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    Honouring your mother – K’doshim

    The Ten Commandments tell us, “Honour your father and mother”. Parashat K’doshim puts the parents in the reverse order, “Revere your mother and father”.

    According to the sages followed by Rashi (Kiddushin 30b/31a), revering is more usual towards a father, so the Torah wants us to know that mothers must also be revered and not expected to allow their children everything.

    These days it’s much harder to be a mother or father, since the fashion is to call parents by their first name and treat them like one’s contemporaries.

    It reminds me of my aunt, who protested against my over-familiar mode of address and said, “I’m not one of your mates in the playground, you know!”

    This is not to say that children should go to the other extreme and bow and scrape before Dad the Dictator, but children should remember that they owe so much to their parents, and listening to the parental voice of experience is actually quite helpful.

    Another memory: when my father wanted to talk about his life, we got impatient: “Dad and his stories again!” Now I’m sorry, because I’d know more about myself if I knew more about Dad.

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