What does the Torah, encompassing all of Jewish works, say about the duties and responsibilities of a father? I would like some sources on the matter.


1 Answer 1


Jerusalem Talmud 70b mentions (as we do in the Passover Hagaddah) that the Torah cites 4 different verses all related to the obligation that a father must teach his son about the Exodus from Egypt. The four verses are related to the behavior and character of four types of children.

Mishneh Torah, Torah Study 1:2 (from Sefaria.com):

כשם שחייב אדם ללמד את בנו כך הוא חייב ללמד את בן בנו שנאמר והודעתם לבניך ולבני בניך

Just as a person is obligated to teach his son, so too he is obligated to teach his grandson, as it says, "And make them known to your children, and to your children's children" (Deut 4:9). And not just his son and his grandson

Excerpted from this M.Y. question:

Gemara Kiddushin 29-30 discusses the 6 obligations a father has to his sons.

1 Bris, 2 Redeem the firstborn, 3 Teach him Torah, 4 find a wife for him, 5 teach him a parnassah, 6 (some say) to teach him to swim

(#3 is an overlap of what Ramba"m states)

  • Are those 6 the only things a father is "required"?
    – Ani Yodea
    Commented Sep 2, 2015 at 20:09
  • When I can, I'll look up the Gemarah page. The first one would be a subset of "learning Torah".
    – DanF
    Commented Sep 2, 2015 at 20:22
  • @AniYodea My inference is that 5 of these items are supplements to item #3 - teach him Torah. The purpose of learning and teaching Torah is in order to perfrom all the mitzvoth. Thus, as it states in Kiddushin a general rule that whatever one is obligated to perform himself, he is obligated to teach his son. As for what should be taught to daughters, some of this is debated in the Gemarra on those pages.
    – DanF
    Commented Sep 2, 2015 at 22:12

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