As I understand it there is an obligation (See Shulchan Aruch Yoreh Deah 240:22) to honor an older brother similar to that of honoring one's father. Since the obligation to honor one's father can have strong implications, in what way (if any) is the obligation to honor one's brother different?

  • any source for this? what about an older sister? I have also heard that there is NO specific mitzvah of honoring your grandparents, except as a way of honoring your parents.
    – Jeremy
    Commented May 10, 2010 at 15:43
  • Edited to include source. About one's sister, when I mentioned posting this question to my wife my oldest daughter continued about the obligation to honor one's older sibling, but that's as close to a source as I have :)
    – Yirmeyahu
    Commented May 18, 2010 at 6:09
  • Yirmiyahu, I added a link for the Shulchan Aruch and I also added/edited my answer to deal with your above comment. Take a look and enjoy! Have a Gut Yontif (as they say in Yiddish)!
    – Yahu
    Commented May 18, 2010 at 15:27
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    Note: כבוד applies to an older brother, but מורא does not. So, for example, you may call him by name and sit in his seat. Regarding standing when he enters the room, see here.
    – Fred
    Commented Jun 15, 2014 at 7:46

1 Answer 1


The Gemarah (Kesubos, 103a) brings a statement that the extra vav in the word "v'es" in "Kabeid es Avicha v'es Imecha" is there to include your older brother for the mitzvah of Kibbud Av. Whether it means the eldest brother or any older brother is a discussion amongst Rishonim.

The simple implication of such a statement is that whatever would apply regarding honoring one's father would apply to honoring one's older brother. The difference being if it is a choice between honoring one's father or brother, his father's honor is primary.

But if one looks in the poskim one will see that some hold this obligation is not the same level as the obligation to honor one's parents.

There are also poskim who state clearly that it does not apply to an older sister.

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    What about a choice between your mother and eldest brother? I guess it would be mother first, since your brother also has an obligation to her.
    – Tzvi
    Commented May 10, 2010 at 22:45
  • 4
    I would say that the reason Kibbud Eim is first is because it is Mefurash BiKra - said straight out in the verse and not learned out through a D'rasha. Your reasoning is very good, but perhaps unnecessary.
    – Yahu
    Commented May 10, 2010 at 23:30
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    I'm pretty sure that I saw that reason in regard to a choice between one's mother and father. What would happen if one's parents were divorced?
    – Tzvi
    Commented May 14, 2010 at 21:24
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    Tzvi, that is an excellent question that you should definitely pose as a stand-alone mi.yodeya question. You are right that your reason is used regarding choosing between the mother and father but for our case, unnecessary.
    – Yahu
    Commented May 16, 2010 at 5:10
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    BTW, Tzvi, the Shut seforim seem to say that if they are divorced then the child has the right to choose which to honor first.
    – Yahu
    Commented May 26, 2010 at 20:15

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