Forgiving your honor as a parent

Forgiving your honor as a parent:[1]

A father [or mother] who forgives his [or her] honor, his [or her] honor is forgiven. [This, however, only means that the children will not be punished for disrespecting him in such a case that the parent was forgiving of the respect. However, certainly the Mitzvah of honoring one’s parent still remains upon the child, and hence even if the child knows that his parent forgives a certain matter of respect, there is a Mitzvah for him to still do it even though he will not be punished for it if he does not.[2] Furthermore, some Poskim[3] write that when the parent and the child are in the presence of other people, then the child is to perform the honor for his parent even if his parent forgave the honor, in order so others do not learn to be lenient.]

Should a Parent be Mochel:[4] A parent is not to overburden his children with demands and to be overparticular with their respect towards him, in order so he does not cause them to stumble. Rather, he should forgive [his honor] and ignore their disrespect. [However, it is not proper for a parent to dismiss and forgive all matters of his honor, or on a constant basis, and rather he should be particular on occasion in order to emphasize the concept to his children.[5]]

Forgiving your honor as a parent-Part 2:[6]

Mechila in matters of fear: Some Poskim[7] rule that the ability for a parent to forgive his honor only applies to those matters that a child has to perform out of honor for his parent, however, those matters that a child has to perform due to the Mitzvah to fear his parent, cannot be forgiven by the parent. Other Poskim[8], however, rule that even matters that a child is required to perform out of fear for his parent, may be forgiven by the parent. Thus, it is permitted for a parent to allow a child to sit in his designated place, or to voice an opinion which is contrary to his opinion. Practically, the main ruling is like this opinion.[9]

Mechila of shame or pain: According to all opinions, a parent cannot forgive his shame or pain. Hence, a parent cannot give permission for a child to embarrass him.[10] Likewise, a parent cannot give permission to his child to cause him physical pain.[11]

How to be Mochel [i.e. forgive honor]:[12] The parent must explicitly express to the child that he forgives his honor in a certain matter in order for it to become permitted for the child to be lenient in it. It does not suffice simply for the child to assume that his parent is Mochel because the parent was silent and did not protest the lack of respect. [If, however, the custom of the world is to be lenient in a certain matter of honor, then one can assume that his parent as well is Mochel, even if he did not hear this explicitly from the parent.[13]]

Revoking a Mechila:[14] A parent who forgives a certain honor has the right to later retract this forgiveness, and obligate his child in the honor which he forgave in the past.


[1] Michaber 240:19; Tur 240:19; Rambam Mamrim 6:8; Kiddushin 32a; See Pesakim Uteshuvos 240:51

[2] Radbaz 1:524 in name of Rameh, brought in Shita Mekubetzes Bava Metzia 32a in name of Rosh, in name of Maharam; Brought in Gilyon Rebbe Akiva Eiger 240:8, Pischeiy Teshuvah 240:16; Igros Moshe Y.D. 3:96 “It is an obligation for one to beware of the honor of his mother…and even if she is Mochel, G-d forbid to rely on this.”

[3] Sefer Chassidim 339 regarding standing in his honor

[4] Michaber 240:19; Tur 240:19; Rambam Mamrim 6:8; Kiddushin 32a

[5] Chazon Ish Y.D. 149:1; 151:2; Pesakim Uteshuvos ibid

[6] Michaber 240:19; Tur 240:19; Rambam Mamrim 6:8; Kiddushin 32a; See Pesakim Uteshuvos 240:51

[7] Birkeiy Yosef 240:13 in name of Imrei Noam; Biur Harav Perlow on Rasag Mitzvas Asei 9; Az Nidbaru 11:31

[8] Sefer Hachinuch Mitzvah 212; Kneses Hagedola 244; Mishkanos Yaakov Parshas Korach based on Setimas Kol Haposkim; Conclusion of Birkeiy Yosef 240:13; Chayeh Adam 67:8 regarding calling another by father’s name; Teshuvah Meahavah 370; Turei Even Megillah 28; Aruch Hashulchan 240:9 regarding sitting in set place in Shul; Chazon Ish Y.D. 19:1; Sefer Limudei Hashem Limud 37 that so is proven from Shut Harashba 1:18

[9] Pesakim Uteshuvos ibid

[10] Sheilasos Sheilta Samech; Shut Harivash 220 in name of Raavad; Bedek Habayis of Beis Yosef 334; Turei Even Megillah 28a; Orchos Chaim Dinei Kibud Av 2; Leket Yosher 2:37; Kesef Mishneh Talmud Torah 7:13; Shut Haranach 69; Minchas Chinuch Mitzvah 212

[11] Orchos Chaim Dinei Kibud Av 2; Moshav Zekeinim Vayikra 19; Shiyurei Bracha 240:9; Minchas Yitzchak 1:27; Shevet Halevi 2:112-4;

[12] Beis Lechem Yehuda 242:32; Pesakim Uteshuvos 240:51

[13] Yosher Horaiy  6:1; Pesakim Uteshuvos ibid; See Chayeh Adam 67:8; Aruch Hashulchan 240:9

[14] Maharam Shick Y.D. 218; Shevet Halevi 2:111-15; Pesakim Uteshuvos ibid

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