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Parsha Mitzvot: Yitro: Mitzvah 27 – Concept 583

“Honor your father and mother, so that your days will be lengthened upon the land that God, your Lord, gives you.” (Exodus 20:12)  We are commanded to express our respect for our father and mother (through action). (Rambam, Hilchot Mamrim – The Laws of Insurgents)

Jewish reflection upon filial responsibility focused on these dimensions of significance: (a) parents are creators, and the recognition of human creators forms a continuum with the recognition of God, the Creator; (b) the ethical value of gratitude is first encountered in filial thankfulness towards those hwo gave one being and sustenance; (c) the structures of authority essential to human life are dependent upon the model of filial piety; (d) filial piety is a “natural” component of the humanity of man and his culture. (Honor Thy Father And Mother – Filial Responsibility in Jewish Law and Ethics by Gerald Blidstein, KTAV publishing House 1975, page 1)

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