We are continuing in siman 8, where the Chayei Adam discusses the parameters of morah. Yesterday, we discussed when it is muttar to disagree with a parent in the context of conversation. There is another facet to this question, which regards when a parent asks a child to do something.
In the mitzvah of kibud, the rishonim discuss a parent who asks a child to do something from which the parent receives no hanaah. In such a case, many rishonim understand that there is no mitzvah of kibud involved in such a command, because kibud only applies when a parent receives hanaah.(If a parent tells a child to do something out of the parent’s concern for the child, it is considered the benefit of the parent as well.) Nevertheless, the mitzvah of morah still applies in this case.
The mitzvah of kibud av v’eim is to benefit the parent, but if there is clearly no benefit to the parent, no benefit to the child, and the parent is just using their position to exercise control over their child, there is no concept of kibud av v’eim and one is not mechuyav to listen. There is obviously a gray area; one must consult with their rov if it is relevant. Otherwise, if a parent asks a child to do something, the child is muchuyav to fulfill it, as part of the mitzvah of morah av v’eim.
The Chayei Adam writes that not calling parents by their first names is included in the mitzvah of morah av v’eim. Rather, one should refer to them as avi mori and imi morasi, or whatever equivalent they use in their language. This chiyuv applies both when they are alive and after their death.
- A child should not avoid fulfilling the request of a parent to do something unless the parent is making the request purely for the purpose of exercising control over the child. One should consult their rov if relevant.
- A child should not refer to their parents by their first names.