Monday, July 11, 2016

To What Degree Honor?

לרפואת הרב אברהם יוסף בן חיה שרה
ובנימין יצחק יוסף לייב בן פייגא

ונעמי בת טובה

עד היכן הוא כיבוד אב ואם אפילו נטלו כיס של זהובים שלו והשליכו בפניו לים לא יכלימם ולא יצער בפניהם ולא יכעוס כנגדם אלא יקבל גזירת הכתוב וישתוק ועד היכן מוראן אפילו היה לובש בגדים חמודות ויושב בראש בפני הקהל ובא אביו ואמו וקרעו בגדיו והכוהו בראשו וירקו בפניו לא יכלימם אלא ישתוק ויירא ויפחד ממלך מלכי המלכים שצוהו בכך שאילו מלך בשר ודם גזר עליו דבר שהוא מצער יתר מזה לא היה יכול לפרכס בדבר קל וחומר למי שאמר והיה העולם כרצונו:

To what degree does the mitzvah of honoring one's father and mother extend? Even if one's parent takes his purse of gold and throws it into the sea in his presence, he should not embarrass them, shout, or vent anger at them.  Instead, he should accept the Torah's decree and remain silent.

To what degree does the mitzvah of fearing them extend? Even if one was wearing fine garments and sitting at the head of the community, if one's father and mother came, ripped the clothes, struck him on the head, and spit in his face, he should not embarrass them. Instead, he should remain silent and fear the King of kings who commanded him to conduct himself in this manner. Were a mortal king to decree something which would cause him even more suffering he would not be able to move a limb in protest. Certainly, this applies when the command emanates from He who spoke and caused the world to come into existence as He desired it. [Rambam Mamrim 6/7]

There are at least 20 questions on this Rambam. Here are some:

1] The most famous is that the gemara makes it clear that if we hold that one is only commanded to honor his parent from his parents funds [משל אב], then if his parent is about to throw his purse of gold in the sea, he MAY speak up in order to prevent this from happening. In fact the Rambam rules משל אב, yet he says here that he should remain silent?!

2] Why does the Rambam give these parables about a king here and not regarding any other mitzva [even the 3 cardinal sins]?

3] Why is remaining silent when the parent throws his wallet in the sea called "honor" while remaining silent when the parent humiliates him publicly called "fear"?

4] Why does the Rambam say in the first example that "he should not embarrass them, shout, or vent anger at them", while in the second example he just says that he may not embarrass them? 

5] The source in the gemara for remaining silent in the face of humiliation is a Goy from Ashkelon named Dama ben Nesinah. Is Dama our posek?? 

6] In the first example he is told to remain silent. In the second there is much more - whole moshol with the king and not moving a limb etc. What is the difference?

7] Why does the Rambam [as does the gemara] use the expression HERE "He who spoke and the caused world to come into existence"? Just say "Hashem"?

8] What is the Rambam adding with the word at the end of the halacha "כרצונו"?

9] What is the question "To what degree is kibbud av"? It should have the same paramaters as any other mitzvas aseh?

There are many more. See the sefer Yad Melech Vol. 2 from page 73 and you will see Niflaos Mi-toras Hashem.