web analytics
April 23, 2014 / 23 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance
Kidz
Sponsored Post
Spa 1.2 Combining Modern Living in Traditional Jerusalem

A unique and prestigious residential project in now being built in Mekor Haim Street in Jerusalem.



Honoring One’s Father And Mother

Tales of the Gaonim-logo

Share Button

There are certain mitzvos that all civilized people can understand and appreciate. One such mitzvah is that of honoring one’s parents. While there are certain specific particulars that are distinctly Jewish, the general concept is one accepted by non-Jews as well. Indeed, when the Talmud sought to find an example of one who observed this mitzvah in its proper form, it selected a non-Jew by the name of Dama ben Nesina.

The Abuse

Dama ben Nesina was a noble man greatly admired for his wisdom and prowess. It so happened that the elders of his city gathered together for an important meeting and asked him to come and advise them.

When he arrived they immediately seated him at the front of the table and the discussion began. Unknown to Dama, however, his mother — unfortunately a demented woman who was not responsible for her actions — had followed him and burst into the chamber room.

Before the startled eyes of the people, she rushed at her son and began to beat and slap him. The noble Dama, with perfect respect, never raised his hand against his mother, merely pleaded: “Mother, have pity and allow me to take you home.”

When Chazal heard of his remarkable self-restraint and of the honor he afforded his mother, they proclaimed to all:

“If you wish to understand how far the mitzvah of honoring one’s parents extends, come learn from Dama ben Nesina.”

The Precious Stone

Chazal had yet another occasion to admire the respect Dama ben Nesina had for his parents. It was during the time of the second Bais HaMikdash and the Kohen Gadol was garbed in his holy garments as specified in the Torah. There arose a need for a precious stone to be placed in his breast-plate and it was said that Dama owned such a gem.

They hurried to his home and said, “Noble Dama, we have need of a precious gem for the Kohen Gadol and we understand that it is in your possession. We are prepared to give you 1,000 gold shekels for it.”

“I will gladly sell you the gem,” replied Dama. “Allow me to get it from the next room.”

Entering the next room, Dama saw that his father was fast asleep on the couch and one of his feet was resting on top of the chest in which the gem was contained. Dama was faced with the choice of awakening his father or losing the opportunity to sell the gem.

Making sure he did not awaken his father, he returned to the room where the Sages sat and said:

“Learned leaders, I am afraid that I cannot sell you the gem.”

Thinking that he wished to get a higher price for the gem, they replied: “We must have the gem and we are prepared to offer you 10 times what we offered you before. Here are 10,000 gold shekels if you will let us have the gem immediately.”

“No, no,” protested Dama. “You do not understand. I cannot give you that gem because my father is sleeping on the chest in which it lies. I would not awaken him if you were to give me an entire household of gold and silver.”

Father Awakens

At that moment, his father awoke from his sleep and entered the room.

“Father,” cried Dama, “you are up. Now I can get the gem.”

Going into the other room, Dama got the gem and handed it to the men.

“We thank you for the gem,” they said. “Here are 10,000 gold shekels.”

“Take back 9,000 of the money,” said Dama. “I originally agreed to sell it for 1,000 shekels. The reason why you added the rest was because I would not awaken my father. Heaven forbid that I should sell the honor and respect of my father for 9,000 shekels.”

The Red Cow

The Almighty allowed Dama to go unrewarded. Next year, he was blessed with the birth of a perfect parah adumah among his cattle. The sages heard and hastened to buy it, for it was vital in the days of the Bais HaMikdash when the laws of purity were daily matters of practice.

They were so overjoyed that they paid Dama 10,000 shekels for it. When the people heard they said:

Share Button

About the Author:


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.

No Responses to “Honoring One’s Father And Mother”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Putin-Obama Meme 1
Egypt Signing Unprecedented $3 Billion MiG-35 Deal with Russia
Latest Kidz Stories
Tales of the Gaonim-logo

“The mitzvah of drawing water for the baking of the matzah for the Seder comes only once a year. I do not care to share it with a horse.’’

Tales-of-The-Midrash-logo

“You speak foolishly, daughter, how is it possible for a man who has not eaten for 10 years to live?”

Tales of the Gaonim-logo

With enthusiasm, zemiros that had been purposefully collected for the evening were chanted.

Tales of the Gaonim-logo

Bnei Yisrael marched out of Mitzrayim with a mighty hand under their great leader Moshe. This was not, however, their first attempt to escape from Mitzrayim and return to the land that G-d had promised their fathers.

Rabi Pinchas’ piety and honesty were known far and wide. He would often say, “Even though our Sages (Yevamot 65b) declared that to preserve the peace, a person may change his words to fit the situation, I will never utter a false word regardless of the consequences.” If he heard that one of his followers had uttered a false word, he would expel him from his presence.

When Bnei Yisrael returned to their homeland they were a poor and weak group of people. Because of the great number of enemies and wild animals that had inhabited the land during their exile, they huddled together in a few areas, like Yerushalayim, in order to find protection.

But not everyone is destined to taste of the fruit of this world and to enjoy its vintage. Among the inhabitants of this town lived a poor man, Nachumka.

In the midst of his merrymaking, the king ordered his servants to bring out the golden vessels that were taken from the Beit HaMikdash by his father Nevuchadnezzar. The king and his men drank from them and praised the gods of gold and silver.

The Jewish people are hardly strangers to persecution and tyranny. When we hear of the complaints of other peoples, we smile bitterly and wonder: What do they know of persecution? What do they know of tragedy and bitterness? We are a people who have experienced oppression for centuries and have drunk deeply of the bitter cup of woe.

Although Daniel was the chief minister in Bavel, he could not eradicate the custom practiced in many provinces of worshipping idols. In the capital city there was a statue of Baal and more and more people began to worship it. Even the king was beginning to believe in its power.

There was once a tzaddik from Poland, Reb Velveli, who decided to settle in Eretz Yisrael. The land was poor and inhabited by very few people, but he and his wife had such love for the land that they were willing to suffer privation and hunger just to be one of its citizens.

Through the influence of Daniel, one of Nevuchadnezar’s ministers, his three companions, Chananiah, Mishael and Azariah were appointed as governors over various provinces in Bavel.

The stories concerning Rav Naftali of Ropshitz are quite numerous and reveal his sharp biting wit. Rav Naftali was often persecuted and sneered at by misnagdim but the sharp mind with which he was blessed always served him in good stead in finding proper answers.

In the third year of the reign of Yehoyakim, melech Yehuda, Nevuchadnezzar, melech Bavel, lay siege to Yerushalayim and conquered it. He took many treasures from the Beis HaMikdash back with him to the land of Shinar.

Reb Moshe Chaim Ephraim, the grandson of the Baal Shem Tov, was a deeply learned man who took his sources and admonitions from the Torah.

In the city of Antioch there lived a man of remarkable generosity by the name of Aba Yehudah. He was a man who gave to all, whenever there was a need. Rabi Yehoshua and several other rabbanim arrived in the city one day on an urgent mission to collect money for the unfortunate needy. They knew that Aba Yehudah always gave a generous contribution so they looked forward to seeing him.

More Articles from Rabbi Sholom Klass
Tales of the Gaonim-logo

“The mitzvah of drawing water for the baking of the matzah for the Seder comes only once a year. I do not care to share it with a horse.’’

Tales-of-The-Midrash-logo

“You speak foolishly, daughter, how is it possible for a man who has not eaten for 10 years to live?”

With enthusiasm, zemiros that had been purposefully collected for the evening were chanted.

Bnei Yisrael marched out of Mitzrayim with a mighty hand under their great leader Moshe. This was not, however, their first attempt to escape from Mitzrayim and return to the land that G-d had promised their fathers.

Rabi Pinchas’ piety and honesty were known far and wide. He would often say, “Even though our Sages (Yevamot 65b) declared that to preserve the peace, a person may change his words to fit the situation, I will never utter a false word regardless of the consequences.” If he heard that one of his followers had uttered a false word, he would expel him from his presence.

When Bnei Yisrael returned to their homeland they were a poor and weak group of people. Because of the great number of enemies and wild animals that had inhabited the land during their exile, they huddled together in a few areas, like Yerushalayim, in order to find protection.

But not everyone is destined to taste of the fruit of this world and to enjoy its vintage. Among the inhabitants of this town lived a poor man, Nachumka.

In the midst of his merrymaking, the king ordered his servants to bring out the golden vessels that were taken from the Beit HaMikdash by his father Nevuchadnezzar. The king and his men drank from them and praised the gods of gold and silver.

    Latest Poll

    Now that Kerry's "Peace Talks" are apparently over, are you...?







    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/kidz/tales-of-the-gaonim/honoring-ones-father-and-mother/2013/08/16/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: