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Friday, Iyar 2, 5784 / May 10, 2024 (17th day of the Omer)


The Torah reading this Shabbat is Parshat Kedoshim. The Parsha begins, “G-d spoke to Moshe saying, Speak to the entire congregation of the Children of Israel, and say to them, You should be holy, because I, G-d your G-d, am holy. A person should fear his mother and father and observe My Shabbat for I am G-d, your G-d.”


Parshat Kedoshim is unique in that G-d told Moshe to gather the entire congregation and relate the mitzvot of this Parsha to everyone at the same time. Usually, Moshe would teach his brother, Aaron first, then Aaron’s children, then the elders and after that to everyone else. It shows the special importance of this Parsha.


Q.  Why does the Torah connect fearing/honoring parents and the mitzvah of observing Shabbat?


A. The sages explain that this teaches us that although a person must respect parents, G-d’s commandments take precedence. Thus, if parents command a child to violate a mitzvah, such as desecrating Shabbat, one must listen to G-d’s commandment and not violate the Shabbat. The reasoning behind it is because parents also have to observe G-d’s commandments.


Another reason: The Talmud tells us that there are three partners in the creation of a child; father, mother and G-d. The reason we observe Shabbat is stated in the Ten Commandments, “Six days you shall work and perform all your labor, but the seventh day is a Shabbat to G-d your G-d… because in six days G-d made the heaven and earth... and He rested on the seventh day.”


Shabbat is our confirmation that G-d is the creator of the universe. Honoring parents and observing Shabbat is our expression of gratitude to the three partners responsible for bringing us into this world: G-d and our parents. This is why the Torah combines respecting parents and observing Shabbat.


Q.Why does the Torah add the word, “A person” should fear his father and mother. The Torah should just have said, “You should fear your father and mother”?


A. The word “Ish” – “a person”is used for someone who is anadult. By adding the worda person the Torah wants to emphasize that even when one is an adult and is not dependent on his/her parents anymore, they still have the mitzvah to honor their parents. Parents are parents no matter how old they or their children are. One must honor and respect parents not for any ulterior motive, only because they are our parents.


The mitzvah of honoring parents applies even after their passing. This is why we are obligated to observe their yartzeit and recite Kaddish after their passing. Giving charity in their honor is a great merit for their Neshama-soul. The connection between us and our parents is everlasting.    




Montreal candle lighting time: 7:55 / Shabbat ends: 9:07