We are beginning siman 28, which discusses a child striking a parent. If a child strikes a parent in a manner which causes them to bleed, they are chayav misah through chenek (choking). If the blow does not cause an open wound, they transgress a lav, and are chayav malkus in the same way they would be chayav for striking any Jew.
In siman 29, the Chayei Adam discusses striking a parent for a valid purpose, such as causing a wound for the purpose of a medical procedure. The Chayei Adam writes that it is still assur to strike the parent. For example, if one’s father has a splinter, the child should not remove the splinter. In the process of trying to remove the splinter, they may cause the father to bleed more than what the splinter itself is causing. Although removing the splinter in the big picture is beneficial for the father because it will cause the bleeding to stop, if in the process of its removal the son will be the cause of extra bleeding, it is assur.
If the son is a doctor or bloodletter (historically, people felt that cutting and letting blood out of the body was beneficial to a person), or requires an amputation, the son should not do the procedure. However, if there is no one else capable of performing the procedure, amputation is certainly muttar, because it is sakanas nefashos. Regarding bloodletting, if the father needs it, the father may be mochel the child, and then we consider the procedure as refuah rather than a blow, and the son may perform it. Even so, we only rely on this thought process when there is no one else available to do the procedure.
We will discuss this halacha further tomorrow, be’ezras Hashem.
- If a child strikes a parent in a manner which causes them to bleed, they are chayav misah. If they do not cause bleeding, they are chayav malkus.
- If the child needs to strike the parent for a valid purpose, such as a medical procedure, the child should not perform the procedure if someone else is available.
- If no one else is available, the child may perform the procedure, providing the father is mochel the son striking him.