Mi Yodeya is a question and answer site for those who base their lives on Jewish law and tradition and anyone interested in learning more. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

My mom is overweight. She does most of the housework herself without help from anyone, but occasionally asks me to do an easy chore for her, such as bringing in the mail. Should I do the chore for her even though she'll lose out on a tiny bit of healthy physical activity? If I should do the chore, why? If not, why not?

Note that my rabbi holds:

  • That the main commandment of honoring parents is in certain main categories, including providing food, drink, clothing, and certain other things.

  • But that I can neglect requests that aren't part of the main commandment, unless the neglect causes a parent great distress.

share|improve this question

closed as too localized by msh210 Jul 13 '12 at 3:42

This question is unlikely to help any future visitors; it is only relevant to a small geographic area, a specific moment in time, or an extraordinarily narrow situation that is not generally applicable to the worldwide audience of the internet. For help making this question more broadly applicable, visit the help center.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

How can I further improve my question? – unforgettableid Jul 10 '12 at 23:31
There is no basis for the question, of course you should do it. You could ask a question if they had asked for very unhealthy food, but this case is not comparable. – Ariel K Jul 11 '12 at 16:38
@ArielK what are you talking about? The case is entirely comparable. Overweight people need to get as much exercise as possible, and refraining from ever getting up, and having their children do everything makes them more unhealthy. I've seen this happen many times. When the children leave the house, the parents get healthier. – avi Jul 12 '12 at 7:33
@avi: Thank you for your comment. I've edited the question to mention the fact that my mom does most of the housework herself without help. Do you still think my case is comparable? – unforgettableid Jul 13 '12 at 1:56
Even before, but especially with, the recent edit, this reads as a request for an halachic ruling for a specific case, and I've closed it in accordance with judaism.stackexchange.com/faq#questions. – msh210 Jul 13 '12 at 3:44

There is a tshuvah that talks about this inyun(bringing food or something that does harm).The Be'er Moshe 1:60:10 brings down that the Chida held if if it is a danger then he should not bring it ,but if it is not good for him then he is able to. The Be'er Moshe says that he should not bring it in all cases since a father can not be mochel on his pain and can be mochel on his kovad.

I guess one can use this logic for all types of cases.

share|improve this answer
Thank you. I've now edited my question to make it clear that my mom does the majority of the housework herself without help. I'm not convinced that your answer applies to my newly-edited question. :) – unforgettableid Jul 15 '12 at 4:13


  1. Because they do plenty of chores for the family.

  2. In gratitude for all the other things that they've done for me.

share|improve this answer
What makes this answer imperfect? – unforgettableid Jul 10 '12 at 21:54
There is no source you brought why you think those two reasons are reasons to listen to the overweight parent. – b a Jul 10 '12 at 22:13
Sources. Or lack thereof. – Seth J Jul 11 '12 at 1:00
We do not honor our parents because of either of those reasons! It's ONLY because HKBH commanded us so in His Torah. Period. – Meir Zirkind Jul 11 '12 at 22:12
@MeirZirkind, many say part of the goal of this mitzvah is to teach hakarat hatov (gratitude) and even call it a mishpat on that basis. – Ze'ev Felsen Sep 7 '12 at 18:12

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.