Monthly Archives: December 2013

Parshat ויקרא VaYikra 1:2 – Are Women Allowed to Bring Sacrifices?

YaYikra 1:2 – Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: When a man from [among] you brings a sacrifice to the Lord; from animals, from cattle or from the flock you shall bring your sacrifice.

Gemora: Kiddushin 36(a): [Regarding] the rites of laying [hands] because it is written: Speak unto the sons of Israel and he shall lay [his hand upon the head of the burnt-offering]: thus the sons of Israel lay [hands], but not the daughters of Israel.

Torah Temimah Colloquial Translation on Note #3:

The above gemora refers to the sacrifices that they [the women] themselves bring. Further the gemora does not mean that it is prohibited for women to [place their hands on the animal to be sacrificed] but rather it means that the women are not obligated to do so [for their own sacrifices].

This is according to the gemora Chagiga 15(b) where it states that women were allowed to perform the ceremonial placing of hands on the animal sacrifice. Note that the Rambam omits to mention this detail explicitly in his Mishnah Torah. However, if the women are bringing the sacrifice as an emissary for their husbands, they are forbidden to place their hands on the sacrifice as is explained further on in VaYikra  1:4 on the posuk “and he lays his hands”. Look also at the Tosafot on Gemora Rosh HaShana 33(a).

Similarly, we find the Gemora here concluding from this that woman are excluded from all the various details of the sacrificial service. They are excluded from the “waving”, “raising”, “kmitzaing” [measuring the flour with 4 fingers], “incense”, “melikut”, “collecting of the blood” and “sprinkling of the blood”. The reason for these exclusions is because in all of them the posuk uses the phrase “the sons of Israel” or “sons of Aaron”. Tosafot ask why the Gemora needed to learn from the wording of the posuk to exclude women, let women be excluded because of the general principle that women are exempt from positive commandments that are time bound as we learn from the posuk at the end of parshat Tzav.

I am astounded by this question of Tosafot. What did they see that caused this question? Behold, the sacrifices themselves are positive commandments that are time bound because they can only be done in the day. (See the same posuk noted above in parshat Tzav.) Since we see that the Torah permitted women to bring sacrifices because of their actual obligation  to bring some sacrifices even though they are a positive commandment bound by time; similarly they should be obligated in all the above listed particulars relating to the sacrifices.  Just as men are in the general commandment and the particulars, so too women should also be obligated regarding the details. There is no logic  at all in exempting women from the particulars if they are obligated in the over-all issue, of bringing sacrifices. Similarly there is no logic to exempt women from eating the Passover sacrifice even though it must be done exclusively at night nor from the commandment of burning them leftovers of the Passover sacrifice even though that must be done exclusively in the day. Due to the fact that women are commanded to observe the overall commandment of Passover, they are therefore automatically commanded in all its particulars.

So too in our case of the sacrifices, if there had not been a “decree from the King” [gezerat ha’katuv] regarding the sacrificial details and the commandment that women should not perform them, I would not have any logical reason to exclude them due to the issue of being positive commandments that are time-bound, since woman are obligated in the commandment of sacrifices.

Regarding this point, that women are obligated in sacrifices in a manner equal to men, the first source of this in from Torat Cohanim on parshat Emor, Leviticus 22:18. That is the first source for the law that women are commanded equally to men in the commandment of bringing sacrifices. The Rambam includes this law in Chapter 3 Halach 2 in the Laws of Sacrifices. The Rambam explicitly says “whether men, women or slaves; all are obligated equally in the commandment of sacrifices.” The Kesef Mishnah supports this view and says as follows “this [halacha mentioned by the Rambam] is obvious since the Torah makes equal men and women regarding its laws. We have already said that women don’t lay hands, perform the waving, etc. These details are done by men not by women. This teaches that women are obligated in the commandment of sacrifices [but not certain particulars.]And any commandment that a women is obligated to do, so also are slaves”.

So we see that, following the source in the Torat Cohanim, it is very amazing that the Kesef Mishna uses so many words for the purpose of finding a source for the words of the Rambam in some phrase in the gemora. In fact the source is clear and very explicit. He [Kesef Mishna] should have just written succinctly, “Torat Cohanim – Parshat Emor” and no further words.

DBS Note: The final sentence of the Torah Temimah here alludes to his key point, as it often does. In this note the Torah Temimah is pointing out that it is logical and has a clear source to say that women are equally commanded in the mitzvah of bringing sacrifices. He sees no need for long explanations of this. The only point that he sees a need for is to explain why women are excluded from certain particulars since there is no logical reason to do so. He concludes that it is simply a “decree from the King” without any particular logic.

Parshat שמות Shmos 2:5 – Was It a Hand or a Maidservant?

Shmos 2:5 – Pharaoh’s daughter went down to bathe by the river and her maidens walked along the river. She saw the basket among the reeds and she sent her maidservant and she took it.

Gemora Sotah 12b: And sent her handmaid to fetch it — R. Judah and R. Nehemiah [differ in their interpretation]; one said that the word means ‘her hand’ and the other said that it means ‘her handmaid’. He who said that it means ‘her hand’ did so because it is written ammathah; he who said that it means ‘her handmaid’ did so because the text does not explicitly say yadah [her hand]. But according to him who said that it means ‘her handmaid’,it has just been stated that Gabriel came and beat them to the ground! — He left her one, because it is not customary for a king’s daughter to be unattended. But according to him who said that it means ‘her hand’, the text should have been yadah! — It teaches us that [her arm] became lengthened;

Torah Temimah Colloquial Translation on Note #27:

Because she stretched out her hand in order to reach the basket. According to the one who believes that the word “ammathah” means maidservant, it is clearly because it did not write “yadah” explicitly as is often done. Further the one who thinks the word means maidservant, does not accept the teaching that her arm [hand] miraculously lengthened. The one who holds that the word means ‘hand’ it is from the phrase אמת יד  which means arm. Apparently, it is difficult to understand what forced this disagreement since the simple meaning of the word ammathah is indeed maidservant.

Perhaps the Midrash is being careful in explaining the words of this posuk. In the first part of the posuk it uses the word   נערתיה to mean “her maidservants”. So too in the second part of the posuk it should have used the same word to refer to the maidservants. Truly, it is the customary way to refer to a king or queens servants as נער out of respect for the king or queen instead of the using the word slave or maidservant. This is customary in the world at large and also in the Tanach. The word נער [youth or lad] is more polite than saying slave.

So from the fact that the posuk changed its phraseology from  נער to אמתה (ammathah) that is the source of the explanation that it actually means that it was her hand that she “sent” and stretched out because the basket was far away from her.

Additionally, in Midrash Rabba it mentions that the Rabbis say that Pharaoh’s daughter had tzaraat (a type of leprosy). That was the reason why she went down to the river to wash. As soon as she touched the basket, she was healed. That is why she had mercy on him and loved him so much. <end quote of the Midrash>

It is not clear where is the hint in this posuk to what the Midrash says. Perhaps it is from the idea that it just says she went down to the river to wash but it doesn’t mention whether she’s going to wash her face, her hands or her feet. You’d have to say, as we do in many places in the Tanach, that she was intending to wash her whole self. In other words, her intent was to immerse in the Nile and to wash off all the tumah/impurity. Since it wouldn’t make sense to say that she was immersing for religious reasons, one is forced to say that it was a physical washing of her whole body due to the leprosy.

DBS Note: I once heard a wonderful rabbi explain that Pharaoh’s daughter knew the basket was too far for her to reach. She stretched out her hand anyway because she had to do everything she could to rescue Moshe whether it seemed rational or not. Similarly, we must strive to accomplish great things whether we think they are rationally attainable or not.

Parshat ויגש Genesis 45:26 – Caution to Liars

Genesis 45:26 – They said to him [Yaacov] saying  “Yosef is still alive”, and he is the ruler over all the land of Egypt; but he had a turn of heart, for he did not believe them.

Avot D’Rabbi Natan (Chapter 30) – Rabbi Shimon said “this is the punishment of liars that even when they say the truth they are not believed.” This is what we find by the sons of Yaacov as it says “He recognized the garment and said this is the cloak of my son”. That is why afterwards even though they finally told him the truth, he didn’t believe them as it says “he had a turn of heart, for he did not believe them.”

Torah Temimah Colloquial Translation on Note #12:

Even though in the end the brothers were believed, it was because of the signs [from Yosef] that they showed him such as the wagons that Pharoah had sent. Also, as is mentioned in the Midrash that they showed him the sign that indicated what Yosef and Yaacov had been studying together when he was taken away.

DBS Note: I wonder if the Torah Temimah went out of his way to quote Avot D’Rabbi Natan because of the important ethical lesson here.

Parshat וארא Shmos 6:26 – Who was greater Moshe or Aharon?

Shmos – 6:26 – This is Aharon and Moshe to whom G-d said, “Take the Children of Israel out of Egypt according to their legions.”

Tosefta at the end of Kritot: In all places it mentions Moshe before Aharon. But in one place it says “Aharon and Moshe”. This is to teach you that they were equal.

Torah Temimah Colloquial Translation on Note #19:

In a Mishnah in Kritot 8(a) it lists many things that are equal and it doesn’t list Moshe and Aharon. We need to look further into why this is the case.

Possibly one can say that in the Mishnah it only lists items whose equality has a halachic importance. Also, possibly one can say that they are not listed because, really, in truth they were not equal. For example, we see that Moshe had some characteristics/ abilities that no one else had. He went up to heaven and stayed there for forty days and forty nights, etc.

Similarly, in Moshe’s personal attributes, the Torah explicitly says that “the man Moshe was very humble, more than any man on the face of the earth”. Obviously, this would include more than Aharon.  Furthermore, the posuk says “there will never rise in Israel a prophet like Moshe”. Also, it mentions in a Tosefta Megilla Chapter 3 ‘that a secondary person serves as translator for the main person but it is not honorable for the main person to serve as a translator for the secondary person; as the posuk says ‘Aharon will be your translator’”. Behold, it is calling Moshe the greater one, in comparison with Aharon. That is why the Mishnah did not include Moshe and Aharon in the list of things in this world that are equal.

So the idea mentioned that by the Tosefta that Moshe and Aharon are equal appears to be a result of an exact reading of the posuk above where it puts Aharon first and then Moshe when dealing with taking the Jews out of Egypt. Compared with the next posuk where it mentions going to speak to Pharoah and mentions Moshe first and then Aharon. Now, it is well known that the main “actor” on G-d’s behalf in taking the Jews out of Egypt was Moshe; Aharon was secondary. Conversely, in regards to speaking to Pharoah and his ministers and magicians, Aharon was the one doing it. In this particular of speaking to Pharoah, Moshe was secondary. So, according to this, when speaking about taking the Jews out of Egypt, Moshe should have been mentioned first and then Aharon. And when dealing with speaking to Pharoah, Aharon should have been mentioned first, and then Moshe.

But, amazingly, we see the exact opposite in the posuk 26 and posuk 27. Come and look and see that in posuk 26 where it discusses taking the Jews out of Egypt, Aharon is mentioned first. Then in posuk 27 where it discusses going and speaking to Pharoah, Moshe is mentioned first. This is astounding. Now we see why the Tosefta said that this shows that they were equal. Meaning to say that they were both equally fitting and appropriate to be the primary actors in either taking the Jews out of Egypt or in speaking to Pharoah. G-d gave each one a task to do, but either could have done either task. One was assigned the active role and one assigned the speaking role.

DBS Note: It is wonderful and unusual to say that Moshe and Aharon were actually equals. Perhaps this is a good lesson for people who are struggling with their roles in life.


Parshat וירא – Genesis 18:4 Abraham’s Punishment

Genesis:  18:4 – Let a little water be brought and wash your feet and recline under the tree.

Gemora: Bava Metziah 86(b): They [the travellers] protested to him [Abraham], ‘Dost thou suspect us of being Arabs, who worship the dust on their feet? Ishmael has already issued from thee.’

Torah Temimah Colloquial Translation on Note #17:

In other words, this was Abraham’s punishment that Ishmael descended from him. One needs to say that it wasn’t actually that Abraham suspected them of being Arabs. Behold, Arabs didn’t even exist yet before Ishmael. Rather it means to say that Abraham suspected them of doing actions like those that Arabs would do in the future.

The reason why the Gemora comments on this posuk is because Abraham prefaced “washing the feet” to “recline under the tree” which is the opposite of what is normally said. We know this to be the case by seeing what Lot did and Laban did. They said first “rest” and then “wash”. However, Abraham did the opposite because he was very careful (מקפיד) about dust because it was used as idol worship by some. The Maharsha notes that the response of the travelers noted above is not explicitly mentioned in the bible. We would not actually not know about the traveler’s response except for the fact that Abraham was punished by having Ishmael descend from him, a nation who worshipped the dust of their feet.

We believe [Gemora Shabbos 97(a)] that one who is suspicious of innocent people will be stricken in his body.

DBS Note: The Torah Temimah quotes sections of the Talmud that are often not known to those who do not assiduously study Gemora. It seems amazing that Abraham is punished for being extra cautious and trying hard to avoid coming into contact with idol worship. Yet the point of the Gemora, and the Torah Temimah’s point in quoting this Gemora, seems to be to emphasize that it is wrong to be extra cautious with stringencies if it entails suspecting innocent people of transgressions for which they are not guilty.

By the way, an amazingly similar comment regarding Moshe’s actions is mentioned in the Torah Temimah’s comment on Shmos 4:1. Our translation of that is located here:


Parshat שמות Shemos 4:1 They Won’t Believe Me

Shmos – 4:1 – And Moshe answered and said they won’t believe me and they won’t listen to my voice because they will say that G-d did not appear to you

Gemora: Shabbos 97(a): They won’t believe me – Resh Lakish says one who is suspicious of innocent people will be stricken in his body as it says “And Moshe answered and said they won’t believe me” And afterwards Moshe was stricken in his body as it says (in Shmos, Chapter 6) “and Moshe’s hand was leprous, white as snow”

Torah Temimah Colloquial Translation on Note #1:

It explains in the Gemora that it was revealed to G-d that the Jews would believe Moshe. So, G-d told Moshe that the Jews are “believers, the children of believers”. This is proven because it says about the Jews “and they believed” <need to quote the source for this> and it says about Abraham in Parshat Lech Lecha “he believed G-d”.

Yet the language of the Gemora here seems more wordy than it needs to be. It should have said simply that Moshe said they wouldn’t believe him and, in fact, they did. It is possible that the long wording is necessary because from this incident alone it is not possible to say that they are “believers, the children of believers”. In this case, the reason why they believed in Moshe was because of the signs and wonders that he demonstrated to them and also because of the special words that Moshe used when telling the Jews that he had come to redeem them. These special words are explained by Rashi in his comment on Shemos 3:18. Because of these special circumstances of the signs, wonders and special words, the Jews believed Moshe. However, G-d [who is All-Knowing] knew that despite this, the Jews are “believers, the children of believers” and would have believed Moshe without all these. The explains the longer wording in the Gemora.

The reason why Moshe needed the signs and wonders in addition to the special words was not for the sake of the Children of Israel but rather for him (Moshe) because he was worried that they wouldn’t believe him. Therefore, G-d gave Moshe the signs and wonders in order to ensure that Moshe would accept to go on the mission.

DBS Note: PLEASE CHECK OUT an amazingly similar comment that the Gemora makes on Genesis 18:4. The link for that article is here:

Parsha ויחי-Genesis – 49:33 – Don’t Talk with Your Mouth Full

Genesis – 49:33 – When Yaacov finished instructing his sons, he drew his feet unto the bed; he expired and was brought in to his people.

Gemora: Taanit 5(b): What does it mean Yaacov “expired”? Thus said R.Yochanan: Yaacov our patriarch is not dead. He [R. Nahman] objected: Was it then for nought that he was bewailed and embalmed and buried?-The other replied: I derive this from a scriptural verse, as It is said, Therefore fear thou not, O Jacob, My servant, saith the Lord; neither be dismayed, O Israel,- for, lo, I will save thee from afar and thy seed from the land of their captivity.The verse likens him [Jacob] to his seed [Israel]; as his seed will then be alive so he too will be alive.

Torah Temimah Colloquial Translation on Note #15:

Rashi explains that just like G-d gathers Israel from the land of their captivity while they are still alive, so too will he gather in Yaacov while he is still alive. G-d will bring him back from exile in order to redeem his descendants. [validate this translation] But what about the fact that they embalmed him? It only appeared to them that he had died. <end quote of Rashi>

Also Tosafot write that Yaacov our father did not die. This is implied by the use of the term “expired” rather than “died”. We find similarly in Gemora Sota 13(a) that Yaacov opened his eyes before his burial and laughed because Esav was there.

However, were it not for the explanations of Rashi and Tosafot, I would explain it like what is written in the Gemora Bava Basra 116(a) where it explains that King David is not called ‘dead’ because he left a son behind who was as righteous as he. So too here, since Yaacov left behind sons who were righteous as he was, therefore it does not say that Yaacov died.

If one were to follow Rashi and Tosafot, though, one would need to keep in mind that this drasha is an old one with ancient hints. It is more understood through the category of Sod and Remez than the category of simple explanation. See also that this drasha of Yaacov not dying was astounding also to our rabbis. The degree to which this drasha was astounding to the rabbis can be seen from its context in the Gemora’s discussion before and after it. It seems appropriate to me to quote that discussion and explain it.  

The discussion is as follows: Rav Nachman and Rav Yitzchak were sitting down to eat a meal. Rav Nachman says to Rav Yitzchak, “Nu, let’s hear a dvar torah”. Rav Yitzchak responds quoting Rav Yochanan “ain m’sichin b’seudah” [DBS Note: this is generally taken to mean, “don’t talk during eating”.] Lest you get something stuck in your throat and choke.

After they finished eating Rav Yitzchak finally replied and said “Rav Yochanan also says that Yaacov our father never died.” To which Rav Nachman immediately responds, “didn’t they eulogize him and embalm him?” Rav Yitzchak then went and told him another drasha: Whoever says “Rahav Rahav” will immediately have a nocturnal emission. To which Rav Nachman replied, I did this and nothing happened to me. To which Rav Yitzchak replied “It’s talking about someone who personally knew Rahav and recognized her.”

It is possible to conclude a few thoughts from this. First, why did Rav Yitzchak choose exactly these two drashot to discuss after the meal with Rav Nachman? Also, it is difficult to understand the exact phrase of “ain m’sichin b’seudah” with the grammatical causative declension. [DBS Note: one should not cause others to talk during a meal.] It would be more proper, grammatically, to say “ain sochin b’seudah”, “don’t talk during a meal”. Additionally, don’t we find often that people do talk during a meal but they pause for a moment during eating [to chew]. We see this every day during any meal eaten with friends.

Therefore it seems that we have to conclude that for the one who is talking, he himself is not in danger if he talks during a meal. He can be careful to avoid a danger as we explained by pausing a moment during the meal to speak. But for the listener, sometimes there is an unavoidable danger. This is because sometimes he might hear something so outlandish and totally astounding that due to the impact of what he is hearing on his soul that he can’t wait until he finishes swallowing that which is in his throat. He won’t have the ability to wait and will respond even while the food is in his throat that he’ll ask or respond to that astounding or amazing thing that he just heard. In that case, certainly he might come into a place of danger.

This is what is happening in the story in the Gemora. Rav Yitzchak wanted to demonstrate to Rav Nachman in a tangible way. Therefore he chooses these two astounding and difficult to comprehend drashot to tell Rav Nachman after the meal. Indeed, Rav Nachman responded immediately to both. In the first case, “what, didn’t they embalm him?” In the second case, “what? I said Rahav Rahav and nothing happened to me!” It was by using these exact astounding drashot that Rav Yitzchak proved to Rav Nachman that one should not talk during a meal. Additionally the danger is not to the one who is talking but rather to the listener.

DBS Note: One point among the many that I enjoyed from this Torah Temimah is his use of the phrase “were it not for Rashi and Tosafot’s comments, I would say as follows…” Indeed, the Torah Temimah often uses that phrase. This standard phrase used also by other classic commentators shows both their humility in light of previous commentators but also their audacity and sense of permission to have a different opinion.

Parshat בהעלתך- Bamidbar 11:12 – The Nursing Father

Bamidbar – 11:12 – Did I conceive this entire people or did I give birth to it, that You say to me, “Carry them in your bosom, as a nurse carries a suckling to the Land that You swore to its forefathers”?

Gemora: Sanhedrin 8(a): We learn in a beraita – Rabbi Simlai says this posuk is a warning to judges that they must be patient with the Congregation. To what extent? R. Hanan [some say R. Shabatai,] says: As the nursing father carrieth the sucking child.

Torah Temimah Colloquial Translation on Note #9:
It is not immediately clear what is the comparison between a Congregation and a sucking child. It seems to me that this teaching comes to say that if a particular person is bothersome to the judge or causes the judge pain or speaks in an inappropriate way to the judge or acts in a brazen way. If he acts in this way or any similar fashion that troubles and pains the body and the soul, the judge should NOT say to himself “what do I need the troubles of this postion for? I’m going to quit.” Additionally, the judge should not carry anger in his heart against such a person. Rather, the judge should carry his burden and be patient with his load and accept the difficulties with love.

The comparison with the nursing parent is that just like the mother who nurses her child, even though the child bothers her sometimes and causes her pain, as children often do; nevertheless she doesn’t cast him away or distance herself from the child. Rather, the opposite is the case, she delights in the child, hugs him and then hugs him again with love and affection. In this manner should a judge act with the Congregation, even if they attack him.

On a separate note, look in posuk Bamidbar 11:15 where Moshe complains, “if You treat me like this please kill me if I find favor in your eyes and let me not see my evil”.

DBS Note: Amazingly, the word “You” that Moshe uses here to refer to G-d is written in the feminine   form.

 Rashi comments on this posuk saying that the reason Moshe referred to G-d in the feminine form is because Moshe’s strength got weak like a woman’s. Many commentators on Rashi are astounded by this comment since it attributes the weakening of strength to Moshe, while Moshe seems to be attributing the weakening of strength to G-d. It is therefore unclear how Rashi is explaining the use of the feminine “You”. Additionally, if the Torah wanted to describe weakening of strength, couldn’t it have thought of a better metaphor for weakness than “woman”?

Therefore, it appears that the description of the weakening of strength of Moshe is analogous to the weakening of strength that happens to a man during relations with his wife. With this explanation, it all makes sense. Truly the feminine attribute would apply to G-d, and the weakening of Moshe was truly great [in the collecting of his strength through his unification with G-d].

DBS Note: I do not know the source of this second drasha of the Torah Temimah’s.

Parshat בהעלתך- Bamidbar 11:16 – These and these are the words of the Living G-d

Bamidbar – 11:16 – And G-d said to Moshe, gather for Me seventy men of the elders of Israel who you know to be elders of the people and its officers; take them to the Tent of Meeting and have them stand there with you.

Gemora: Jerusalem Talmud: Sanhedrin: Chapter 11: Halacha 1: We learn in a beraita – what does the posuk in Ecclesiates (12,11) mean that says: “ The words of the wise are like spurs, and like nails well driven in are the sayings of the masters of collections.”? Masters of Collections refers to the Sanhedrin. As it says in the posuk, gather for Me seventy elders.

DBS Note: The word for ‘gather’ and the word for ‘collections’ are related. In this way we see that our posuk and the posuk in Ecclesiastes are thematically related.

Torah Temimah Colloquial Translation on Note #11:
It appears that the reason for gathering a group of elders is because everything that comes out of the mouth of a single person is inherently unclear. It could be that he made a mistake and erred. This is not the case, however, with a decision that is derived by a group of wise people. Such a decision is strong, like nails well driven in. [validate this translation!] Since many deliberated over it, certainly they have plumbed its depths to bring out the true truth of the issue.

 Based on this fundamental principle, we have explained elsewhere the well-known saying, “these and these are the words of the Living G-d”. This phrase has eluded many who have tried to understand it. How can it be that this one who says “permitted” and this one who says “forbidden” are both words of the Living G-d? Isn’t the truth one or the other? That is why we explained that the intent of the saying is that it is precisely through different opinions that contradict each other that the truth of an issue is derived. It is because of this principle that we can say that “these and these are the words of the Living G-d”.

 In other words, this is exactly what G-d wanted, that there would be different opinions in order that an issue would be clarified and explained well.

DBS Note: The Torah Temimah is saying that it is only through the diversity of respected, yet differing opinions, that the truth can be derived.

Parshat קדשים Leviticus – 19:3 Fear your mother and your father

Leviticus – 19:3  A person should fear his mother and his father and guard my Sabbaths, I am the L-rd your G-d.

Gemora: Kedoshim 31(a): Our rabbis learned as follows: what is the fear referred to in the posuk? Don’t stand in his place, don’t sit in his place, don’t contradict his words and don’t “tip the scales against him”.

DBS Note: For an explanation of “don’t tip the scales”, read the Torah Temimah below. However, this is not the focus of the Torah Temimah’s comments here.

Torah Temimah Colloquial Translation Of Comment #9:
If your father is having a dispute with others, one should not say “I agree with so-and-so”, nor should one say this in front of his father. Additionally one may not even say “I agree with father.” This would not be an honorable way [because it seems you are passing judgment on your father’s opinion]. Regarding contradicting one’s father in a halachic issue of prohibitions, it is understood from Rashi and the Tur on Yoreh Deah Section 250 that even in a halachic issue one should not contradict one’s father. The Shach there notes that even not in front of his father, one may not contradict him in a halachic issue. However, in my opinion, this is astounding. Behold, isn’t the Torah equal to Truth? Why can’t the son prove his point to his father if the truth is on his side? We do find [for example] in the Gemora Eruvin 32(a) that Rav says, “I prefer my opinion over my father’s.” Further in Kidusin 32(a) Rav Nachman quotes the opinion of Shmuel and then states his own opinion and Rav Nachman was the student of Shmuel. Being that the honor due to one’s teacher is equal to the honor due to one’s parents, how can this be the case that Rav Nachman says the opposite of his teacher? Further, the Rambam in Shchita 11:1states [regarding some particular] “my father, my teacher is amongst those who forbid it, but I permit it”.

Therefore, it appears that the intent of the commandment not to contradict one’s parents is regarding one who just says “I disagree” without trying to prove his point. But to disagree with one’s parents AND bring proofs to one’s point of view is certainly permitted.

DBS Note: The Torah Temimah proves in this note that the more traditional and older interpretation of how to demonstrate honor/awe of one’s parents is the more lenient, permissible interpretation.