Wishing the Worst for Parents

Some people do not find this reasoning persuasive. They do not see life itself as such a blessing. Without G-d, it is easy to say, "Life Happens," and leave it at that. Many come to the conclusion that in the mixture of pain and pleasure in this world, there is more of the former than the latter. Honoring parents for the preciousness of life itself is not at all intuitive to them. When the Bible tells us to honor parents, it is making a statement about the goodness of life. Because it is good, you need to honor all but the worst parents, because you can never repay the gift of life. The assumption that life is good changes a person's attitude to so much of it; life becomes good to someone who believes that it is. This is why "it will be good for you."

Believers who read Tsing Loh's piece, if they are honest with themselves, will find much that resonates. Unlike Tsing Loh, however, they will find significant satisfaction, even in the worst of their ordeals, that their investment in the well-being of their parents is a testimony to an upbeat view of life. In a roundabout sort of way, it may be the greatest gift parents can give to children, other than life itself.

3/21/2012 4:00:00 AM
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  • Yitzchok Adlerstein
    About Yitzchok Adlerstein
    Yitzchok Adlerstein is an Orthodox rabbi who directs interfaith affairs for the Simon Wiesenthal Center, and chairs Jewish Law at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles. He is hopelessly addicted to the serious study of Torah texts.
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