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Honoring Parents

Honoring Parents

Respecting Parents: An Opportunity for their Children

Published on Thursday May 16th, 2019

It is often thought that the mitzvah of respecting one's parents is part of the privileges accorded to them in response to their efforts to raise their children, a sort of "salary for their pains".

In truth, beyond being a blessing for parents, this mitzvah is an extraordinary gift for children, and an indispensable and necessary tool for healthy growth.

In order for a child to flourish, both physically and spiritually, he needs "strong shoulders", meaning his parent's authority. They will direct him and set clear limits, teach him what is permissible and what is not, oblige him to do certain things and forbid others. In this way, the child will understand that he has someone to guide him on the path of life, who knows what is good for him and what he should keep away from. Therefore, even when a child opposes this authority, it is only an attempt on his part, a way to test his parent's resistance. But unconsciously, he expects them to maintain their authority and not give in to him.

For example: A child of three or four years old asks for a treat and faces a refusal. He will try to test his parent's firmness. He will lament, fidget, lie down on the floor, kick, raise his voice and emit heartbreaking cries. If the parents maintain their position, the child will probably be disappointed not to receive what he wants, but, he will feel a sense of security, he knows that his parents want his good and know better than him what is beneficial, and they are strong enough to resist his complaints. But what a shame if they let themselves be convinced! The child's sense of security will be tainted. He will feel: "I defeated my parents, which means they are less strong than me." If this is so, he will be sad and helpless because who will guide him on the paths of life? If this continues to occur, it is likely to be enormously detrimental to the child's soul.

Survey Conducted Under the Auspices of the United Nations

A long and thorough survey was conducted for a little over ten years. One thousand eight hundred orphan boys, from all over the world, from Europe, the United States and South America, living in orphanages, were the subject of a study that lasted twelve years. The observations and the drawing up of the conclusions were carried out by top professionals in the field.

The young people were divided into two groups: one received a modern, permissive and liberal education and the other an education based on authority, and discipline; an "old fashioned" instruction. All were educated by competent and dedicated professionals. They were closely followed from the age of twelve to the age of twenty-four.

The conclusions surprised the investigators! It appeared that the results obtained from those who had been given an education based on authority were eight times better than those who had been given a liberal education. Success was found in all areas that could be investigated.

All the areas studied, proved unequivocally that the "liberal" education increased personal and educational ruin: lack of personal and social confidence, neuroses [nervousness, psychological disorders], fears, all this was 2.8 times more evident in the subjects having received a permissive education. Delinquency was 2.1 times higher. On the other hand, personal success in higher education, business and other areas, was twice as high for those with a more conservative education. Mental equilibrium, morality and also personal and financial success, all this, was higher in the group who had received an education based on authority, "the old fashioned" way!

Obedience is not only required as an educational constraint, but it also serves to train people to be mentally mature, mentally balanced, and self-confident people who are able to set themselves challenges and overcome them.

The Torah-Box Team - © Torah-Box

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