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1352 – Kibud Av v’Eim – (Klal 67 Siman 19) – Arur for Making Light of Parents

D'var Halacha
D'var Halacha
1352 - Kibud Av v’Eim - (Klal 67 Siman 19) - Arur for Making Light of Parents

 We are beginning siman 19. The Chayei Adam discusses the arur associated with kibud av v’eim.

The Chayei Adam writes that anyone who makes light of their parents or in any way degrades them is cursed under the curse of arur makleh aviv v’imo, one of the 11 curses Klal Yisroel accepted upon themselves in parshas Ki Savo. Makleh comes from the word kal, to make light of (it does not come from the word klalah, curse, which is a separate issur in the torah). Instead of seeing their parents as significant and important, they see their parents as insignificant or light. The arur includes even degradation without actions but just with words or body language.

Shlomo Hamelech writes in Mishlei (30:17) עין תלעג לאב ותבוז ליקהת אם יקרוה עורבי נחל, an eye which looks lightly upon parents will be gouged out by crows of the river. He explains that sometimes when people get old, they lose some of their intelligence or ability to express themselves. People could be tempted to make light of such parents, either verbally or through body language, but the pasuk teaches us that such a person deserves their eyes be gouged. 

The Chayei Adam brings a story from the Sefer Chareidim. A man was supporting his mother, but made light of her because she remarried after her first husband (the child’s father) died. This son was traveling near the sea, and was pulled into the water and drowned. They went to search for his body, and when they found it, they found that one of his eyes was gouged out. 

The primary function of the eye is to see things as they are meant to be seen. When the eye is used to see things incorrectly, it is a total misuse of the eye, and the person loses their right to keep it. Shlomo Hamelech is teaching us that the power of sight vis a vis a parent is such that one must contain themselves and show respect even when they may not have been as quick to do so for someone else. Klal Yisroel accepted this arur upon themselves, and we must keep it by treating parents with utmost weightiness and respect even when they may say things that do not appear to be intelligent.


A person who makes light of their parents is cursed under the arur in the Torah of arur makleh aviv v’imo. Shlomo Hamelech further writes about such a person that they deserve their eyes be gouged out.


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