Parent instructs a child to transgress Torah?
If one’s father instructed him to transgress words of Torah, he may not listen to him. This applies whether it is a positive or negative command. This applies even by rabbinical command. [This applies even if the parent will receive direct benefit from the transgression. Thus, if one’s parent asks one to do something on his behalf which will end up causing him to nullify an obligatory mitzvah, then he is not required to listen to him, and he is rather to fulfill the mitzvah, as explained in Halacha ??. Furthermore, even by a non-obligatory Mitzvah, if one’s parent asks one to do something on his behalf with the sole intent to nullify him from doing a mitzvah, then he is not required to listen to him, and he is rather to fulfill the mitzvah. If, however, ones parents asks of him not to do a certain Mitzvah due to other reasons, then if the Mitzvah is not an active obligation at all for him to perform, such as they asked him not to work in collecting charity for distribution, then some Poskim rule that he should listen to them.]
If one’s parents instruct their child not to fulfill a certain custom or stringency, must he listen to them?
A child is not obligated to listen to his parents who ask of him not to fulfill a certain custom or stringency even if it is not required to be practiced from the letter of the law. Some Poskim rule that this applies even by a matter which is a mere Hiddur Mitzvah. Certainly the son is not obligated to listen to his parents to be lenient in matters in which there are authorities who hold it to be forbidden, even though practically we do not rule this way.
Customs-Minhag Yisrael: Likewise, a custom which is accepted amongst the Jewish people is to be respected and followed even if the parent asks of him to be lenient in it.
A baseless custom or stringency: The above lack of obligation to listen to the parents’ wishes only applies if the custom or stringency has a certain root in Halacha, and is not just a personal preference that is not recorded by the Poskim. However, even regarding customs and stringencies of mere preference, one is only required to listen to his parents regarding those matters in which the parent will receive direct benefit from the son abstaining from fulfilling the stringency. However, if the parent will not receive any direct benefit from his wishes being fulfilled, then the child is not obligated to listen to him even regarding mundane matters and certainly regarding matters of religion. However, some Poskim rule that if being stringent in this matter will cause great pain or shame to the parent, then one is to abstain from his non-required custom even if the parent will not this receive direct benefit from it. However, even by a non-obligatory Mitzvahs and stringencies, if the request of the parent is for the sole intent to nullify him from doing a mitzvah, then he is not required to listen to him, and he is rather to fulfill the mitzvah.
Hataras Nedarim: In the event that a child chooses to compromise on a custom or stringency for the sake of his parents, due to his parents’ wishes, then he is to perform Hataras Nedarim prior to breaking his custom. If, however, one only plans to compromise on the custom on a temporary basis due to the circumstances with his parents, and then plans to return to keeping the custom, then one is not required to perform Hataras Nedarim. Nonetheless, if it is easily attainable than one should perform Hataras Nedarim even in such a case.
Examples of Halachic stringency’s that one may follow even against his parents’ wishes:
1. To Daven a Nussach of prayer of his choosing. One is not required to listen to his parents who ask him to change his Nussach of Davening.
2. Not to carry on Shabbos even in an area with a Kosher Eruv. One is not required to listen to his parents in this regard if they ask him to carry. However, one is required to do so in order to relieve his parents from carrying a heavy burden.
3. Not to use electricity in Israel over Shabbos, and to only use a generator. One is not required to listen to his parents in this regard if they ask him to use the regular city electricity over Shabbos.
4. Not to shave or trim the beard with a machine or scissors. One is not required to listen to his parents in this regard even if they ask him to trim or shave his beard so he look upkept and not embarrass them.
5. Not to grow long hair. One is not required to listen to his parents in this regard even if they ask him to grow out is hair long so he can make a ponytail and the like.
6. To eat products which follow leniency’s in the laws of Kashrus such as Chalav Yisrael and Pas Yisrael. One is not required to listen to his parents if they ask him to eat Chalav Akum products or Pas Akum products.
7. To be particular to eat only Yashan flour products. One is not required to listen to his parents if they ask him to eat Chadash products.
8. To not eat certain products of a Hashgacha which has lenient policies, or Kashrus mishaps. One is not required to listen to his parents if they ask him to be lenient to eat such products. [However, if there is no known issue or no known leniencies with the particular Hashgacha, and it is generally relied upon by God-fearing Jews, then he should listen to his parents if they ask him to eat from it.]
9. Tevilas Ezra. One is not required to listen to his parents if they ask him to be lenient to not immerse in the Mikveh.
Examples of stringencies that one may drop due to his parents’ wishes:
1. Long Peiyos. If one’s parents do not want him to have long Peiyos, then one may let go of his custom for their sake.
2. Tevilos of Tosefes Kedusha [non-Tevilas Ezra]. If one’s parents do not want him to immerse in the mikvah daily for non-Keri purposes, then one may let go of his custom for their sake.
3. Fasts, as explained in Q&A below.
May a child fast for purposes of penitence against his parents’ wishes?
May a parent protest against his child for making Aliyah to Israel?
No. A child is not obligated to obey his parents in this matter.
Must one listen to his parent if he does not want him to be a Sandek for a Bris?
No, as it is a mitzvah to do so, and his parents cannot protest Mitzvah’s.
If one would like to make the Bris of his son in the morning and his parents want him to delay it to the afternoon so they can travel to the Bris, must one listen to his parents?
Some Poskim rule that one is not required to adhere to his parents request in such a case, as it is a mitzvah to perform the circumcision as soon as possible. However, other Poskim rule that it is to be delayed in such a case to fulfill the mitzvah of honoring one’s parents.
If one’s father or mother asks him not to wear a Tallis Katan, must he listen to him?
No, the child is not required to listen to his parent in this matter.
 Michaber 240:15; Rambam Mamarim 6:12; Mishneh Bava Metzia 32a; Yevamos 6a; Mechilta Rashbi Shemos 23:8; Toras Kohanim Vayikra 19; Bamidbar Raba 14:6; Pesakim Uteshuvos 240:44-46
 The reason: As everyone is obligated in the honor of God, including one’s parents, as is learned from the fact that after the verse commands one to fear one’s parents, it commands one to guard the Shabbos and then states that “I am God. ” This comes to teach us that although one must listen to his parents, this is limited to instructions which do not transgress God’s instructions. [Shach 240:17; Yevamos 6a; Bava Metzia ibid; See Rashi and Tosafos Yevamos ibid that this is learned from the words “and I am G-d”, however other Midrashim learn it from a Hekish to Shabbos; Rashi Vayikra 19 brings both approaches]
 See Kneses Yechezkal 35; Beir Heiytiv 254:3; Pischeiy Teshuvah 240:13
 Michaber 240:12; Maharam Ben Chaviv 112; Meiah Shearim p. 270
 Piskei Riaz Kiddushin 1:8-10; Kneses Yechezkal 35; Ashel Avraham Butchatch 89; Chaim Sheol 1:5
 See Chaim Sheol 1:5; Chavos Yair 214, brought in Pischeiy Teshuvah 240:23; However, see Kneses Yechezkal 35, Vetzaruch Iyun
 Rama 376:4; Rashal in Yam Shel Shlomo Kiddushin 63; Hagahos Rabbeinu Peretz on Tashbeitz Katan 425, brought in Bies Yosef 403; Pischeiy Teshuvah 240:14; Mateh Efraim Dinei Kaddish Alef Lamateh 4; Pesakim Uteshuvos 240:43; See M”A 132:2; Chaim Sheol 1:5; Birkeiy ysoef 240:8; Betzel Hachochmah 5:15-8; Beir Moshe 1:60
Other opinions: Some Poskim rule the son is not allowed to say Kaddish for his mother if his father protests. [Rivash 115, brought in M”A 132:2; Chida in Birkeiy Yosef 240:8 and Chaim Sheol 1:5; Poskim brought in Pnei Baruch 34 footnote 38; See Pischeiy Teshuvah 240:10-11 in name of Teshuvos Rav Akiva Eiger 68]
 The reason: As the father transgresses the Mitzvah of Veahavta Lereiacha Kamocha and it is considered as if he is telling the child to transgress a matter of the Torah of which he is not obligated to listen to him. Alternatively, it is because saying Kaddish after a parent is considered similar to a rabbinical obligation and hence one is not required to listen to his parent who tells him not to say it. [Rashal ibid, brought in Pischeiy Teshuvah 240:14; 376:5]
 Arugas Habosem O.C. 19; Mishnas Binyamon 52; Divrei Yatziv Y.D. 125:4; Beir Moshe 1:60; Peas Sadecha 1:111; Sefer Kibud Horim 12 footnote 2 in name of Rav Elyashiv; Chut Shani 240:19
Other opinions: Some Poskim imply that by a mere stringency, one is required to adhere to his parents’ wishes if they instruct him not to follow a certain stringency, and they receive direct benefit from their wishes being followed, as following a stringency does not defer listening to one’s parents which is a Torah command. [See Pesakim Uteshuvos 240:44 footnote 389; Avnei Tzedek E.H. 18; The following Poskim imply that by those matters which the father has personal benefit from, one must listen to his parents even by a stringency that has a basis in Torah: Agudas Eizov Y.D. 15; Meshivas Nafesh Y.D. 16; Halichos Shlomo Tefila 4 footnote 95]
 Avnei Yashpei 1:186 Anaf 2, based on the following Poskim who rule that one can choose to Daven in whatever shul he has more Kavana [Chamudei Daniel, brought in Pischeiy Teshuvah 240:22; Tirosh Veyitzhar 72; Aruch Hashulchan 240:45; Maharashdam E.H. 95; Chaim Sheol 1:5]
 Rashal Kiddushin 1:63 regarding Kaddish, and all Poskim who rule accordingly, brought above; Beir Moshe 1:60; Divrei Yatziv Y.D. 125:4; Yabia Omer 3 Y.D. 26:2; Chut Shani 240:19; Mishpitei Tzedek 83
Other opinions: Some Poskim rule the son is not allowed to say Kaddish for his mother if his father protests being that this is a custom that is not mentioned in the Talmud. [Chida in Birkeiy Yosef 240:8 and Chaim Sheol 1:5; Rivash 115, brought in M”A 132:2; Poskim brought in Pnei Baruch 34 footnote 38; See Pischeiy Teshuvah 240:10-11 in name of Teshuvos Rav Akiva Eiger 68] From here it can be understood that one is required to let go of a custom that does not have Talmudic basis for the sake of adhering to his parents wishes.
 Teshuvos Vehanhagos 1:526; See regarding fasting: Sefer Chassidim 340; Beis Lechem Yehuda 240:8; Beir Moshe 1:60; See regarding Peiyos: Beir Moshe 1:60; Teshuvos Vehanhagos 1:529
Stringencies that are based on the teachings of Kabbalah and not Halacha: Some write that any stringency which does not of any root in Halacha but rather in the teachings of Kabbalah, is to be deferred in face of a request of one’s parents. [See Pesakim Uteshuvos 240:44 footnote 384] However, aside from the fact that from the ruling of many of the Poskim is implied that while one may choose to let go such a custom he is not obligated to do so, some Poskim explicitly write that one is never obligated to permanently let go of his even Kabbalistic custom due to his parents’ wishes, and is only to do so if the parents request it as a one-time thing. [Likkutei Teshuvos Minchas Yitzchak 105]
 Igros Admur Hazakein 81; Agudas Eizov Y.D. 15; Meshivas Nafesh Y.D. 16; Pesakim Uteshuvos ibid and 240:64
 Meishiv Davar 2:50; Chut Shani 240:19; Kinyan Torah 2:87 regarding gebrochts
 Piskei Riaz Kiddushin 1:8-10; Kneses Yechezkal 35; Ashel Avraham Butchatch 89; Chaim Sheol 1:5
 See Michaber Yoreh Deah 214:1; Admur 249:13; 161:8; 468:17; Alef Hamagen 581:102; Glosses of Rav Raskin on Siddur [Miluim 25]
 M”A 581:12; Elya Raba 240:20; Machatzis Hashekel ibid; Degul Merivava ibid and Yoreh Deah 214:1; Rama 568:2; 581:2 [regarding a Bris during Bahab or Aseres Yimei Teshuvah]; Mateh Efraim 581:38; Shaar Hatziyon 568:133 permits in time of need if one cannot find someone to be Matir the Neder; See Piskeiy Teshuvos 568:4
Other Opinion-Opinion of Michaber and Shach: Some Poskim rule that Hataras Nedarim is required even if an unexpected circumstance requires one to break his custom. [Shach Y.D. 214:2; Peri Chadash O.C. 470; Chayeh Adam 127:8; M”B 581:19; The Michaber 214:1 rules regarding the Hiddur of fasting during Aseres Yimei Teshuvah, that even if one became weak, he is required to do Hataras Nedarim. The Shach 214:2 explains that the reason for this is because only those circumstances that are publicly known not to be included within the Hiddur, such as eating during a Bris Mila during Aseres Yimei Teshuvah, do not require Hataras Nedarim. However, an unexpected circumstance is included in the Hiddur and thus requires Hataras Nedarim. The Degul Merivava ibid argues against the Shach’s explanation, and says the Michaber’s ibid ruling referred to a case that due to weakness the person wanted to revoke his custom forever, and for this everyone agrees that Hatara is required.
 M”B 581:19 and Shaar Hatziyon 568:133 to suspect for the stringent opinion from above
 Igros Admur Hazakein 81 in length based on the fact that one is never obligated to listen to his parents when they do not receive direct benefit; Koveitz Teshuvos 1:12; See Piskeiy Teshuvos 68:3
 Chut Shani 240:19
 Halichos Shlomo Tefila 4 footnote 95
 Pesakim Uteshuvos 240:44 footnote 385
 See Beir Heiytiv 181:5; Pischeiy Teshuvah 181:6
 Mishnas Binyamon 52; Divrei Yatziv Y.D. 125:4; Beir Moshe 1:60; Teshuvos Vehanhagos 1:529; Maaseh Ish 1:165; Sefer Hadarta Panim Zakein Chapter 15 p. 531 and 802; See Igros Kodesh Rayatz 7:309-310; 13:505; Igros Kodesh 5:35, brought in Shulchan Menachem 6:108; Likkutei Sichos Vol. 7 Hosafos Parshas Kedoshim; Toras Menachem 20th Av p. 164; Minchas Yitzchak 1:64-13 and Likkutei Teshuvos Minchas Yitzchak 105; Pesakim Uteshuvos 240:44 footnote 384 [Vetzaruch Iyun Gadol on what he writes that regarding trimming one may be lenient to listen to his parents. This is contradicted by the sources above.]
 See Peas Sadecha 1:111 due to the prohibition of Bloris
 Meishiv Nefesh 1:16; Agudas Eizov Y.D. 15
 Pesakim Uteshuvos 240:44 footnote 387
 Arugas Habosem O.C. 19;
 Beir Moshe 1:60; Teshuvos Vehanhagos 1:529
 Agudas Eizov Y.D. 15; Pesakim Uteshuvos 240 footnote 392
 Sefer Chassidim 340; Beis Lechem Yehuda 240:8; See Beir Moshe 1:60
 Ashel Avraham; Beis Yehuda Y.D. 1:54
 Kneses Yechezkal 35
 Avnei Yashpei 1:186 Anaf 2
 Kibud Horim 12 footnote 17 in name of Rav Elyashiv; See Vayivarech Dovid 1:68
 Halichos Shlomo Tefila 3:3 in name of Rav SZ”A; Pesakim Uteshuvos 240: footnote 380