Halacha for Monday 11 Kislev 5780 December 9 2019

The Laws of Rising Before One’s Father or Rabbi- Maran zt”l’s Response to his Grandson

All of the laws of honoring and revering one’s parents apply equally to both a son and daughter. When we sometimes focus on a father and son or a mother and daughter, this is meant as a mere example and illustration.

When one sees one’s parents passing in front of him, one must rise before them to his full height, meaning to bring himself to a complete standing position. The same applies when a rabbi passes before a person in that he must rise in a way that he will be able to see him.

The Gemara (Kiddushin 33b) states: “Rabbi Abba said in the name of Rabbi Yannai, a student may only rise for his rabbi (and according to some Poskim, the same applies to a son rising for his father) twice a day, once in the morning and once again in the evening, so that his honor is not greater than the honor of Heaven (for we recite Keri’at Shema in the morning and evening and if one rises for his father or rabbi more than twice a day, the rabbi’s honor is subsequently greater than the honor of Heaven).” This means that since we are “involved” with Hashem’s reverence only twice a day, the same would apply to the obligation to revere one’s parents in that one should only do so twice a day and no more. This is indeed the custom of the Ashkenazim who only rise for their rabbis twice a day. Some say this applies to rising for one’s parents as well.

Nevertheless, the custom of Sephardic and Middle Eastern Jews, in addition to several Ashkenazi authorities, is that a son or student is obligated to rise before his father or rabbi (respectively) even one-hundred times a day for there are those that disagree with Rabbi Yannai’s ruling; since the Torah equates the reverence one has for a rabbi with the reverence one has for Hashem, as our Sages taught, “May the reverence you have for your rabbi be like the reverence you have for Heaven,” one must rise for him even one-hundred times a day. This is indeed the opinion of Maran Ha’Shulchan Aruch whose rulings we have accepted.

Based on what we have previously established that a father may absolve a son from revering him, it seems that if a father tells his son not to stand up for him every time he passes by besides for twice a day, the son may do so. We have also asked Maran Rabbeinu Ovadia Yosef zt”l regarding what our Sages taught that whenever one meets one’s rabbi, one must greet him by saying “Shalom unto you, my rabbi.” Rabbi Yaakov Sasson Shlit”a, author of the Halacha Yomit in Hebrew, asked if this was indeed the law every time he met Maran zt”l, who was his principle rabbi and teacher, or if it was sufficient just to say “Shalom (hello), grandfather.” Maran zt”l paused for several moments and thought about this and replied, “You are my grandson and you may address me however you like.” This means that since nowadays it has become customary to absolve children and students of honorary behaviors that were customary in previous generations, as long as the father or rabbi absolves the child or student from these things, the child or student is indeed absolved from this form of honor or reverence, as we have explained

A son must rise for his father or rabbi when he is called up to read the Torah. Although, halachically speaking, he need not stay standing for the entire duration of the father or rabbi’s Aliyah and rising before them on their way up to the Tevah is sufficient, nevertheless, the custom of Sephardic and Middle Eastern Jews is to remain standing for the entire duration of the Aliyah, out of respect for the father or the rabbi. Maran Ha’Chida writes that since this is our custom, it is now considered completely obligatory (to remain standing) since by not doing so, this is disrespectful towards one’s father because one is not treating him with the accepted etiquettes of respect and honor. This is also the opinion of Maran Rabbeinu Ovadia Yosef zt”l. Thus, even if a father tells his son that he is not interested in the son standing for the duration of the reading of his Aliyah to the Torah, the son may not obey him, for it appears as though the son is disrespecting his father and even if a father permits his son to humiliate him, the son may still not do so.

Ask the Rabbi


8 Halachot Most Popular

Making Toast on a Hotplate on Shabbat

Question: May one place a pita or a slice of bread on a hotplate on Shabbat in order to turn it into hard and crunchy toast? Answer: There are two prohibitions we must discuss with regards to our question of making toast on Shabbat out of bread that was already baked before Shabbat. The first ......

Read Halacha

Sitting on Food Items

Question: Is it correct that one may not sit on top of a box containing food or beverages? Answer: The Gemara in Masechet Berachot (50b) states that it is forbidden to act in a degrading manner towards food. Thus, one may not, for instance, use a piece of cake to wipe up a drink that spilled on t......

Read Halacha

Salting Cucumbers on Shabbat

Question: Is it correct that one may not put salt on cucumbers on Shabbat? Answer: The root of this question lies in the fact that with regards to many Torah laws, we rule that “pickling is tantamount to cooking” meaning that a pickled food is considered like a cooked food. Thus, just......

Read Halacha

Washing Dishes on Shabbat Night and Pouring Water on Dirty Dishes

Question: Upon the conclusion of the Shabbat night meal, may one immediately wash the dishes for the Shabbat day meal or should this only be done during the day closer to the start of the meal? Also, is it permissible to pour water onto soiled dishes (which one no longer needs for Shabbat) so that i......

Read Halacha


The Law Regarding a Woman Who Forgets to Recite the Blessings of the Torah

We have explained in the previous Halacha that if one forgets to recites the Blessings of the Torah and only realizes this after one has concluded Shacharit prayers, one may no longer recite these blessings, for one has already fulfilled his obligation with the “Ahavat Olam” blessing rec......

Read Halacha

The Order for Lighting Shabbat and Chanukah Candles

There is a disagreement among the Rishonim as to the order of lighting Shabbat and Chanukah candles on Erev Shabbat Chanukah. The Ba’al Halachot Gedolot (commonly referred to as “Behag”) is of the opinion that Chanukah candles must be lit before Shabbat candles because women cu......

Read Halacha

Question: May one recite the Amida prayer in front of a curtain (covering the Aron Kodesh) which is adorned with various designs?

Answer: The Rambam writes in one of his responses (Freiman edition, Chapter 20): “It is incorrect to pray in front of garments with designs on them, even if the designs are not protruding. We usually close our eyes when it happens that we must pray in front of a wall or garment adorned with de......

Read Halacha

The Law Regarding One Who Forgets to Recite the Morning Blessings

The Morning Blessings (“Birkot Ha’Shachar”) are the blessings recited every morning beginning from the “Elohai Neshama” blessing until the end of the Blessings of the Torah. Both men and women must recite these blessings, as we have discussed in the laws of the Morning ......

Read Halacha