Parshas Ki Savo.
The laws of respecting parents.
1. The Torah tells us to fear and respect our parents. By respecting them we ultimately show respect to the Creator Himself.
2. It is forbidden to sit where one of the parents usually sits, interrupt their conversations or argue with them, or make statements like: “My father is right” – this is also lack of respect as if our opinion is the decisive here.
3. It is a mitzvah to feed and cloth our parents. If they are rich, then the son does not have to spend his own money on it, but if they are poor and the son has means, he should spend the money needed, (in Parshas Vayetze we discuss whether this money can be subtracted from tzedoko).
4. It is a mitzvah to stand up before the parents.
5. If the parents want their child to break any Biblical or Rabbinical prohibition, it is forbidden to listen to them. For this reason, if someone’s father has an enemy and tells his son not to speak to him or not to forgive him, the son should not listen. Similarly, if the son wants to learn Torah in a different country, but his parents want him to stay with them, he does not have to listen. If the parents are not happy about his choice of a bride, he can still marry her. However, it is often a good advice to consult the parents before choosing a proper match since they might be able to give a good advice in the matter.
6. There is some mitzvah in respecting other older relatives like grandparents, older siblings and the wife’s parents. One should also show some respect to the wife of his father, even if she is not his mother, while the father is alive.