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 Kidushin 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.


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