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ASK RABBI DAN
by: Rabbi Dan S. Wiko PhD
  See the rabbi's bio.
 
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This Month...

Editor's Comment
Michael looks at:
Farewell, Shalom and Adieu


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An Open Letter from Abba to His Family

Enough With The Political Finger-Pointing!

Revisiting the Haggadah

Eddy's Recipe List
Victoria Sponge

Book Review
Unstrung Heroes

The Outspeaker
Encouraging violence is never correct

Batya
Good times and bad times with Batya

Nathan Weissler
What my friendship with Michael Hanna-Fein meant to me


Marjorie Wolfe
An Interview with Paul Reiser

BC's Backlot
The Last Shalom

This And That
My Treasure Chest

Three Symbols of Passover

Stress

Lynn Ruth Miller
How we all became part of a bigger story

Mel Yahre
A few words for my friend

Eddy's Thoughts
Don't let life flutter by

The Bear Facts
How I found Michael

 

On Friday, July 08, 2005 I was asked the following question:

Dear Rabbi,

Why are we commanded to love our parents? What if they are mean or evil people?

This was my response:

The translation of the Fifth Commandment; Kabet es Avicha V'es Eemecha, is not to "love" your parents but, rather, to "honor" them...there is a significant difference.

Love or "Ahavas" is commanded only in terms of "your" response to G-D Himself. In the Shema, it is written "You shall love the Lord; your G-D, with all your heart, all of your soul and all of your might"...Having achieved love on those three levels, you come close to being "one with G-D" or, in simpler explanation, you begin to live life in a G-dly fashion.

Honor or "Kabet" is something entirely different from love itself yet still a factor in loving. How does one honor parents? We honor our parents and our ancestors by living a life in which we do not bring shame to our family. Even if our family tree leaves much to be desired, we are to do everything so that the family name is enhanced in the community.

We honor by doing good deeds and acts of random kindness..."Gemilut Chesed".
We, also, honor by loving our neighbor as we do ourself..."Ahavas Olum..."

In my view, once a person adheres to the First Commandment..."I am the Lord; your G-D..........." and the Fifth Commandment..."Honor...................so that you may have a long life", the other eight are adhered to without even a modicum of thought or effort. It just stands to reason, then, that we do not murder, steal, covet, lie, etc., and, of course, look forward to the Sabbath for weekly physical rest and spiritual renewal.
 

If you have questions about a personal matter, or jewish practices and customs, you can submit them to me by e-mail. I answer all queries directly, or through this column, when the question is informative to our community.

Thank you for your kind attention and this opportunity to share with you,
Rabbi Dan S. Wiko
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