The Gemmorah in Kiddushin 30b states (:

"שלשה שותפין הן באדם הקב"ה ואביו ואמו"

There are three partners in the forming of a person: The Holy One, Blessed be He, who provides the soul, and his father and his mother.

Mishna in B"M 2,11 also explains it to be the reason for honoring them, as they bring the person to this world.

"אבידת אביו ואבידת רבו - אבידת רבו קודמת שאביו מביאו לחיי העוה"ז ורבו מביאו לחיי העוה"ב "
..." because his father brought him into this world, but his teacher, who taught him wisdom, brings him to live in the world to come;

I was wondering:

  1. Are the same 3 partners participating in Gentiles?

  2. If yes, why the Gentiles aren't [explicitly] commanded on honoring parents?

  3. Also, Rambam and Shu"A (רמ"א) rule that a convert has no obligation of honoring his (gentile) parents, despite the fact that they did bring him to this world (not the spiritual one)?.

  • 1
    Where is this Rambam and Rema?
    – DonielF
    Commented Jul 3, 2018 at 0:19

2 Answers 2


The Baal Ha'Tanya writes in Igeres Ha'Teshuva (אגרת התשובה מהדורא קמא חלק שלישי ד"ה אמנם) that non-Jews also have the three partners. However, by Non-Jews the part that comes from above, is through an angel.

He bases it on the following pesukim. Even though non-Jews have a part of עליון -above, only Jews have חלק ה - a part from Hashem directly.

בהנחל עליון גוים בהפרידו בני אדם יצב גבלת עמים למספר בני ישראל

When the Most High gave nations their homes And set the divisions of man, He fixed the boundaries of peoples In relation to Israel’s numbers.

כי חלק ה' עמו יעקב חבל נחלתו

For the LORD’s portion is His people, Jacob His own allotment.

So,to answer your questions:

1 - They do have a part from above, but not on the same level.

2 - There is a reason to have a mitzvah [besides for gratitude] for those that are partners with Hashem. While those that are partners with a angel, we could understand that it might not create this Mitzvah [just gratitude and decency].

3 - See #2

  • Bט "we could understand" you mean "we imply"? Doesn't he hold that pious gentiles have a part in the world to come also? If so what's the difference? In both cases אביו מביאו לחיי העוה"ז.
    – Al Berko
    Commented Jul 2, 2018 at 19:13
  • @AlBerko - I wouldn't say this is proven, just that it's a possible explanation. Also, kavod of a parent goes together with kavod of Hashem. They are both part of the first five Dibros - commandments, the one's that are בין אדם למקום. What would it lead to if the third partner was an angel? Serving an angel, Avodah Zarah. Commented Jul 2, 2018 at 20:10

Three Partners in Creation

The Gemara in Niddah 31a, which parallels the cited Gemara in Kiddushin, expands a bit on this. The part in curly brackets is the Gra’s emendation of the Gemara.

שלשה שותפין יש באדם הקב"ה ואביו ואמו אביו מזריע הלובן שממנו עצמות וגידים וצפרנים ומוח שבראשו ולובן שבעין אמו מזרעת אודם שממנו עור ובשר ושערות {ודם} ושחור שבעין והקב"ה נותן בו רוח ונשמה וקלסתר פנים וראיית העין ושמיעת האוזן ודבור פה והלוך רגלים ובינה והשכל

There are three partners in a man: Hashem, his father, and his mother. His father seeds the white parts in him: bones, sinews, nails, the brain in his head, and the whites of his eyes. His mother seeds the red [i.e. darker] parts in him: skin, flesh, hair, {blood} and pupils. Hashem gives him a Ruach, a Neshamah, a countenance, eyesight, ability to hear, speech, ability to walk, understanding, and thought.

In other words: the mother and father provide the physical body of a person, while Hashem provides the physiology. The Gemara continues that when a person dies, Hashem takes His part and leaves the parents’ part before them.

Go see if you can find a non-Jew. Does he have skin and pupils? Great, he had a mother. Does he have whites in his eye and fingernails? Great, he had a father. Is he alive? Great, Hashem helped in his birth. While non-Jews’ souls are different, and therefore perhaps, depending on which Rabbi you go like, Neshamah might not apply by non-Jews, the rest of the list would according to all opinions.

  • This is a partial answer, awaiting clarification from the OP on the question.
    – DonielF
    Commented Jul 2, 2018 at 17:22
  • What would you say about animals - the same logic applies? I am trying to understand the נ"מ for honoring parents, not just the philosophy of the creation.
    – Al Berko
    Commented Jul 2, 2018 at 17:34
  • @AlBerko Hence that it’s a partial answer until you clarify the exact Gemara where it says that’s why we honor our parents.
    – DonielF
    Commented Jul 2, 2018 at 17:35
  • I don't know exactly, but that's the impression I got from all the interpreters. Am I so wrong, am I making this up?
    – Al Berko
    Commented Jul 2, 2018 at 17:57
  • @AlBerko No, what you’re saying is absolutely logical. But you say that “THe Gemmorah in Kiddushin 30b states that. And further explains it to be the reason for honoring them, as they bring the person to THIS world.” If you could quote where the Gemara says this, it would make it a lot easier to analyze. I can think of a few places that perhaps indicate like this, some not even in Kiddushin, but I could also hear very easily how they’re not saying that at all.
    – DonielF
    Commented Jul 2, 2018 at 18:02

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