Wednesday, April 30, 2008

God and Parents

Every man shall revere his mother and his father, and keep My Sabbaths...
(Leviticus 19:2)

The verse at the beginning of Parshat Kedoshim issues two commandments - revering one's parents and keeping the Sabbath. Is there a connection between these two commandments? Does revering one's parents have anything to do with keeping the Sabbath?

The love children feel for their parents impacts their lives beyond the immediate child-parent relationship itself. A good example of this is a child learning a certain type of behavior from their parent, such as courage or generosity. The deepest impact of this relationship, beyond that of the role model, might be connected to the relationships a person develops (or does not develop) with God.

This would give us a hint as to why the verse links revering one's parents to keeping the Sabbath. Beneath it's prohibitions, the Sabbath is about recognizing God as creator. This recognition is reverence of God.

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