1,003. Honoring Our Parents

142:10 In a leap year, which has two months of Adar, we do not say Tachanun, (k)Eil erech apayim, or Lamnatzeiach on 14 Adar I and 15 Adar I. Similarly, we do not deliver a eulogy or fast. (Mourning, however, is observed – Mishnah Brurah 697:3.) On 14 Adar I, one should have a slightly larger meal than usual.

143:1 One must be extremely diligent when it comes to honoring and showing deference to his parents. The Bible compares honoring and deferring to one’s parents to honoring and being in awe of G-d Himself. (Editor’s note: we have chosen to translate the Hebrew word “yirah” – literally “fear” – as “deference” when used for parents and as “awe” when used for G-d.) Exodus 20:12 says, “Honor your father and your mother” and Proverbs 3:9 says, “Honor Hashem with your wealth.” Leviticus 19:3 says, “Every person must show deference (‘fear’) to his mother and father” and Deuteronomy 6:13 says, “You shall have awe (‘fear’) for Hashem your G-d.” The same way we are commanded to honor and have awe for G-d, we are commanded to honor and defer to out parents.

There are three partners in creating a person: the father, the mother, and G-d. The man provides the sperm, the woman provides the ovum, and G-d provides the soul, giving a person the gifts of sight, hearing and speech. When a person honors his parents, G-d says, “I consider it as if I dwell among them and they honor Me.”