HONOR OF PARENTS AND HASH-M
(Beraisa): When a man pains his parents, Hash-m is happy that He did not dwell among them, for if He had, they would have pained Him.
(R. Yitzchak): If one transgresses in private, it is as if he pushes aside the Divine Presence. "Hash-m says, the Heavens are My throne, the earth is My footstool."
(R. Yehoshua ben Levi): It is forbidden to walk erect. "His honor fills the entire land."
Rav Huna Brei d'Rav Yehoshua would not walk four Amos with his head uncovered, because the Divine Presence is above.
Question (an orphan): If both my father and mother ask me to bring them water, which request should I honor first?
Answer (R. Eliezer): Your father's comes first because you and your mother are commanded to honor your father.
The orphan came before R. Yehoshua and received the same answer.
Question (the orphan): If she is divorced, what is the law?
Answer (R. Yehoshua): I see that you are an orphan (and you ask merely to learn). Put the water in front of them and cackle. (R. Yerucham - tell them to take it. You may not give precedence to either. Rashi - 'and cackle' was a joke. He may give preference to whomever he wants.)
(Ula Rabah): "All kings will admit to You, because they heard the sayings of Your mouth" - when the Nochrim heard about "I am Hash-m... you will not have other gods in front of Me", they thought that Hash-m was seeking His own honor;
When they heard about the Mitzvah to honor parents, they admitted that also the first utterances should be kept.
Question (Rava): Why does it say "the beginning of Your words is truth"? Also the end is truth!
Answer (Rava): Rather, from the end of Your words ("Honor your father and mother"), the truth of the beginning of Your words ("I am Hash-m...you will not have....)" is recognized.
Question: How far does the Mitzvah of honoring parents extend?
Answer #1 (Rav Ula): We can learn from a Nochri, Dama ben Nesinah. Once Chachamim wanted to do business with him. He would have profited 600,000 gold Dinarim. He could not make the deal without waking his father, so he lost the deal.
Answer #2 (R. Eliezer): We can learn from a Nochri, Dama ben Nesinah. Once Chachamim wanted to buy stones from him for the Ephod. He would have profited 600,000 gold Dinarim. He could not get the stone without waking his father, so he lost the deal.
The next year, Hash-m gave him his reward. A red heifer was born in his herd.
Dama (to Chachamim): I know that you would pay all the money in the world for it, if I would demand it. I ask only for the 600,000 Dinarim I lost to honor my father.
(R. Chanina): Someone that is not commanded to honor his father received such a reward. One who is commanded will receive even more!
(R. Chanina): One who is commanded and fulfills is greater than one who is not commanded and fulfills.
(Rav Yosef): At first, I said that if I would hear that the Halachah follows Rebbi Yehudah, who exempts a blind person from Mitzvos, I would make a celebration for Chachamim, out of joy that I am doing more than is required of me (Rav Yosef was blind)'
Now that I heard R. Chanina's teaching, if I would hear that the Halachah does not follow Rebbi Yehudah, I would make a celebration for Chachamim.
(Rav Dimi): Once, Dama ben Nesinah was wearing silk woven with gold, and was seated among the Roman nobles. His mother came, tore his garment, hit him on the head and spit in front of him. He did not embarrass her.
(Avimi Brei d'Rebbi Avahu): A man can feed his father choice fowl and be punished for this (if he shows anguish over the expense);
A man can make his father grind on a mill, and (if the son shows sorrow that his father must do this, but it must be done,) through this merit the world to come.
HOW CHACHAMIM HONORED THEIR PARENTS
(R. Avahu): My son Avimi is a paradigm of how to honor parents.
Avimi had five children, yet when R. Avahu called, Avimi would run to open the door for him before his children. While running, he would call to his father to say that he is coming.
One day, R. Avahu asked for a drink. He fell asleep before Avimi brought it. Avimi waited by him until he awoke.
While he waited, he thought of a wondrous exposition of "a song of Asaf".
Question (Rav Yakov bar Avuha): When I return from learning, my parents give to me to drink. What should I do?
Answer (Abaye): Accept from your mother, but not from your father;
Since your father is a Chacham, it hurts his feelings to serve you.
R. Tarfon would bend down for his mother to step on him when climbing into or out of her bed.
Rabanan: That is not half as much as is required! Did she throw a wallet in the sea in front of you, and you did not embarrass her?!
When Rav Yosef would hear his mother's footsteps, he would say 'I will rise before the Divine Presence that is coming.'
(R. Yochanan): One who was orphaned from birth is fortunate. (It is hard to honor parents properly, and one is punished for this.)
R. Yochanan's father died before R. Yochanan was born. His mother died shortly after his birth. The same happened to Abaye.
Question: Abaye often cited things that his mother told him!
Answer: He referred to the woman who raised him.
Rav Asi's mother requested ornaments. Rav Asi made ornaments for her.
His mother: I want you to find a man as beautiful as yourself for me to marry!
Rav Asi fled to Eretz Yisrael. He heard that she was coming after him.
Rav Asi: Am I permitted to go to Chutz la'Aretz?
R. Yochanan: No.
Rav Asi: May I go to Chutz la'Aretz to greet my mother?
R. Yochanan: I don't know. Wait.
R. Yochanan saw that Rav Asi came to ask again. 'I see that you want to go. Hash-m should return you safely'.
Rav Asi (to R. Elazar): I hope R. Yochanan was not angry at me!
R. Elazar: He blessed you. This shows that he was not angry.
Before Rav Asi reached his mother, she died, and she was being brought to Eretz Yisrael for burial.
Rav Asi: Had I known, I would not have left Eretz Yisrael.
HONORING PARENTS THROUGH SPEECH
(Beraisa): One must honor parents in their life and after their death.
In their life, one should not ask for preferential treatment due to his own importance, rather due to his father.
After death, when citing a teaching of his father, he says 'my father, my teacher; I should be an atonement for him.'
This applies only within 12 months after death. After that, he says 'he should be blessed with life in the world to come'.
(Beraisa): A Chacham citing his father or Rebbi should not say their actual names. The one who (translates and) broadcasts the lesson says the actual names.
Question: Whose names does he say?
It cannot mean the names of his own father or Rebbi. Also the broadcaster must honor his father and Rebbi!
Answer (Rava): He says the names of the Chacham's father and Rebbi.
When Mar bar Rav Ashi would teach, he would say 'my father, my teacher.' The broadcaster would say 'Rav Ashi'.
(Beraisa) Question: What is fear of parents, and what is honor?
Answer: Fear is not sitting or standing in his father's place. He does not contradict him, nor prove that his father is right;
Honor is giving him to eat and drink, clothing him, covering him, and transporting him.