The Gemara writes the story of Dama ben Netina, praising him for his excellence in the mitzva of kibud av. If I were Netina, the father of Dama, I would be very upset if I woke up and my son told me, "Dad, there were some people here that wanted to buy jewels for the hoshen, and they were willing to give a large some of money, but I told them that you wanted to sleep and I did not wake you." Dama, on the other hand, was praised, and was rewarded with having a para aduma born the next year. Is this the kind of behavior that Hash-m requires in kibud av? I would be very angry at my son if he missed such an opportunity.
One must say that the jewel belonged to Dama, and not to his father, and that is why he did not wake his father. But the question still remains.
Thankyou for your reply in advance.
Avi Hermon, Har Bracha, Israel
The jewel certainly belonged to Dama, although the father was apparently entrusted with the key (or the chest). Perhaps the father had some of his own things in the chest as well.
It is hard to play psychologist for stories from ancient times. Let us just assume that Dama knew better than us what his father preferred, and based on what Chazal say he was not far from the mark.