We are continuing in siman 11, where the Chayei Adam is discussing a parent causing a financial loss to a child. We have learned that a child may take steps to prevent the loss from happening, even if it will cause the parents a level of distress, when the child knows that the parents do not have the means to pay back.
The Chayei Adam adds a line to his discussion here, writing that the reason a child may prevent their parent from causing them a loss when the child knows the parent cannot pay back is because we will learn the in the next siman that the financial outlay of kibud av v’eim is on the parent, not on the child. Although a child is chayav in kavod and morah towards their parents, they are financially responsible for them. (We will learn more about this halacha in the next siman.)
The Chayei Adam clarifies that the discussion until now regards a financial loss. However, if the question is a parent preventing the child a financial gain, the child is not allowed to transgress his chiyuv kibud av v’eim (i.e., to cause the parent frustration, pain, etc) to prevent the parent from allowing the child the gain. For example, we learn from the Gemara that if the parent is sleeping, and the keys to the child’s business are blocked by where the parents are sleeping, a child would not be allowed to wake the parent, because waking a person is considered a tzaar to them, and a child is not allowed to cause tzaar to their parents.
On the other hand, the Chayei Adam points out that if the father stands to gain financially by being woken, it is a mitzvah to wake the father, because it is what the father wants. Similarly, it is a mitzvah to wake the parent for any mitzvah matter, such as going to shul.
- The Chayei Adam brings two opinions regarding the extent of kibud av v’eim in light of a parent causing a child damage:
- A child may not prevent a parent from causing them a financial loss;
- A child may always prevent a parent from causing them a financial loss.
- According to everyone, a child may prevent a parent from causing them a financial loss if the child knows the parents do not have the money to pay back the damages, because the financial outlay for kibud av v’eim is not the responsibility of the child, but of the parents.
- According to everyone, a child may not prevent a parent from causing them to lose out on a potential financial gain (where the child will not lose anything other than loss of potential profits).
- It is a mitzvah to wake a parent for something which they would want to be woken, such as for a potential business deal, to go to shul, or other mitzvos.