Ex: I went to a restaurant with my family and I decided to get the chicken because that was the most kosher thing on the menu. However, my mom told me to get the steak which was not as kosher as the chicken. Should I get the chicken because it is more kosher than the steak or should I get the steak because I don't want to cause an argument with my mom?

  • 3
    What does "more kosher" mean? I'm not sure the term sholom bais is used for a mother. Maybe kibud eim?
    – aBochur
    May 14, 2018 at 1:16
  • I like your questioning style @Yehuda1983 +1!
    – Dr. Shmuel
    May 14, 2018 at 4:40
  • 1
    I don't know if the term "shalom bayis" applies to mother son relationship. More appropriate is kibbud av veeim.
    – robev
    May 14, 2018 at 12:41
  • Can I suggest that you generalize this question to making it a "kashrut level" debate between a son and his parents? This is a very relevant practical question esp. with kids that "suddenly" become "more religious" than their parents and begin demanding different kashrut standards in their home, when there was nothing wrong with them, beforehand. In many cases, this causes major family problems. I know of no rav that has given a definitive solution.
    – DanF
    May 14, 2018 at 20:54

2 Answers 2


The Torah writes in Parsha Kedoshim (19:3)

You shall each revere his mother and his father, and keep My sabbaths: I the Lord am your God.

From the juxtaposition of the two we learn that if parents ask us to transgress Torah commandments, we have to follow the Torah as an exception to the law of honoring our parents. Rashi on the spot writes

Scripture places the commandment of observing the Sabbath immediately after that of fearing one’s father in order to suggest the following: “Although I admonish you regarding the fear due to your father, yet if he bids you: "Desecrate the Sabbath", do not listen to him” — and the same is the case with any of the other commandments.

Rambam codifies this as halacha (MT Mamrim 6:12). See here for more on that topic.

Many baalei teshuva have faced difficulties explaining to their parents why they cannot follow all their instructions or depart from family practice. In most cases, explaining kindly why this is not a rejection or criticism of the family but an attempt to follow God’s instructions as one understands them has proven to be a successful path.

Note however that shalom bayit is a term normally used for relations between spouses, not between a child and his parents. For conflicts between respect towards parents and shalom bayit, see e.g., here on MY.

  • "not a rejection or criticism of the family but an attempt to follow God’s instructions " - This is a valid, sensible reason. See my comment below Shmuel's answer. I don't think this has that much to do with obeying G-d's command, directly, as this is probably not a kashrut issue, per se.
    – DanF
    May 14, 2018 at 15:00
  • @DanF interesting, I read the question differently, and somehow felt both meats were non kosher but the OP felt the chicken was less of an issue than beef. All more reasons for the OP to clarify exactly what the situation was
    – mbloch
    May 14, 2018 at 20:23
  • 1
    Another questionable aspect is "..if parents ask us to transgress Torah commandments". This is questionable, here, for the same reason I just mentioned. Mom isn't suggesting eating non-kosher. Is she suggesting not to abide by son's rav's opinion not to trust the other hashgacha? If so, then, I agree that then it may fit the criteria. But, if mom just says the steak hashgacha is reliable (and, in fact, it is), but it's just not son's opinion, this is a different case. OP needs to clarify some factors. The steak situation is not so "cut and dry" :-)
    – DanF
    May 14, 2018 at 20:41

In this scenario, where the meat is really of doubt regarding it’s kosher status, biblically or rabbinically:

Consider, that a parent cannot command a child to transgress any law, even Rabbinical, because one cannot divert from the words of Torah Sages (Aruch HaShulchan סימן רמ סעיף לד).

דבר פשוט הוא שכיבוד אב ואם אינו דוחה שום מצוה. ולא מיבעיא אם אביו יצוה לו לעבור על דברי תורה ב"קום ועשה" או ב"שב ואל תעשה", דאסור לשמוע לו. כדתניא (בבא מציעא לב א): הרי שאמר לו אביו "הטמא למת" והוא כהן, או אל תחזיר אבידה – יכול ישמע לו? תלמוד לומר: "איש אמו ואביו תראו... אני ה' אלקיכם" – כולכם חייבים בכבודי. ואפילו יצוה לו לעבור על מצוה דרבנן אפילו ב"שב ואל תעשה", כגון שלא להדליק נר חנוכה וכיוצא בזה, דאסור לשמוע לו.

ולא נחתינן בזה ל"עשה דוחה לא תעשה", או על כל פנים לדחות איסור דרבנן מפני מצות עשה דכיבוד, דכיון דהתורה גילתה דכל שהוא נגד התורה – אין לאביו רשות לצוות לבנו על זה. וממילא דגם באיסור דרבנן הוה נגד התורה, דהקדוש ברוך הוא צוה לבלי לסור מכל אשר חכמים יגידו.

Partially copied from my answer here, see there for additional details.

  • Given the vagueness of what "more kosher" means (I understand the situation, somewhat, but I'd like OP to clarify), it's questionable if these rules apply. People who rely on one hashgacha over another does not necessarily halachically render something non-kosher. I know that many people disagree with that theory, but, in numerous cases, as we know, hashgachot are "politically" based, and it sometimes gets "nasty". My point, here, is that someone telling you not to rely on a specific hashgacha may be just their own bias that does not necessarily invalidate your own hashgacha reliance.
    – DanF
    May 14, 2018 at 14:57
  • 1
    "More kosher" means it has a more reliable kosher sign
    – Yehuda1983
    May 14, 2018 at 17:33
  • @Yehuda1983, I would strongly encourage you to edit your question to say something like "the beef didn't have as reliable a hashgasha as the chicken did" May 14, 2018 at 17:56
  • @Yehuda1983 That was pretty much my assumption. That makes it based on a debate between mom and son as to who is correct. It doesn't appear to be an issue of kosher vs. non-kosher. In which case, I stand by my previous comment.
    – DanF
    May 14, 2018 at 20:32
  • Both you and mbloch seem to overlook a major vagueness, here. OP needs to clarify some things. See my comments to mbloch for details. I agree with your general ruling and support source. However, it's really questionable, here, if kashrut debates fall into the category that would fit not following a rabbi's decree. BTW, this is a very relevant practical issue that severely affects numerous families esp. after a child returns from Israel yeshiva and starts "dictating" kashrut rules in his / her parent's home. It seems that no rav I know has given a definitive solution.
    – DanF
    May 14, 2018 at 20:47

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .