Parents are everything to us. Without them we wouldn’t exist.
Yet, many a child has spent countless an hour in therapy because of a complex relationship with his or her parents.
This week, two mitzvoth are juxtaposed in our Torah portion: respecting parents and observing Shabbat. What does this teach us?
The Talmud considers this question via the following conundrum: Say a parent instructs a child to transgress the Shabbat. On one hand, G-d obliges the child to respect a parent; on the other hand, G-d commands the child to observe the Shabbat. What (in addition to therapy) should the child do?
The Talmudic answer (and its mystical interpretation) contains profound soul-stirring earth-shattering lessons for us as parents and children of our parents.
The great Chassidic Master, the Sfat Emet, takes this Talmudic discussion to another level by asking, “If G-d is our father in heaven – what does it mean to respect and revere Him? And what does that teach us about respecting and revering our parents here on earth?”