It is a well known saying that the Asseres HaDibros are divided into 5 and 5, with the first five Mitzvos between G-d and Man, and the next five between people.

In that counting, Kibbud Av V'Em is really a Mitzvah between G-d and Man. If that is the case, does Teshuva for failure to keep this Mitzvah properly require asking forgiveness from one's parents?

(Note: This question is not intended to suggest that parents have some lesser requirement of asking forgiveness over someone else - it is asking about honoring - as in the specific things children are obligated to do for their parents above and beyond a third party - are these something that is between people with regards to asking forgiveness).

2 Answers 2


The Minchas Chinuch (Mitsvah Lamed-Gimel i.e. 33) is debating if the Mizvah is "bain adam lemakom" or not. Indeed, in the case it is "bain adam lemakom" it does not require asking forgiveness from one's parents.

But since he remains in Tsarich Iyun, it's best to take the extra effort and ask for forgiveness.


According to a number of Shabbas Shuva drashas, one must ask mechilla for offending a person. If the offense also involves a "bain adam lemakom" sin, you would still have to ask mechila from the person offended.

In this particular case, violating kibud av va'aim is the same as "offending" them. That is, one must first ask mechillah from ones parents in the same way that one must ask mechillah from other individuals. Only after one has obtained mechillah from them can one ask Hashem for mechillah.

My Rav pointed out (from the Chofetz Chaim among others that while one should specify exactly what on did that he is asking mechillah for. Iif that would prove counterproductive (such as starting or restarting the trouble) then one can ask for mechila in general terms.

The kibud av issue bain Adam leMakom is a hashkafa matter. However, you still offended your parents and must ask them for mechilla first before you ask Hashem to forgive you.

An example of a group of posts talking about that Kibud Av va'aim are available (as an example) but are not directly connected to the question.

  • How much of this is sourced to the number of Shabbas Shuva drashas and how much is your own elaboration. I don't find it all very compelling. Why would presenting something as bain Adam leMakom emphasize severity?
    – Double AA
    Commented Oct 3, 2014 at 16:07
  • @DoubleAA I probably expressed it badly I will rewrite it. Commented Oct 5, 2014 at 0:38
  • I'm not asking about offending, I'm asking about Kibbud. I clarified that in the question.
    – Yishai
    Commented Oct 6, 2014 at 18:49
  • @Yishai My point was that failure to properly observe Kibud is the same as offending them and mechillah must be asked from your parents first. Only then can one ask mechillah from Hashem. Commented Oct 7, 2014 at 1:11

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