Shabbat Parashat Pinchas| 5763
From the works of Hagaon Harav Shaul Yisraeli zt”l - Aliyah Against the wishes of Parents - Part IV- Condensed from Amud Hay’mini, siman 22
[We saw that one who is seriously needed by and helps his parent(s) should stay with him and not make aliyah. We will now discuss the case of a parent who opposes aliyah plans even though he does not need his child nearby.]
We reiterate that this is not written as p’sak halacha.
We seem to have two sources that a child does not listen to a parent’s request which contradicts a mitzva. One source says that a mitzva has precedence over a parent’s request, at least if there is no one else to do the mitzva in the child’s place, because mitzvot should be the parent’s concern, as well (Kiddushin 32a). Another source brings a pasuk that one is to revere his parents but also keep Shabbat, to teach that mitzvot have precedence (Yevamot 5b). Tosafot (ad loc.) understands that the pasuk of the latter is the source and the logic of the former is the rationale. Only one halacha exists, and it depends on if someone else can do the mitzva. However, Tosafot (Kiddushin, ibid.) understands that one doesn’t have to listen to a parent when the request is not for his direct benefit. The Gra explains the Rama’s (Yoreh Deah 240:25) ruling that a son does not have to accept his parent’s opposition to his choice of a wife based on this logic.
It is apparent from the order of presentation and language of the Rambam (Mamrim 6) and the Shulchan Aruch (YD 240) that they understand that these gemarot teach different halachot for different cases. When a person must choose to fulfill one of two positive mitzvot, the choice is normally his. The logic of a parent being responsible for mitzvot causesus to rule that kibud av gives way. However, if kibud av would require one to do a negative commandment, we should apply the general rule that positive commandments overcome negative ones. Therefore, we need the pasuk about keeping Shabbat even against a parent’s wishes to preclude such a conclusion.
When one combines the two sources, according to the Rambam, it turns out that the logic refers to a case where the two mitzvot conflict by chance, whereas the pasuk refers to a case where the parent directly commands the child not to do the mitzva. In such a case, it is not that the other mitzva overcomes kibud av but that the parent’s request to violate the Torah is deemed invalid. A practical difference is when the contradicted mitzva is rabbinic. If the contradiction is indirect, kibud av, which is from the Torah, wins out. If the contradiction is a direct request of the parent, it is invalid even against a rabbinic law and even if someone else can accomplish the mitzva.
In conclusion, one need not heed a parent’s opposition to his child’s aliyah plans, if it is for reasons other than his own needs. According to Tosafot, it is because the kibud av applies only to the parent’s own needs. According to the Rambam, it is because his request not to fulfill the mitzva to live in Eretz Yisrael, which is at least rabbinic, is void. [Rav Yisraeli does not discuss the pertinent case of a parent who opposes aliyah out of understandable fear].
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