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VaEtchanan 5799. Parents and Children

The topic of parents and children, and Jewish education, is at the heart of this week’s parsha: It is, of course the 5th of the Ten Commandments: “Honor your mother and your father,” and the topic of educating children appears in the parsha in the Shema - ”veshinantam levanecha”.

So, let’s begin with a fundamental question: Why does the Torah instruct us to honour our parents?

We shall claim that the respect due to parents is not for parents. It is in actuality a critical key in raising the next generation.


The most famous reason given for honour of parents is brought nicely by the Sefer Hachinuch:

It is correct for a person to recognize and repay in some measure, the good which has been offered to him ...A person should realize that his father and mother are the cause of his existence in this world; therefore, it is appropriate that he render them all the honor and do them all the service he can. For they brought him into the world and labored greatly on his behalf..."