Most of us today are looking for ways to live longer—whether with vitamins, special diets or other means. In this week’s portion, the Torah gives a simple tip for longevity: “Honor your father and your mother, that you may long endure on the land the L‑rd your G‑d is assigning to you.”

The anonymous 13th-century author of the Chinuch offers an important insight1 into this mitzvah:

“This mitzvah reminds a person to recognize and show gratitude for what others have done for him. One should not be ungrateful for this is a bad trait, despicable to G‑d and man. Rather, realize that we are here on this world because of our father and mother, and be forever grateful to them. Besides bringing us into the world, they also put much into our upbringing ... ”

Gratitude, it seems, is a key to long life.

Yet it’s easy to forget to be grateful. We take so much for granted. However, when someone forgets to show us gratitude—oh boy, do we notice!

The Chinuch adds another important point. At times, we can forget about G‑d; He is often concealed from our eyes. Our parents, on the other hand, are harder to miss. They can serve as a reminder of what the Parent of all humankind does for us.