Torah Origins of Honoring Parents to Establish Shalom Bayis


By Rabbi Yitschak Rudomin MA

Director: Jewish Professionals Institute Email: Author: The Second World War and Jewish Education in America

Part of a series on Shalom Bayis and Kibbud Av Va’Em

There has been much continued interest in a ground-breaking article published recently in a Jewish magazine about the rising phenomenon among Frum families of married children who cut off relations with their own parents for all sorts of reasons that usually have the word “abuse” in them written from the point of view of the “abused” children.

In a contrasting article last week on I tried to present a more balanced and objective perspective that would give equal time to the parents’ responses. While the Jewish magazine has so far not published an article from the “abused” parents’ perspective many readers of posted a variety of important responses all of which I greatly respect.

The Jewish magazine that published the original article that sparked this public debate has acknowledged that it was flooded with readers’ responses but so far it has not published them. It just stated that its “Halachic” position was made clear by the original social worker and columnist that were interviewed.

With all due respect but such a serious genuinely Halachic matter needs to be sourced from the Torah, the Shulchan Oruch and from known Gedolim and Poskim who can rule on this serious matter and make their positions known in writing for all to read and know, as is done in all major Klal matters.

So far this has not been done and it would be worthwhile before jumping into the details and exceptions if the real sources in the Torah and Halacha were noted and acknowledged first.

As a young child I recall hearing a popular song that went: “When you read you begin with a, b, c …” and it important in having this debate that everyone knows and agrees to the “a, b, c” of Kibbud Av Va’Em (honoring parents) from the Torah and the Shulchan Oruch that is based on the Talmud and the Rishonim. Then we can move on to “modern times” and see where we go from there.

There are many sources in the Chumash, the Torah itself that commands the Bnai Yisroel about the meaning of honoring parents and the rewards and consequences for doing so or not.

I will let the Torah speak for itself before any comments or commentaries to it are added (Translation from “The Living Torah”):

* Shmos (Exodus) 20:12: “Honor your father and mother. You will then live long on the land that God your lord is giving you.”

* Shmos (Exodus) 21:17: “Whoever curses his father or mother shall be put to death.”

* Vayikra (Leviticus) 18:7: Do not commit an [immoral] offense against your father or mother…”

* Vayikra (Leviticus) 19:3: “Every person must respect his mother and father, and keep My Sabbaths. I am God your Lord.”

* Vayikra (Leviticus) 20:9: “Any person who curses his father or mother shall therefore be put to death. Since he has cursed his father or mother, he shall be stoned to death.”

* Devarim (Deuteronomy) 5:16: “Honor your father and mother as God your Lord commanded you. You will then live long and have it well on the land that God your Lord is giving you.”

* Devarim (Deuteronomy) 27:16: ” ‘Cursed is he who shows disrespect for his father and mother.’ All the people shall say ‘Amen.’ ”

The above seven sources Mide’oraiysa from the Torah itself spoken by HKB”H Himself about the serious nature of any Jew’s duty and obligation to honor parents should leave no one in doubt about the profound gravity of this subject.


All those promoting and “justifying” the stratagem of adult married children cutting off with their parents for whatever reasons, can they honestly say that they have no worries about pushing aside the above Mitzvos that HKB”H has commanded His Am HaNivchar (Chosen People) in His holy Torah?

In a future article we will see how the holy Shulchan Oruch presents the subject of Kibbud Av Va’em IY”H.

To be continued…



  1. Rabbi Rudomin, who are you, other than your MA.
    Which gedolim have you consulted with before throwing gasoline on a very combustible topic? The parents who terrorise their married children, against the directives of Rabbonim, hide behind and make mockery of this mitzva. What is your “negiah” here?

    • Following your logic who are you to question him?. Seeing how he earned the title Rabbi. Do you like this game! How about lets stick to the facts.
      Explain something why is it that this is a problem from modern orthodox to yeshivish all the way on to chasidish? This is a American influenced issue don’t try and make it like its not.
      Tell me how could a Rabbi consult on a topic without meeting the parents? Or a therapist for that matter?

      • I don’t understand how Matzav can continue to publish this. You need permission to quote Psukim when you use them as a psak on a difficult subject. Every time you put the word abuse in quotation marks you delegitmize those who suffered abuse. Many people who have commented on your previous article have quoted you many poskim and you seem to be the only one who has no Rav to quote. You need guidance.

        • Not one Posek was cited so far. Someone thought Rav Avigdor Miller ZT”L maybe said simething, let’s go ask Rav Shmuel Miller SHLIT”A his son if Rav Miller was talking about modern Frum married cildren cutting off with their own parents.

          Then we have the word of a social worker and a columnist who want to be Oker Kibbud Av Va’Em in our times.

        • He is not using the psukim as a psak. He is using it the same way a Rabbi gives a drusha and uses psukim. Some people are hypocrites sometimes. Seriously. And he said in the next article he is gonna start. Bringing in poskim.

          • No one can bring Poskim about this matter because so far not one single known Posek has said he will give his name so that anyone can call them to check what they said and if they even said it.

            This is the big problem here that the kids who cut off with their parents get an ANONYMOUS Pesak and not even the parents can check to see if it is true or false and just lies made up by children looking for fake excuses to hurt their parents.

            Let the ones who get a Pesak to cut off with parents SAY who they are getting their Pesakim first, then we will check, until then I do not have to say who I would get a Pesak from either.

  2. Kibud oov means stop asking me for money on Thursday and saying I’m going to work on Monday. I there is a gallon of milk in the fridge- don’t take it home with yourself and the same for the leftover cholent it can be reheated several times before trouble commences usually just a belly ache.

  3. I don’t believe that anybody is condoning cursing or otherwise disrespecting parents. I read the article you are trying to fight against, and I didn’t see anything in there remotely promoting any form of disrespect. So I am not sure what is the point of your quoting pesukim stating not to disrespect and not to curse one’s parents. Honor them, agreed. Sometimes, the only way to honor parents is from afar. But no one is writing any articles saying that children should disrespect or curse their parents, so I wonder what your point is?

      • The pesukim you quote all refer to not cursing parents and giving honor to parents. But your article is about not cutting contact with parents. Can you find pesukim to support your claims against children cutting contact with parents? Pesukim saying that you must never curse your parents is not proof that you cannot cut contact with them.

        • Wrong! Review all the Pesukim again, they are NOT all about cursing parents, two of the Pesukim come from the Aseres Hadibros (Ten Commandents) requiring ALL OF US NO MATTER WHO WE MAY BE to Honor and be in Awe of our parents.

          And DO NOT look for “Lavin” (Negative “commandments”) where the Torah does not say them.

          • What is the purpose of putting elementary potions of the Torah in an article that is supposed to be against something written in a magazine by mental health proffesional? Rabbi you seem intimidated by that article, can you explain?

  4. Kudos To Rabbi Rudomin for writing this important piece. I’ve not seen the original article he is referring to but I’ve heard about it from a number of people who were horrified by its entirety. The main thrust of the article is a complete departure from one of the most relevant mitzvos of the aseres hadibros and of our mesorah and is but a reflection of what’s happening in our community.

    Rabbi Rudomin is right in pointing to the pervasiveness of modern pshychology, psychotherapy and psychiatry (which are very often radically divorced from Yiddishkeit in many other issues as well) creeping into our society and validating downright disrespectful and chutzpadik behavior towards parents and eroding our delicate and beautiful social fabric that has held us together for thousands of years.

    I personally know of a couple who have dealt with EXTREMELY controlling, invasive and abusive parents who constantly denigrated the other spouse. But NEVER ONCE did they consider “cutting off” or creating so-called “healthy boundaries”. Because the couple was MATURE, eidel and understanding of elderly parents, and had built up a strong relationship between themselves, they sucked it up and behaved. They came up with ways to deal with it on their own and didn’t run crying to therapists.

    If a couple builds a strong relationship they will learn to ignore insults; they will just nod and move on. After all, they know the truth about their spouse. It’s not fun, but not everything in life is fun, right? They will ignore or learn to avoid controlling behavior in RESPECTFUL ways. There are ways of dealing with difficult parents WITHIN the boundaries of Halacha. But modern therapy tends to treat parent-child relationship as just another human relationship that is a “two-way-street”, a “give-and-take”, requires “healthy boundaries”, “safe spaces” on and on and etc. The Torah dynamic of a parent-child relationship is obviously different. It is the only human relationship that requires of one side AWE (Morah) and RESPECT (Kibbud) toward the other. Modern therapy does not take either of those into account.

    Thank you again, Rabbi Rudomin.

  5. It’s pretty simple –

    Parents need to worry about being good parents how? you will find that in the Torah.

    Children need to worry about building their home and Shalom Bayis and respecting their parents? how this also you will find in the Torah

    The article was referring to cases that the parents were acting out k’neged Hatorah …. psychology is all found in the Torah and if we all follow the Torah, follow the guidance of our Gedolim who refer to mental health professionals when needed we wouldn’t be so intimidated by such an article.

  6. The thing is according to peoples logic. They can limit contact or cut off from parents because of emotional abuse. But guess what the previous generations went through verbal and physical abuse growing up so whats this generations exuse??? Ther is none Its nothing but a post facto justification.