the pele yoets (Exile) says that our rabbis said that it is a mitzva to live by parents

our Sages also said, “It is incumbent upon a man to live in the city of his fathers”;
it is as difficult for a man to wander from his home as it is for a bird to stray from its nest;
and it is nearly impossible for a man to uproot from his homestead

what are the sources of this (where do the rabbis say this)?

the only source i found was of the middle line mishlai 27.8

כְּצִפּוֹר נוֹדֶדֶת מִן קִנָּהּ כֵּן אִישׁ נוֹדֵד מִמְּקוֹמוֹ:

what are the sources for the rest of his sayings?

the Hebrew of the pele yoets

אמרו רבותינו זכרונם לברכה: מצוה על האדם שידור במקום אבותיו,
וכצפור נודדת מן קנה כן איש נודד ממקומו
ואי אפשר לאדם לעקר דירתו ממכון שבתו

  • I'll see if I can delve into this. Offhand, there is nothing there that correlates this to honoring one's parents? If children live far away, it gives them minimal opportunities to perform this important mitzvah, and, by extension, possibly shortens their own lifespan. This is one mitzvah for which the Torah explicitly states a reward of longer life.
    – DanF
    Commented Sep 15, 2016 at 18:46
  • @DanF nice, but I do not like the word shortens, I prefer "does not elongate"
    – hazoriz
    Commented Sep 15, 2016 at 18:48
  • Got that. At any rate, on 2nd reading of the Hebrew, this could have an alternate translation implying that even after the parents death, one must still live in his father's city. Also, is a אבותיו term meaning "ancestors" and it doesn't necessarily have to be a direct relative. E.g. Abraham, Isaac and Jacob are called "avot". I wonder of any of these meaning may be implied, here?
    – DanF
    Commented Sep 15, 2016 at 18:53
  • 1
    To have an better insight into the worldview of Rabbi Eliezer Papo, the author of the Pele Yo'etz, you might enjoy this link to his biography. Particularly in regard to this section on 'going into exile' which you are looking at, it would be helpful. ou.org/judaism-101/bios/leaders-in-the-diaspora/… Commented Sep 15, 2016 at 19:25
  • 1
    @hazoriz In what I have checked so far I see nothing mentioning where his ancestors came from. But he was Sefardi and was the Rebbe to Rabbi Yehuda Alcalay. The Sefardic Jewish community was the older and more established in Sarajevo at that time. The Sefardic community came to Sarajevo from Salonika in around 1540. It's likely that Rabbi Papo's family originated from Salonika. Commented Sep 15, 2016 at 21:05

1 Answer 1


You found a good verse to back things up. See Ralbag's explanation there. Essentially he states that when a bird leaves its nest, it has no foundation and it will need to build a new nest. In the same way, someone who leaves his "nest" (which I assume Pele Yo'etz compares one's parents' city as one's nest) will be lacking everything.

Ralba"g states that one should leave his homestead only where there is a compelling reason such as extreme cold or heat. Ralba"g also mentions that the only reason that Abraham and Isaac left their homes was because of famine.

  • +1 thank you, but I am also interested where is the maamar chazal (I do not think he meant the ralbag)
    – hazoriz
    Commented Sep 15, 2016 at 19:29
  • AH! I guess Ralba"g doesn't qualify as Chaza"l, as smart as the man was :-) ?
    – DanF
    Commented Sep 15, 2016 at 19:32
  • I might be wrong but I understand hazal as the Rabbis of the Talmud or before, and I guess if he meant the Ralbag he would use his name,
    – hazoriz
    Commented Sep 15, 2016 at 19:35

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