"David, please throw away the newspapers," my mother said. I did as I was told.
When my father came home from work, he wanted to rest and read the newspapers. He looked around and asked angrily, "Who threw away all the papers?"
I wanted to tell him that my mother told me to throw them away, but I knew that he would then be angry at her; so I said that I threw away the newspapers because I thought everyone had finished reading them.
Which is correct?
- It was necessary to tell the truth even though, as a result, my father would be angry at my mother?
- It was better to say that I took it upon myself to throw away the papers so that my father would not be angry at my mother?
- Both answers are correct?
Rambam (Moses Maimonides)
One must neither contradict one's father nor corroborate his words in his presence by saying, for example, "You're right."
Code of Jewish Law - IV, Ch.143, Honoring Father and Mother
- 6. If a person is told by his mother to do a certain thing, and subsequently his father asks him, "Who told you to do this?," if he feels that by saying his mother told him, his father would be angry with her, he should rather face his father's anger himself than implicate his mother.
- 9. Even if his father is wicked and a sinner, he must fear and revere him. (...)
Should I wake my father?
My father returned home from work very tired and went to rest on the sofa. I went out to the yard so as not to disturb him.
It would soon be time to recite Mincha. The Shul near our house was short one man for its Minyan.
I didn't know what to do: the time for Mincha would soon pass, but was I permitted to wake my father?
- Forbidden to wake my father under all circumstances?
- Permitted to wake my father under all circumstances?
Code of Jewish Law, IV, Chapter 143 - Honoring Father and Mother
- 1. One must be extremely careful to fear and revere one's father and mother, for the Scriptures compare this to the honor and fear of the Holy One, blessed be He.
The Sages (Kiddushin 30b) tell us:
"It is written (Exodus 20:12), `Honor thy father and mother.' It is also written (Proverbs 3:9), `Honor the Lord with thy substance.' Also (Leviticus 19:3), "Ye shall fear every man, his mother and his father,' and (Deuteronomy 6:13), `Thou shalt fear the Lord thy God.'
Thus we see that we must honor our father and mother in the same manner in which we honor and fear His great name. Three partners share in the creation of man: the Holy One, blessed be He, the father and the mother. (...) When we honor our father and mother, the Holy One, blessed be He, says:
`I account it to them as though I dwelt among them, and they honored Me.'
- 4. If a person's father or mother is asleep, and the key to his store lies under the parent's pillow, he must not wake him, even if he should thereby lose much profit.
However, if the father would benefit by being awakened, and would grieve over the loss of profit if the son allowed him to continue sleeping, it thus become's the child's duty to arouse him, since this will make him happy.
It is also the duty of the child to arouse his father to go to the synagogue, or for the performance of any other religious duty, as all people are equally bound to honor the Almighty, blessed be He.