Honor Your Mother and Father

A Spiritual View on the Challenges of the Fifth Commandment

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Honor Your Mother and Father: A Spiritual View on the Challenges of the Fifth Commandment

This spiritual explanation of why it is so difficult for us to properly honor our parents offers insight into healing intergenerational trauma and coming to peace with issues picked up from one’s family of origin.
Honor Your Mother and Father  
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Maturity, Ten Commandments, Family, Honoring Parents

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Private July 21, 2022

The commandment is written: Honor your father and your mother.

And why does the commandment say "father" first?

HaShem realized the natural tendency for us to love our mothers more easily because of their nurturing tendencies, and our fathers less easily because of their disciplinarian tendences; and, our tendencies to forget the commandment applies equally to both parents and to not neglect our fathers. (Or our mothers.)

Honor your father and your mother so that your life may be long.

Be well. Reply

Private July 21, 2022

If you do not see your parents as the royalty that they are; and, treat them accordingly; what does that make you; and, how do you expect to attain long life? Reply

Sandi Lerner Chicago July 19, 2022

Rabbi, in your illustration of the parents and G-d being partners in creation, how does this apply to apdoptees? My parents did not create my life (biologically speaking), they did, however, create the fabric of who I am by my upbringing (spiritually, morality, ethically). Is this looked upon with the same importance and partnership with G-d? Reply

Private July 21, 2022
in response to Sandi Lerner:

Pretty sure judaism recognizes adoption as legal, and binding; so, you would be obligated to your legal parents. Be well. Reply

Anonymous Bali August 12, 2017

Beautiful message, thanks Rabbi. I have a simple question. What about in-laws? Obviously, we need to be loving and respectful as well. Since the commandment about how we behave in marriage is a social law, the ranking should be our own parents placed above in-laws? This is what I have understood from your speech.

I have an unusual situation, in that I live on the other side of the world from my own parents. As a result, I have spent more time with my in-laws, who are geographically closer. I communicate with my parents regularly, I have helped them out in any way possible. But I don't feel like I have spent enough time in the past 15 years or so as I should have. This really has begun to bother me in the past 5 years or so. I have invited my parents to come and move out with us, but healthcare, etc have all played a part in them only vacationing with us. Reply

Simcha Bart for Chabad.org August 20, 2017
in response to Anonymous:

You are correct, that our obligations to our parents are greater than to our in-laws. That being said, we can only deal with the situation that we are in. It also goes without saying that one should do whatever possible to make the visits more frequent - whether you taking your vacations near them, or having them visit more often.

What I am trying to say is that instead of feeling bad about this, we should look for ways to spend more time, and the rest we need to leave up to G-d. Reply

Yechezkel Israel February 12, 2017

Thank you Rabbi Taub As my dear father, Chaim David ben Yechezkel Nachum, has passed away less than 2 months ago, I am learning more in his memory. Your wonderful lesson helped me do this, and to appreciate how important my mother and father are to me. I never really thought how deeply the partnership between man, woman, and God was. And how we are created by our parents as they seek to connect and create! Reply

Anonymous Ann Arbor, MI December 29, 2016

Thank you, for this. I've gone from a Christian household to become Noahide and have been debating how I can still honor my parents. This has brought me a lot of peace and some good food for thought. Reply

Anonymous cambridge, on December 26, 2012

wow, this is the same teaching as islam, i feel like we have the same religion, when this rabbi is speaking is like a Imam is speaking. this message should be spead to minkind. no body love you more than your parents. thank you rabbi very great speach Reply

Anonymous Houston, TX via chabadoutreach.org December 20, 2012

Powerful Message we are always learning how to navigate in this life.Thank you. - Reply

Anonymous El Paso, TX November 17, 2011

Great Message Thank you I really enjoyed it and learned so much! I have had trouble getting along with my parents but hearing this has made me see things in a whole different perspective. Thank you! Reply

Anonymous Boca Raton, Fl February 21, 2011

Thank you This is very powerful and true. Thank you for this most inspirring sermon Reply

Anonymous Stamford, CT February 21, 2011

I ENJOY THE MESSAGE Very nice and true message, it does happen.

and the suggestion is great, I have grown up twins, and when I comment to them anything that they know it could be better, they answer me, MOM it is what it is. Reply

Michelle C. Andre cape coral, fl February 15, 2011

Honoring right on target! My Father did pass away on Wed Feb 09 2011. I learned because of his video that I should worship father in a way I never thought of! I took every energy to be by his side without thinking of my loss of wages from work, but I have only one dad and his life ment more to me then paying my bills! It will all work out if placed in the G _ds hands! I am so happy I spent those last days at my fathers bedside and have no regrets!! He came first! I will miss my daddy from way deep down inside of me! In memory of my father Robert F. Andre'! Love you Daddy! Thank you for this lesson! Reply

Alizah Hochstead Efrat, Israel February 13, 2011

Honor Your MOther and Father Stated so clearly. Tahnk you for a good class. This Thursday is my husband's mother's Yahrzeit. If you are ever here in Israel would love to have you come and speak here in Efrat. Reply

Abraham Samson Thornhill, Ontario/Canada February 12, 2011

Dear Rabbi Shais Taub, My wife and I heard this great sermon of yours, it was a spritual bliss. Hazak-U- Barukh. Reply

Aharon Flood Johannesburg, South Africa February 9, 2011

Honor you father and mother Thank you. Very inspiring, giving one a lot to think about. Reply

Shais Taub Pittsburgh, PA February 7, 2011

What does it say? The white letters in back of me say: "Etz chaim hi l'machazikim bah." It's a verse from Proverbs which means that the Torah "is a tree of life for those who hold fast to it." It's written on that curtain because it is covering the ark where the Torah scrolls are kept. Reply

Fr Dominic J. Borg,ocd Scarborough, Canada February 7, 2011

Honor your Mother and Father An excellent speaker, you make a lot of sense, and for sure we can make use of more such talks. Thanks a lot Rabbi Shais Taub. Keep it up.


Can you please tell me what the white picture with Hebrew letters like a tree, says? Thanks Reply

60 and still learning israel, israel February 7, 2011

thanks once again incredibly helpful insights. as the saying goes, better late than never... may G-d bless you with continued ability to explain vital aspects of life so insightfully!!!! i express my gratitude. Reply

Moe Rockaway PK, NY February 6, 2011

I always Honor My Parents I have a lot to thank them for. They saved my life. In June I was very sick. I gave them a scare of their life. Reply

Kayo Kaneko Tokyo, Japan February 6, 2011

Now I understand For long, I was angry about the way my parents raised me. But now I understand that they did their best just like you said. As I look myself, I realized that If they did not do things I wish they would have done for me, then they just could not do so. Reply

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