Honoring Your Parents After Resurrection


    הצלה 1290

    Honoring Your Parents After Resurrection

    One of the special mitzvos that we were commanded during the Giving of the Torah was the mitzva of honoring parents. A moral, ethical mivtza, a mitzva which was previously (and, G-d willing, in the future will also be) accepted by all of humanity, all religions, all types, all ideologies. The mitzva of respecting parents is a mitzva which states its reward. One who honors his parents merits a long life • Click to Read


    There was a Yekke (German Jew) who got up every morning at five, davened in the first minyan of the day, and and sat down to a royal breakfast at precisely seven o’clock.

    His son was a Lubavitcher who got up at eight, ran to the mikva, learned Chassidus and davened at length. If he finished shacharis before the time for mincha, it was a miracle …

    One day, the father invited his son to visit. Out of respect, the son decided to forgo the darchei ha’Chassidus while he stayed in his father’s home and he also got up to daven shacharis at vasikin and finished on time.

    After breakfast (which ended precisely at 7:30), the son got up and said, “Now I understand!”

    “What do you understand, my son?” asked his surprised father.

    “I understand the connection between respecting parents and longevity! Here I am, with you, and suddenly, I have six more hours every day!”


    In this week’s parsha, Yisro, we read about the Giving of the Torah, the most important event in Jewish history. Millions of Jew, men, women, and children stood at the foot of Har Sinai on that Shabbos morning, 6 Sivan 2448, in order to see (and hear) with their own eyes the giving of the Torah by G-d Himself.

    These exciting moments were accompanied by supernatural phenomena described in the Medrash and Gemara. “A bird did not chirp, a bird did not fly, an ox did not low, ofanim-angels did not fly, serafim-angels did not say holy, holy, the sea did not move, creatures did not speak; the world was utterly silent … until the voice of G-d was heard, Anochi Hashem Elokecha…

    This soul-stirring description of the absolute freezing of all of humanity, of all of existence, in the moments preceding the Giving of the Torah teaches us, if only in some small way, about the enormous impact this event had on us and the entire universe.

    One of the special mitzvos that we were commanded during the Giving of the Torah was the mitzva of honoring parents. A moral, ethical mivtza, a mitzva which was previously (and, G-d willing, in the future will also be) accepted by all of humanity, all religions, all types, all ideologies. The mitzva of respecting parents is a mitzva which states its reward. One who honors his parents merits a long life.

    What would you do in the following instance? A father sends his son to bring him baby birds from a nest at the top of a tree. The boy climbs up, sends away the mother bird (a mitzva) and brings down the baby birds. As he does so, he loses his balance, falls, and dies. Where is the promised long life?

    The famous Tanna, Rabbi Yaakov, was a witness to this tragic occurrence and, having no choice, he explained the verse, “So that you will live long – in the world that is entirely good and in the world that is completely long.” Sometimes, we get a good, long life only in the next world, in Gan Eden or the world of Resurrection!

    The question is, what will happen with the mitzva of respecting parents in the era of Resurrection? Will we have to honor our parents who came back from the dead? Will a physical or emotional connection remain between father and son and between mother and daughter? What will happen if the son also returns from the dead – will the din change?

    In the responsa Rav Pe’alim (volume 2, sod lisharim, siman 2), the author explains that there is a significant difference between mitzvos whose source is the body and mitzvos whose source is the soul. He says that the body that will arise at the Resurrection of the Dead is a new body with no connection to the body that existed in this world. A new body, with no connection to the first body that was buried and rotted. Therefore, when it comes to mitzvos that are rooted in the connection between one body and another, this connection ceases when a person dies and it won’t be renewed in the Resurrection. Examples are the laws of marriage, the laws pertaining to familial relationships or the prohibited arayos. These laws and prohibitions are canceled when a person leaves this world and they won’t come back with the Resurrection. Therefore, technically, after the Resurrection, there will be no prohibition for a brother to marry a (former) sister because she is no longer his sister; she is considered like any other woman.

    Following this line of reasoning, the same would apply to parents and children. There won’t be a mitzva to honor one’s father in the era of Resurrection because this particular person, who looks like one’s father, sounds like one’s father, and behaves like one’s father, is actually … not his father! He is someone else, with no bodily connection to the child.


    However, this is not so simple. According to the Rebbe, it is very possible to say that the chiddush of this gaon is actually a fundamental dispute between Tannaim. It depends on an old debate: will the body in the future be rebuilt from the luz bone which remains from the previous body, that eternal bone which never returns to dust and which will serve as the foundation for the new, future body, or will a completely new body be formed, a body which was never previously alive and which has no connection to any previous existence?

    According to the view that the body of the Resurrection will be constructed from the luz bone, it is hard to say that there is zero connection between parent and child. After all, that very bone from which the child was rebuilt is sourced in their parents, which is why it is fitting and necessary to honor and revere them.

    Furthermore, even if you want to insist that there is no connection between the previous and current body, still, who says honor and reverence for parents depends on the body? Perhaps it depends on the soul!

    It should be noted that even the Rav Pe’alim reckons with the fact that the obligation to honor parents is not based solely on bodily connection but is primarily rooted in a soul connection. In the worlds of Kabbalah and teachings of Chassidus we find many references that say that the obligation of honor and reverence is a result of the holy soul which parents drew down at the time of conception to their children, a G-dly soul which they drew down to the world through their marriage. And since neshamos don’t change, the soul of the parents and children remain the same souls and this soul connection between parents and their offspring is eternal which death cannot abrogate. Therefore, the mitzva of honoring parents will remain, unchanged, in the era of the Resurrection.

    Support for this can be found in the psak halacha that a child must honor his parents even after their death (Rambam, Mamrim 6:5). Since after parents’ death the bodies have already changed so why should children honor them? We see then, that there is a deep connection, a soul bond that connects parents to children, which even death does not part. This bond engenders respect and reverence which will exist even in the era of the Geula!


    We will end with short points about respect for a mother which we saw in the Rebbe toward Rebbetzin Chana. Rabbi Berek Junik a’h related:

    News of the passing of R’ Yisroel Aryeh Leib Schneerson arrived on the morning of 13 Iyar 5712. The Rebbe asked R’ Groner whether anyone else knew about this and asked that the news not be conveyed to his mother.

    I remember that the Rebbe made every effort to prevent his mother from finding out. For example, the Rebbe said that only a limited minyan of men should come and daven with him during the shiva.

    Every day of the shiva, the Rebbe went to visit his mother, as he always did. Beforehand, the Rebbe told me he was afraid that his mother would notice that he wasn’t wearing regular shoes [the Rebbe, in mourning, was wearing cloth shoes with white soles.] I brought him black paint and I painted the white part so they would look like regular shoes.

    As for his daily visit, the Rebbe asked me [on the first day of the shiva] that a minute or two after he arrived at Rebbetzin Chana’s house, I should call the Rebbetzin so that the Rebbe could say to her that he did not want to disturb her phone conversation and would be able to immediately leave for 770. [Because of mourning, the Rebbe was unable to sit down and act as usual and he was afraid his mother would catch on.]

    At the time we had made up, I called the Rebbetzin. The Rebbe picked up the phone and told his mother: Someone wants to speak to you. I don’t want to disturb. Reid gezunterheit, good night. And he left.

    For the next three months, I would take all the mail that arrived for the Rebbetzin and bring it to the Rebbe. The Rebbe would go through it and I would put the mail back in her mailbox. When the Rebbetzin opened the mail, she did not notice that someone had opened the letters before she did and did not suspect anything.

    A few months passed and one day, the Rebbetzin sadly said, “I don’t know what happened to my son Leibel. He hasn’t written me in so long and I am very upset about this.”

    I told Rebbetzin Chaya Mushka. A few days later, the Rebbe gave me a letter for me to put in his mother’s mail box. When I visited the Rebbetzin, she joyfully told me, “After a long time, I received a letter from my son Leibel. My daughter-in-law and granddaughter also wrote a few words.”

    A few days after Shavuos, the Rebbe told me it would be a good idea to arrange a telegram to be sent on behalf of his brother and family, in honor of Yom Tov.

    I didn’t know how to forge a telegram and Rebbetzin Chaya Mushka told me that I should go to the secretaries and bring her any telegram that was received that day and she would take care of it. I brought her a telegram and she took a kettle, boiled water, and then showed me how to steam the envelope so it shouldn’t look as though someone opened it. When I finished, the secretary Rabbi Sholom Mendel Simpson wrote the text and that day we gave the “telegram” to Rebbetzin Chana.

    Good Shabbos!



    Add Comment

    *Only proper comments will be allowed

    Related Posts:

    Honoring Your Parents After Resurrection