Love-Loving one’s parents

Love-Loving one’s parents:[1]

The Zohar[2] describes the relationship between a child and parent as follows: “A son who cares after his father and mother whom he loves more than his own body and soul and all of his possessions are like nonexistent in the face of using them to give his parent satisfaction.” Some Poskim[3] learn from here that aside for the obligation to honor and fearless parents, there is an obligation for one to love his parents and that loving one’s parents is included within the command to honor them. The love is the result of the realization of how much his parents have done for him, and he hence reciprocates their love for him with his love for them. As a result of this love, he respects them and honors them and fears them. [Nonetheless, even according to this opinion, the mitzvah of honoring one’s parents is mainly fulfilled through action while the mitzvah of fearing one’s parents is mainly in the heart.[4]] Furthermore, some Poskim[5] learn that the mitzvah to love one’s parents is included within the mitzvah to love Hashem, and is independent of the command to honor one’s parents. However, other Poskim[6] rule that there is no special mitzvah to love one’s parents any more than any other Jew.


[1] See Encyclopedia Talmudit Erech Kibud Av Vaeim Vol. 26 p. 378 footnotes 102-114

[2] Zohar 3 p. 281, brought in Tanya

[3] Sefer HaChareidim Asei 9:35-37 “From this Zohar we learned that they had a tradition that included in honoring one’s parents is to love them…. That he loves them with a tremendous powerful love just like they had love him, and then serving them will not be so difficult”; Chayeh Adam 67:1; Meiah Shearim 93; Rav Elyashiv in Koveitz Kol Torah 43:230

[4] Semak Hakdama 7; 50; Kala Rabasi 3

[5] Tosafus Rosh Kiddushin 57a; Shita Mekubetzes Bechoros 6a; Panim Meiros 2:35

The source: They learn from the extra word “Es” found in the verse Devarim 6:5 “Veahavta Es Hashem Elokecha” that is coming to include one’s father and mother. [Poskim ibid]

[6] See Teshuvas Harambam 369 [160]; Maharal Chidushei Agados Kiddushin 31a; Nesivos Olam Ahavas Hashem 1

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