[Avodah] Can a parent be mochel (relinquish) the honor that is due to them?

Professor L. Levine llevine at stevens.edu
Tue Mar 12 07:11:09 PDT 2019

>From today's OU Kosher Halacha Yomis

Q. Can a parent be mochel (relinquish) the honor that is due to them?

A. Yes. Shulchan Aruch (YD 240:19) writes that it is forbidden for a parent to be overly strict regarding the honor that is due to them. If a parent is strict, the child will find it difficult to fulfill his duties and the parent will be causing the child to sin. Rather, a parent should be forgiving and turn a blind eye and even relinquish their honor if necessary. Rebbi Akiva Eiger (ibid.) cites the Radvaz who writes that if a parent relinquishes his honor, this will save the child from being punished if he does not display the proper honor, but if the child does honor his parent, he will still be rewarded.

The Birkei Yosef (YD 240:13) proves that a parent can also be mochel the fear that is due to him. Parents may permit their children to sit in their seat or to contradict them. However, even though parents can forgo their honor, they cannot be mochel on their embarrassment or on their pain, and embarrassing a parent is always forbidden.

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