Whose honor takes more precedence, your mother's or grandmother's?

For instance, your mother tells you to do X, and your grandmother says no do Y, whom do you follow?

  • Which grandmother?
    – Double AA
    Commented Jul 9 at 0:50
  • @DoubleAA Let’s say the mothers side Commented Jul 9 at 1:37
  • The logic of אתה ואמך חייבים בכבוד אביך suggests you should listen to your grandmother, but somehow I doubt that's the halacha, especially since it's disputed if there's any obligation to honor grandparents.
    – shmosel
    Commented Jul 9 at 3:14
  • From svara I would assume that you honour your parents because that’s what you are commanded to do…for sure you also have to honor your grandparents but the top of the list is your parents. Your parents have the mitzvah towards their parents (your grandparents) so technically if you know that it would be honoring your mother to first show honour to her mother (your grandmother) I would think that’s a situation where it would proceed, but otherwise parents first…I remember reading something similar in Yalkut Yosef, B”N I’ll look for it Commented Jul 9 at 3:18
  • @ShtikaK'hodaah Thank you Commented Jul 9 at 13:34

2 Answers 2


In the Shulcan Aruch in Yoreh De'ah 240:24 you will find a Rem"o that says that respecting your paternal grandfather is a dispute.

He himself says that of course you have to respect your grandfather, but your father takes precedence.

יֵשׁ אוֹמְרִים דְּאֵין אָדָם חַיָּב בִּכְבוֹד אֲבִי אָבִיו (מהרי''ק שֹׁרֶשׁ מ''ד) . וְאֵינוֹ נ''ל, אֶלָּא (יח) דְּחַיָּב בִּכְבוֹד אָבִיו יוֹתֵר מִכְּבוֹד אֲבִי אָבִיו (וּרְאָיָה מִמִּדְרָשׁ גַּבֵּי וַיִּזְבַּח זְבָחִים וגו' (בראשית מו, א) ) .‏

I cannot think of a reason why it would matter which grandparent and from which side; the Torah says to honor and respect your parents. So they have priority.

Respecting grandparents is "logical" so they come in second place.

  • The reason to honor your grandparents more would be the same reason to honor your married mother more אתה ואמך חייבים בכבוד אביך here too אתה ואביך חייבים בכבוד זקנך
    – Double AA
    Commented Jul 9 at 14:45
  • @DoubleAA - and yet, interestingly enough, nobody paskens that way. Either your parents take precedence (Remo) or else you have no obligation towards your grandparents (מהריק). Commented Jul 9 at 16:07

The Talmud says:

Rabbi Aha ben Yaakov raised his daughter's son, Rabbi Yaakov. When he grew up, [the grandfather] said to him: “Give me some water to drink”. He replied: “I am not your son.” [Sotah 49a]

From this we learn that honoring grandparents is not a mitzvah, although it is heavily encouraged.

  • Right, it appears, however, that the story is brought up as an example of general deterioration and wickedness in the aftermath of the destruction of the Temple.
    – Al Berko
    Commented Jul 10 at 16:24
  • Hi Dr. I've downvoted because you haven't given a water-tight explanation of how we learn what you claim we learn from this. Al Berko has already poked one potential hole :)
    – Rabbi Kaii
    Commented Jul 10 at 16:30
  • The one who refused to honor a request by his grandfather is referred to as a rabbi. I assumed he knew what he had to do and what was optional. Commented Jul 10 at 19:13

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