The Biblical commandment of “Honor your father and mother” is a universally accepted ethic known equally to Jews and Gentiles all around the world.
Even those of us who are not so fond of our parents or even worse hold grudges against them, somewhere deep inside of us still have a faint voice compelling us to honor them.
But how many of us truly appreciate the obligation of honoring our parents? How many of us actually perceive honoring our parents as a Divine Imperative and not simply a societally correct thing to do?
The Talmud of the Land of Israel (Peah 1:1, 3,b) teaches us that God gives preference to honoring one’s parents over honoring Himself.
If a person does not have the means to separate Terumah, God absolves him from his obligation, while if a person does not have the means to support his parent, God requires him to go begging door to door.
God’s actions set an example for us. If God puts the honor of parents before His own, how much more so should we set our own honor aside for the sake of the honoring of our parents?!
May we take responsibility for the special commandment of honoring our mothers and fathers with a correct perspective and emulate God in making it more important than our own honor!