web analytics
July 28, 2015 / 12 Av, 5775
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post


Home » Judaism » Parsha »

Must One Honor His In-Laws?


This column is dedicated to the refuah sheleimah of Shlomo Eliezer ben Chaya Sarah Elka.

At the beginning of this week’s parshah the Torah says that when Yisro, Moshe Rabbeinu’s father-in-law, joined Bnei Yisrael in the desert, one “ish” (man) bowed to the other and kissed him. The pasuk does not specify who bowed and kissed whom. The Mechilta says that since the pasuk refers to Moshe as an “ish” elsewhere, we should assume that Moshe bowed and kissed Yisro. The Mechilta concludes that this is the source in the Torah that one must honor his father-in-law.

The Tur, in Yoreh De’ah 240:24, quotes another source for this halacha. The medrash in Tehillim says that we derive this halacha from Dovid HaMelech, who called his father-in-law, Shaul HaMelech “avi” (my father). The Aruch Hashulchan writes that he does not understand this source, since we find that the title “father” can be added as a sign of respect for individuals who are not related at all. However, he suggests that perhaps since Dovid referred to Shaul as his father while he was chasing him, he would not have done so merely out of respect – if not for the fact that one must honor his father-in-law.

The Bach (Yoreh De’ah 240:24) says that this halacha applies to one’s mother-in-law as well. But he adds that the obligation to honor one’s in-laws differs from the obligation to honor one’s parents. The obligation to honor one’s in-laws is merely the same as the obligation to honor an elderly, important person, i.e. to stand up when they walk into a room (presumably one must perform this honor even if his in-laws are not elderly or important people). However, one is not obligated to perform for one’s in-laws the other obligations that one must perform for his or her parents, e.g. feed them, dress them, etc.

The Pischei Teshuvah, in Yoreh De’ah 240:20, agrees with the Bach that the obligation to honor one’s in-laws differs from the honor that one is required to show parents. He offers proof from the following halacha: the Gemara in Kiddushin 30b says that a married woman is exempt from honoring her parents because she is not available to perform the necessary actions. A single woman is required to honor her parents whether she never married, is divorced, or is widowed. (This halacha appears in Shulchan Aruch Yoreh De’ah 240:17.) If a man has the same obligation to honor his in-laws as he does his parents, why then would his wife be exempted from honoring her parents when she gets married? Since her husband must bestow honor upon her parents as if they were his own, that should not interfere with her obligation to honor her parents.

He continues by saying that whenever a situation arises whereby one person is obligated to honor two people and one of those people is obligated to honor the other (e.g. a child must honor both of his parents, and his mother must honor her husband), when both parents command a child to perform different actions he must first adhere to his father’s command since his mother is obligated to honor her husband as well (Yoreh De’ah 240:14). Therefore, if a man had an obligation to honor his in-laws we would say that if her father and her husband both command her to do two different things, she should listen to her father since she and her husband are both commanded to adhere to her father’s command. Since we pasken that she is exempt from honoring her father, we can infer that her husband does not have an obligation to honor his in-laws; rather, he must merely show them the respect that he would show an elderly, important person.

Reb Reuvain Grozovsky, in Yevamos, siman 4, asks a question on the proof of the Pischei Teshuvah to the Bach, that one is not obligated to honor one’s in-laws in the same manner that he is obligated to honor his parents. The basis behind the Pischei Teshuvah proof is based on the assumption that the reason why a married woman is exempt from honoring her father is because she is obligated tohonor her husband. He therefore concludes that if a man would be obligated to honor his father-in-law that should not exempt his wife from honoring her father, since he too is obligated to do so. However, although a woman is obligated to honor her husband (as the Rambam says in Hilchos Ishus 15:19), this is merely mi’derabbanan and would not exempt her from her mitzvah mi’de’oraisa of honoring her father.

About the Author: For questions or comments, e-mail RabbiRFuchs@gmail.com.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Must One Honor His In-Laws?”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Beit El. early Tuesday morning,
Hundreds of Police Force Protesters out of Beit El Buildings [video]
Latest Judaism Stories
Torat-Hakehillah-logo-NEW

Before going in, I had told R’ Nachum all of the things we were doing in Philly, and how it was very important to receive a good bracha on behalf of our newest venture, a Russian Kollel.

Q-A-Klass-logo

Question: When a stranger approaches a congregant in shul asking for tzedakah, should the congregant verify that the person’s need is genuine? Furthermore, what constitutes tzedakah? Is a donation to a synagogue, yeshiva, or hospital considered tzedakah?

Zvi Kirschner
(Via E-Mail)

Destruction of the Temple of Jerusalem

(JNi.media) Tisha B’Av (Heb: 9th of the month of Av) is a fast day according to rabbinic law and tradition, commemorating the destruction of the First Temple in 586 BCE by the army of Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, and the destruction of the Second Temple in the year 70 CE by the Roman army led […]

Rabbi Avi Weiss

Devarim often parallels the stories in Bereishit but in reverse & can be considered as a corrective

‘Older’ By A Month
‘…Until The Beginning Of Adar’
(Nedarim 63a)

We realize how much we miss something only after it’s gone.

Because the words of Torah gladden the heart, studying Torah is forbidden when Tisha B’Av is on a weekday, except for passages in Scripture that deal with the destruction of the Temple and other calamities.

On Super Bowl Sunday itself, life seems to stop. Over one hundred million people watch the game. About half of the households in the country show it in their living rooms and dens.

Moses begins Sefer Devarim reviewing much of the 40 years in the desert & why he can’t enter Israel

While they are definitely special occurrences, why are they cause for a new holiday?

Torah wasn’t given to be kept in Sinai; Brooklyn or Beverly Hills-It was meant to be kept in Israel!

“When a king dies his power ends; when a prophet dies his influence begins” & their words echo today

In addition to the restrictions of Tisha B’Av, there are several restrictions that one may not perform during the week that Tisha B’Av falls in.

The word “shavat” in the first kina of Tisha B’Av morning indicates a sudden suspension and cessation of time that accompanied the Temple’s destruction.

The two decided to approach Rabbi Dayan. “What is the halachic status of conquered territory?” asked Shalom.

More Articles from Rabbi Raphael Fuchs
Taste-of-Lomdus-logo

In addition to the restrictions of Tisha B’Av, there are several restrictions that one may not perform during the week that Tisha B’Av falls in.

Taste-of-Lomdus-logo

We do not find that Pinchas was chastised for what he did; on the contrary he was greatly rewarded.

The Shulchan Aruch in the very first siman states that one should rise in the morning like a lion, implying that simply rising form bed requires strength of a lion, in line with the Midrash.

Tosafos answers that nevertheless the sprinkling is a part of his taharah process.

Performing ketores outside the Beis Hamikdash, and at the wrong time is an aveirah.

Ten of the twelve spies returned with a negative report, stating that this would be impossible.

The flavor of the mon was not artificial; the mon would now consist of the actual flavors from the desired food.

Tosafos suggests several answers as to how a minor can own an item, m’d’Oraisa.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/parsha/must-one-honor-his-in-laws/2013/01/31/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: