּוֹ וְאָבִיו תִּירָאוּ" וְכָתוּב (דברים ו יג) "אֶת ה' אֱלֹהֶיךָ תִּירָא". כְּדֶרֶךְ שֶׁצִּוָּה עַל כְּבוֹד שְׁמוֹ הַגָּדוֹל וּמוֹרָאוֹ כָּךְ צִוָּה עַל כְּבוֹדָם וּמוֹרָאָם:

2

A person who curses his father or mother is executed by stoning and a person who blasphemes God is executed by stoning. Thus the punishment for the two is equated.

A father is mentioned before a mother with regard to honor and a mother is mentioned before a father with regard to fear to teach that they are both equal with regard to fear and honor.

ב

הַמְקַלֵּל אָבִיו אוֹ אִמּוֹ בִּסְקִילָה וְהַמְגַדֵּף בִּסְקִילָה. הִנֵּה הִשְׁוָה אוֹתָן בָּעֹנֶשׁ. הִקְדִּים אָב לְאֵם לְכָבוֹד וְהִקְדִּים אֵם לְאָב לְמוֹרָא לְלַמֵּד שֶׁשְּׁנֵיהֶם שָׁוִים בֵּין לַמּוֹרָא בֵּין לְכָבוֹד:

3

What is meant by fear and what is meant by honor? Fear is expressed by not standing in his place, not sitting in his place, not contradicting his words, nor offering an opinion that outweighs his.

He should not call him by name, neither during his lifetime or after his death. Instead, he should say: "My father and my master." If his father or his teacher had the same name as others, he should call those other people by a different name. It appears to me that one should be careful only with regard to this matter with regard to a name that is unusual which is not used frequently by people. With regard to the names which people are generally called, by contrast, e.g., Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, and the like, one can call others by that name in any language and at any time outside his father's presence without thinking anything of the matter.

What is meant by honoring them? One should bring them food and drink, clothe them and cover them from their resources. If a father does not have financial resources and a son does, the son is compelled to sustain his father and his mother according to his capacity. He should bring him out and bring him home and serve him in all the ways one serves a teacher. Similarly, he should stand before him as one stands before a teacher.

ג

אֵי זֶהוּ מוֹרָא וְאֵי זֶהוּ כָּבוֹד. מוֹרָא לֹא עוֹמֵד בִּמְקוֹמוֹ. וְלֹא יוֹשֵׁב בִּמְקוֹמוֹ. וְלֹא סוֹתֵר אֶת דְּבָרָיו וְלֹא מַכְרִיעַ אֶת דְּבָרָיו. וְלֹא יִקְרָא לוֹ בִּשְׁמוֹ לֹא בְּחַיָּיו וְלֹא בְּמוֹתוֹ. אֶלָּא אוֹמֵר אַבָּא מָרִי. הָיָה שֵׁם אָבִיו אוֹ שֵׁם רַבּוֹ כְּשֵׁם אֲחֵרִים מְשַׁנֶּה אֶת שְׁמָם. יֵרָאֶה לִי שֶׁאֵין נִזְהָר בְּכָךְ אֶלָּא בְּשֵׁם שֶׁהוּא פֶּלֶא שֶׁאֵין הַכּל דָּשִׁין בּוֹ. אֲבָל הַשֵּׁמוֹת שֶׁקּוֹרְאִים בָּהֶן אֶת הָעָם כְּגוֹן אַבְרָהָם יִצְחָק וְיַעֲקֹב משֶׁה וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּהֶן בְּכָל לָשׁוֹן וּבְכָל זְמַן קוֹרֵא בָּהֶן לַאֲחֵרִים שֶׁלֹּא בְּפָנָיו וְאֵין בְּכָךְ כְּלוּם. אֵי זֶהוּ כָּבוֹד מַאֲכִיל וּמַשְׁקֵה מַלְבִּישׁ וּמְכַסֶּה מִשֶּׁל הָאָב. וְאִם אֵין מָמוֹן לָאָב וְיֵשׁ מָמוֹן לַבֵּן כּוֹפִין אוֹתוֹ וְזָן אָבִיו וְאִמּוֹ כְּפִי מַה שֶּׁהוּא יָכוֹל. וּמוֹצִיא וּמַכְנִיס וּמְשַׁמְּשׁוֹ בִּשְׁאָר הַדְּבָרִים שֶׁהַשַּׁמָּשִׁים מְשַׁמְּשִׁים בָּהֶן אֶת הָרַב. וְעוֹמֵד מִפָּנָיו כְּדֶרֶךְ שֶׁהוּא עוֹמֵד מִפְּנֵי רַבּוֹ:

4

When a father was the student of his son, the father need not stand in the presence of the son. The son, by contrast, must stand before his father even if he is his student.

A son is obligated to honor his father in other matters when he is carrying out his business and seeing to his concerns. What is implied? If a person went to a place because of his father's words, he should not say: "Hurry and free me on my own account," or "Let me go on my own account," instead "Hurry and free me because of my father," "Let me go because of my father." Similar laws apply in all analogous situations. He should always include in his words statements that indicate that he is concerned with his father's honor and that he fears him.

ד

וְהָאָב שֶׁהָיָה תַּלְמִיד בְּנוֹ אֵין הָאָב עוֹמֵד מִפְּנֵי הַבֵּן אֲבָל הַבֵּן עוֹמֵד מִפְּנֵי אָבִיו אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהוּא תַּלְמִידוֹ וְחַיָּב לְכַבְּדוֹ בִּשְׁאָר דְּרָכָיו בִּשְׁעַת עֲשִׂיַּת מַשָּׂאוֹ וּמַתָּנוֹ וַעֲשִׂיַּת חֲפָצָיו. כֵּיצַד. הַנִּשְׁמָע בִּדְבַר אָבִיו לְמָקוֹם לֹא יֹאמַר מַהֲרוּנִי בִּשְׁבִיל עַצְמִי פִּטְרוּנִי בִּשְׁבִיל עַצְמִי. אֶלָּא מַהֲרוּנִי בִּשְׁבִיל אַבָּא פִּטְרוּנִי בִּשְׁבִיל אַבָּא. וְכֵן כָּל כַּיּוֹצֵא בָּזֶה. לְעוֹלָם יִכְלל בִּכְלַל דְּבָרָיו שֶׁהוּא חוֹשֵׁשׁ בִּכְבוֹד אָבִיו וְשֶׁמִּתְיָרֵא מִמֶּנּוּ:

5

A son is obligated to honor his father even after his death. What is implied? If he repeats a teaching in his father's name, he should not say: "This is what my father said." Instead, he should say: "This is what my father, and teacher - may I serve as atonement for him - said."

When does the above apply? Within twelve months of his passing. After twelve months, he says of him: "May he be remembered for the life of the world to come."

ה

וְחַיָּב לְכַבְּדוֹ אֲפִלּוּ לְאַחַר מוֹתוֹ. כֵּיצַד. הָיָה אוֹמֵר דְּבַר שְׁמוּעָה מִפִּיו לֹא יֹאמַר כָּךְ אָמַר אַבָּא. אֶלָּא אוֹמֵר כָּךְ אָמַר אַבָּא מָרִי אֲנִי כַּפָּרַת מִשְׁכָּבוֹ. בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים בְּתוֹךְ שְׁנֵים עָשָׂר חֹדֶשׁ שֶׁלְּאַחַר מִיתָתוֹ. אֲבָל לְאַחַר שְׁנֵים עָשָׂר חֹדֶשׁ אוֹמֵר זִכְרוֹנוֹ לְחַיֵּי הָעוֹלָם הַבָּא:

6

Both a man and a woman are obligated to honor and fear their parents. It is only that the man has the capacity to do this and a woman is subject to another's influence. Therefore if she is divorced or widowed, they are both equal.

ו

אֶחָד הָאִישׁ וְאֶחָד הָאִשָּׁה חַיָּבִין בְּמוֹרָא וְכָבוֹד. אֶלָּא שֶׁהָאִישׁ יֵשׁ בְּיָדוֹ לַעֲשׂוֹת וְהָאִשָּׁה אֵין בְּיָדָהּ לַעֲשׂוֹת שֶׁהֲרֵי רְשׁוּת אֲחֵרִים עָלֶיהָ. לְפִיכָךְ אִם נִתְגָּרְשָׁה אוֹ נִתְאַלְמְנָה הֲרֵי שְׁנֵיהֶם שָׁוִים:

7

To what degree does the mitzvah of honoring one's father and mother extend? Even if one's parent takes his purse of gold and throws it into the sea in his presence, he should not embarrass them, shout, or vent anger at them. Instead, he should accept the Torah's decree and remain silent.

To what degree does the mitzvah of fearing them extend? Even if one was wearing fine garments and sitting at the head of the community, if one's father and mother came, ripped the clothes, struck him on the head, and spit in his face, he should not embarrass them. Instead, he should remain silent and fear the King of kings who commanded him to conduct himself in this manner. Were a mortal king to decree something which would cause him even more suffering he would not be able to move a limb in protest. Certainly, this applies when the command emanates from He who spoke and caused the world to come into existence as He desired it.

ז

עַד הֵיכָן הוּא כִּבּוּד אָב וְאֵם. אֲפִלּוּ נָטְלוּ כִּיס שֶׁל זְהוּבִים שֶׁלּוֹ וְהִשְׁלִיכוּ בְּפָנָיו לַיָּם לֹא יַכְלִימֵם וְלֹא יְצַעֵר בִּפְנֵיהֶם וְלֹא יִכְעֹס כְּנֶגְדָּם אֶלָּא יְקַבֵּל גְּזֵרַת הַכָּתוּב וְיִשְׁתֹּק. וְעַד הֵיכָן מוֹרָאָן אֲפִלּוּ הָיָה לוֹבֵשׁ בְּגָדִים חֲמוּדוֹת וְיוֹשֵׁב בָּרֹאשׁ בִּפְנֵי הַקָּהָל וּבָא אָבִיו וְאִמּוֹ וְקָרְעוּ בְּגָדָיו וְהִכּוּהוּ בְּרֹאשׁוֹ וְיָרְקוּ בְּפָנָיו לֹא יַכְלִימֵם אֶלָּא יִשְׁתֹּק וְיִירָא וְיִפְחַד מִמֶּלֶךְ מַלְכֵי הַמְּלָכִים שֶׁצִּוָּהוּ בְּכָךְ. שֶׁאִלּוּ מֶלֶךְ בָּשָׂר וָדָם גָּזַר עָלָיו דָּבָר שֶׁהוּא מְצַעֵר יֶתֶר מִזֶּה לֹא הָיָה יָכוֹל לְפַרְכֵּס בַּדָּבָר. קַל וָחֹמֶר לְמִי שֶׁאָמַר וְהָיָה הָעוֹלָם כִּרְצוֹנוֹ:

8

Although these commands have been issued, a person is forbidden to lay a heavy yoke on his sons and be particular about their honoring him to the point that he presents an obstacle to them. Instead, he should forgo his honor and ignore any affronts. For if a father desires to forgo his honor, he may.

ח

אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁבְּכָךְ נִצְטַוֵּינוּ אָסוּר לְאָדָם לְהַכְבִּיד עֵלּוֹ עַל בָּנָיו וּלְדַקְדֵּק בִּכְבוֹדוֹ עִמָּהֶם שֶׁלֹּא יְבִיאֵם לִידֵי מִכְשׁוֹל. אֶלָּא יִמְחל וְיִתְעַלֵּם שֶׁהָאָב שֶׁמָּחַל עַל כְּבוֹדוֹ כְּבוֹדוֹ מָחוּל:

9

A person who strikes a son who has attained majority should be placed under a ban of ostracism, for he is transgressing the charge, Leviticus 19:14: "Do not place a stumbling block in front of the blind."

ט

וְהַמַּכֶּה בְּנוֹ גָּדוֹל מְנַדִּין אוֹתוֹ שֶׁהֲרֵי הוּא עוֹבֵר עַל וְלִפְנֵי עִוֵּר לֹא תִתֵּן מִכְשׁל:

10

When a person's father or mother lose control of their mental faculties, their son should try to conduct his relationship with them according to their mental condition until God has mercy upon them. If it is impossible for him to remain with them because they have become very deranged, he should leave them, depart, and charge others with caring for them in an appropriate manner.

י

מִי שֶׁנִּטְרְפָה דַּעְתּוֹ שֶׁל אָבִיו אוֹ שֶׁל אִמּוֹ מִשְׁתַּדֵּל לִנְהֹג עִמָּהֶם כְּפִי דַּעְתָּם עַד שֶׁיְּרֻחַם עֲלֵיהֶן. וְאִם אִי אֶפְשָׁר לוֹ לַעֲמֹד מִפְּנֵי שֶׁנִּשְׁתַּטּוּ בְּיוֹתֵר יְנִיחֵם וְיֵלֵךְ לוֹ וִיצַוֶּה אֲחֵרִים לְהַנְהִיגָם כָּרָאוּי לָהֶם:

11

A mamzer is obligated to honor and fear his father even though he is not liable for striking him or cursing him until he repents. Even when his father was a wicked person who violated many transgressions, he must honor him and fear him.

If he sees his father violate Torah law, he should not tell him: 'Father, you transgressed Torah law.' Instead, he should tell him: 'Father, is not such-and-such written in the Torah?', as if he is asking him, rather than warning him.

יא

הַמַּמְזֵר חַיָּב בִּכְבוֹד אָבִיו וּמוֹרָאוֹ אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהוּא פָּטוּר עַל מַכָּתוֹ וְקִלְלָתוֹ עַד שֶׁיַּעֲשֶׂה תְּשׁוּבָה. אֲפִלּוּ הָיָה אָבִיו רָשָׁע וּבַעַל עֲבֵרוֹת מְכַבְּדוֹ וּמִתְיָרֵא מִמֶּנּוּ. רָאָהוּ עוֹבֵר עַל דִּבְרֵי תּוֹרָה לֹא יֹאמַר לוֹ אַבָּא עָבַרְתָּ עַל דִּבְרֵי תּוֹרָה אֶלָּא יֹאמַר לוֹ אַבָּא כָּתוּב בַּתּוֹרָה כָּךְ וְכָךְ כְּאִלּוּ הוּא שׁוֹאֵל מִמֶּנּוּ וְלֹא כְּמַזְהִירוֹ:

12

When a person's father tells him to violate the words of the Torah - whether he tells him to transgress a negative commandment or not to fulfill a positive commandment, even if all that is involved is a point of Rabbinic Law - he should not listen to him, as can be inferred from Leviticus 19:3: 'A person must fear his mother and his father and keep My Sabbaths.' Implied is that all are obligated in honoring Me.

יב

מִי שֶׁאָמַר לוֹ אָבִיו לַעֲבֹר עַל דִּבְרֵי תּוֹרָה בֵּין שֶׁאָמַר לוֹ לַעֲבֹר עַל מִצְוַת לֹא תַּעֲשֶׂה אוֹ לְבַטֵּל מִצְוַת עֲשֵׂה אֲפִלּוּ שֶׁל דִּבְרֵיהֶם. הֲרֵי זֶה לֹא יִשְׁמַע לוֹ שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא יט ג) "אִישׁ אִמּוֹ וְאָבִיו תִּירָאוּ וְאֶת שַׁבְּתֹתַי תִּשְׁמֹרוּ". כֻּלְּכֶם חַיָּבִין בִּכְבוֹדִי:

13

The following laws apply when a person's father tells him: 'Draw water for me,' and he has the opportunity to perform a mitzvah. If it is possible for the mitzvah to be performed by others, they should perform it and he should concern himself with honoring his father. For we do not negate the observance of one mitzvah, because of the observance of another mitzvah. If there are no others able to perform the other mitzvah, he should perform the mitzvah and neglect his father's honor. For he and his father are obligated to perform the mitzvah.

Torah study surpasses honoring one's father and mother.

יג

אָמַר לוֹ אָבִיו הַשְׁקֵנִי מַיִם וְיֵשׁ בְּיָדוֹ לַעֲשׂוֹת מִצְוָה אִם אֶפְשָׁר לַמִּצְוָה שֶׁתֵּעָשֶׂה עַל יְדֵי אֲחֵרִים תֵּעָשֶׂה וְיִתְעַסֵּק בִּכְבוֹד אָבִיו שֶׁאֵין מְבַטְּלִין מִצְוָה מִפְּנֵי מִצְוָה. וְאִם אֵין שָׁם אֲחֵרִים לַעֲשׂוֹתָהּ יִתְעַסֵּק בַּמִּצְוָה וְיָנִיחַ כָּבוֹד אָבִיו שֶׁהוּא וְאָבִיו חַיָּבִים בִּדְבַר מִצְוָה. וְתַלְמוּד תּוֹרָה גָּדוֹל מִכְּבוֹד אָב וָאֵם:

14

If a person's father tells him: 'Bring me a drink of water,' and his mother tells him: 'Bring me a drink of water,' he should overlook his mother's honor and honor his father first. For both he and his mother are obligated to honor his father.

יד

אָמַר לוֹ אָבִיו הַשְׁקֵנִי מַיִם וְאָמְרָה לוֹ אִמּוֹ הַשְׁקֵנִי מַיִם מֵנִיחַ כְּבוֹד אִמּוֹ וְעוֹסֵק בִּכְבוֹד אָבִיו תְּחִלָּה מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהוּא וְאִמּוֹ חַיָּבִין בִּכְבוֹד אָבִיו:

15

A person is obligated to honor his father's wife even though she is not his mother throughout his father's lifetime, for this is included in honoring his father. Similarly, he should honor his mother's husband throughout her lifetime. After her death, however, he is not obligated to honor her.

It is a Rabbinical decree that a person is obligated to honor his oldest brother as he is obligated to honor his father.

טו

חַיָּב אָדָם לְכַבֵּד אֶת אֵשֶׁת אָבִיו אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאֵינָהּ אִמּוֹ כָּל זְמַן שֶׁאָבִיו קַיָּם שֶׁזֶּה בִּכְלַל כְּבוֹד אָבִיו. וְכֵן מְכַבֵּד בַּעַל אִמּוֹ כָּל זְמַן שֶׁאִמּוֹ קַיֶּמֶת. אֲבָל לְאַחַר מִיתָתָהּ אֵינוֹ חַיָּב. וּמִדִּבְרֵי סוֹפְרִים שֶׁיִּהְיֶה אָדָם חַיָּב בִּכְבוֹד אָחִיו הַגָּדוֹל כִּכְבוֹד אָבִיו:

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The Mishneh Torah was the Rambam's (Rabbi Moses ben Maimon) magnum opus, a work spanning hundreds of chapters and describing all of the laws mentioned in the Torah. To this day it is the only work that details all of Jewish observance, including those laws which are only applicable when the Holy Temple is in place. Participating in the one of the annual study cycles of these laws (3 chapters/day, 1 chapter/day, or Sefer Hamitzvot) is a way we can play a small but essential part in rebuilding the final Temple.
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