Kedoshim: Timeless Jewish Parenting Advice



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?”


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