Children are not supposed to call their parents by their first name because it implies a casual rather than respectful relationship.

My daughter attends the school where my wife is a teacher. The teachers each have their preference for how students should address them, and my wife is Morah Kareen (her first name).

When a child is in her mother's class, is it appropriate for her to refer to her mother as "Morah ____," like the other children, or must she avoid saying her mother's name altogether, even with a title?

  • 1
    Regarding what your daughter should do, I encourage you to ask your rabbi. Mi Yodeya can't make a halachic ruling for you. For this issue in particular, I strongly suspect that communal and familial norms would be important inputs into the ruling/guidance of a rabbi who knows your community and family or at least can discuss them in depth with you. – Isaac Moses Mar 19 '15 at 14:52
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    As a practical matter: I know and have known a number of people who were their respective parents' students in school. It can be awkward for the student (not knowing what to call the parent), but what I understand usually works best, for older grades anyway, is whatever the child calls the parent at home. – msh210 Mar 19 '15 at 15:57
  • To work around the issue, your wife can be mochel on her honor and allow your daughter to call her by her first name. – Scimonster Mar 19 '15 at 16:00
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    Why can't she just call her Morah without the name? And, so that she doesn't have a different standard than the rest of the class, apply the same rule to everyone? – DanF Mar 19 '15 at 16:06

From Halachically Speaking here:

One is permitted to refer to his father by name if one adds uvi, abbah, or Rav, etc. before the name. Some say one should add uvi morei. Similarly, one may say “I am the daughter of Mrs. so and so.”

Many poskim say that this should not be done in the presence of the parent. Others say one is always forbidden to mention a parent’s name even with an added title. [In conclusion], Horav Moshe Feinstein zt”l (Igros Moshe Y.D. 1:133) permits adding a title when one needs to mention a parent’s name.

(emphases original)

Rav Yaakov Kaminetzky in Emes L'Yaakov says as well that as long as you add a title or appellation it is permitted.

Seemingly, following the Halachic ruling of Rav Moshe Feinstein, in regards to the case presented the fact that the daughter is calling her mother "Morah" would mitigate the issues with using her first name.

Note this site is not to be used in place of a Psak from a Rabbi

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