Halacha for Tuesday 12 Kislev 5780 December 10 2019

The Laws of Honoring Parents After Their Passing

Just as one is obligated to honor one’s parents during their lifetime, one is likewise obligated to honor one’s parents after their passing. One may certainly not disrespect one’s parents after their death.

The Baraita (Kiddushin 31b) states: “Whenever one mentions a Torah saying from his father, one should say, ‘Father would say this and I am the atonement for his rest.’ This means that every time one mentions his father after his passing, one should say, “I am the atonement for his rest.” What one means to say with this phrase is, “Whatever bad occurrence that was supposed to befall to his soul should happen to me.” This means that the son accepts some suffering upon himself so that his father does not suffer and so that no harm befalls him.

What This Means
Maran Rabbeinu Ovadia Yosef zt”l explains that this does not mean that suffering will actually befall the son instead of the father. Rather, this is only meant as a show of respect. Likewise, in the merit of the son saying this phrase, this will serve to protect the deceased father from suffering.

In Sefer Abir Ha’Ro’im (Volume 2), the author explains that the reference to “an atonement for his rest” means that no harm should befall the deceased in his grave. This is because the most crucial time for the deceased to be protected from harm in the grave is during the first year following his passing. It is for this reason that we mention the deceased’s “rest,” i.e. grave, during this period, for this is specifically the time he requires our prayers the most.

When is the Appropriate Time to Mention this Phrase?
Nevertheless, this only applies within twelve months of the father’s passing. After twelve months though, one should say, ‘My father, of blessed memory.’” The reason why after twelve months one no longer recites this phrase is because the wicked are judged in Gehinnom for twelve months; after this time, there is already no purpose in saying these words since in general, one will already have been freed from Gehinnom and nothing bad will befall the soul of his father from this point on.

Nevertheless, Maran Rabbeinu Ovadia Yosef zt”l writes that only time one must say, “I am the atonement for his rest,” and other such honorary phrases is only when one mentions a halachic thought from his father, as per the words of the Baraita, “a Torah saying.” However, when mentioning mundane thoughts and sayings from one’s father, one need not recite these phrases. Similarly, when one mentions a righteous custom that his mother followed, for instance, that she would recite the blessing upon lighting Shabbat candles before actually lighting in accordance with the opinion of Maran Ha’Shulchan Aruch, one must also say these words. In the next Halacha we shall discuss the topic of reciting Kaddish following the passing of one’s parents.

Ask the Rabbi


8 Halachot Most Popular

The Proper Way to Immerse Vessels in a Mikveh

One must make certain that there is nothing separating between the vessel one is immersing and the waters of the Mikveh. Thus, when one is immersing a vessel, one must hold the vessel loosely, for if one holds it tight, one’s hand will be separating between the vessel and the waters of the Mik......

Read Halacha

Question: Is one obligated to wait six hours after eating meat foods before eating dairy foods?

Answer: The Gemara in Masechet Chullin (105a) states: “Mor Ukva said: When my father would eat meat, he would not eat cheese until the next day. Regarding myself, however, within the same meal I do not eat meat and then cheese, but I would eat cheese during the next meal.” The Rif writes......

Read Halacha

Reading Scripture at Night

Question: May one read chapters of Tanach or Tehillim at night or is this forbidden according to Kabbalah? Is there room for leniency when this reading is being done for the sake of an ill individual or a woman in labor? Answer: Maran Ha’Chida in his Responsa Yosef Ometz (Chapter 54) quotes......

Read Halacha

Spiritual Blockage of the Heart

Question: Must one be careful regarding the Kashrut standards of the foods one’s children eat as well? Answer: Regarding any food which is prohibited for consumption by the Torah, such as milk and meat or an impure animal’s milk, it is certainly forbidden to give such foods to childre......

Read Halacha


Eating Dairy Items after Eating Poultry

In the previous Halacha we have discussed in general the law that one must wait six hours after eating meat before eating dairy foods either because the nature of meat is to get stuck between one’s teeth or because meat gives off a taste in one’s mouth for a prolonged amount of time. ......

Read Halacha

Drinking Beverages in a Café or in a Home Where the Vessels have not been Immersed in a Mikveh

Question: May one drink coffee in a friend’s home or in a Café (such as an espresso without milk served in Cafes) when they are not meticulous about immersing their vessels in a Mikveh? Answer: In the Halachot discussed before Tisha Be’av, we have explained that vessels produc......

Read Halacha

Question: Do disposable vessels and electric kettles require immersion in a Mikveh?

Answer: In the previous Halachot, we have discussed the general law that any new vessels purchased from a non-Jew must be immersed in a Mikveh before using them. We shall now discuss whether or not disposable vessels require immersion. We have already explained that according to Maran zt”l,......

Read Halacha

The Laws of Fire on Yom Tov

In previous Halachot we have explained that Yom Tov and Shabbat are equal regarding all prohibitions besides for certain works associated with food preparation, such as cooking, which are permitted on Yom Tov. Igniting a Flame One may not produce a new fire on Yom Tov, for instance by striking a......

Read Halacha