Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The 48th mitzvah: Striking a parent


Mitzvah 48 (per the count of Sefer haChinuch) prohibits children from striking their parents. This prohibition may seem redundant, given the standing biblical prohibition against striking any person, but striking a parent is even worse: (1) It is an expression of ingratitude for their ultimate gift of life, and (2) It is an assault on G-d, because of the partnership our parents established with G-d in creating us.

One might ask that this prohibition is still redundant, given that we are already commanded to honour our parents. However, the Minchat Chinuch notes that adding this prohibition has three direct impacts: (1) The penalty for violation becomes more harsh, (2) The path of repentance for a prohibition is more difficult, and (3) Like for any prohibition, one is required to spend all of his funds to avoid violation.

Have a great day,

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