Is one obligated to honor his uncle and aunt?

Honoring ones Uncle and Aunt:[1]

A person is Biblically[2] obligated to honor his uncle [and aunt[3]].[4] This applies to both his maternal and paternal uncle [and aunt]. [It, however, only applies to the brother of his mother and father and not to their brother-in-law, who is married to their sister. One is obligated to honor his aunt and uncle to the same extent that one is obligated to honor his father and mother in speech and action.[5] However, some write that the level of honor required to be shown is not on the same level that one is required to show a parent, but simply to treat them with extra respect such as to acknowledge their presence, and speak with them in a respectful manner.[6] For example, rather than call them by their first name, one should preface it with their title “Uncle” or “Aunt.”]


[1] Birkeiy Yosef 240:17-18; Rabbeinu Yona in Sefer Hayirah p. 174 [203]; Sefer Chareidim Asei 12:4 [4:7]; Rashbash 311; Yosef Ometz p. 347; Teshuvah Meahavah Hagahos on 240; Pesakim Uteshuvos 240:59; See Zichron Zos of the Chozeh of Lublin Parshas Vayeitzei that honoring one’s parents relatives is included in one’s general obligations towards honoring his parents; Encyclopedia Talmudit Erech Kibud Av Vaeim Vol. 26 p. 475

Other opinions: Some Poskim question the above ruling stating that the teaching for it from the verse has no source in Chazal. [See Makor Yisrael C.M. 61; Shut Rit Viyal 59]

[2] Chareidim ibid; Sefer Hayirah ibid; Encyclopedia Talmudit ibid

[3] Hagahos of Minchas Pitim 240; Chareidim ibid

[4] The source: This is learned from the words in the verse “Kabed Es Avicha” as the word Es comes to include the uncle. [Poskim ibid]

[5] Chareidim ibid and 16:5-3; Encyclopedia Talmudit ibid

[6] Sefer Ashrei Haish 40:14 in name of Rav Elyashiv

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