1. Although the wife should listen to the husband and make her best to please him, it is not a Mitzvah at all, and there are no DeOraytah obligations on the wife toward her husband (Rambam Ishut 22-24). The husband has no halachic control over his wife, besides a list of certain Melachot but those are DeRabanan monetary obligation, and she's free to exempt herself from all of them by claiming "איני ניזונת ואיני עושה". (I hope this point is agreed on לכו"ע).
    Also raising kids is not a Mitzvah at all (for women at least), and she can not get away by "being engaged in another Mitzvah".

  2. The Mitzvah of honoring parents is one of the MOST stringent DeOraytahs.

  3. THe Gemmorah in Kiddushin (30b) brings Safra (Vayikra 19,3) explaining the Ptur of married women from this Mitzvah by simply mentioning that "רשות אחרים עליה".:

""איש"-- אין לי אלא איש. אשה מנין? תלמוד לומר "תיראו"-- הרי כאן שנים. אם כן למה נאמר "איש"? אלא שהאיש סיפוקו בידו והאשה אין ספוקה בידה מפני שיש רשות אחרים עליה.

This opinion is indisputable and not discussed by the Gemmorah.

I am stumped, what רשות does the husband have over his wife, to exempt her from such an important Mitzvah as honoring and respecting her parents?

A bonus question: why "אחרים" and not "בעל" and who are the "others"?

  • Doesn't Tosafos on that page you link to ask your question and answer it?
    – robev
    Sep 16, 2018 at 2:06
  • @robev Are you serious? The husband doesn't stay at his parents' either. How does it override a DeOrayto?
    – Al Berko
    Sep 16, 2018 at 2:23
  • 3
    Are you asking on me or Tosafos?
    – robev
    Sep 16, 2018 at 2:24
  • @robev Yes, Tosafot's Tirutz is poor, as I showed. Does it explain anything to you?
    – Al Berko
    Sep 16, 2018 at 2:34
  • The רשות is he is the בעל! What is the question?
    – Dr. Shmuel
    Sep 16, 2018 at 8:12

2 Answers 2


Sorry, I couldn't find a Halachic way to solve this puzzle of exempting a married woman from honoring both parents. But this seems way too interesting:

THe source: The Gemarrah in Sota 12a says:

א"ר יוחנן כל הנושא אשה לשם שמים מעלה עליו הכתוב כאילו ילדה

Rabbi Yoḥanan says: ... anyone who marries a woman for the sake of Heaven, ... the verse ascribes him credit as if he gave birth to her.

  1. This means, that there's a Rabbinic approach that a married woman stops relating to her parents altogether, as starts being related to her husband as his baby. Therefore she's obligated to respect him, as "her new father" (The Gemorah mentions that without a reason).

  2. This is consistent with some Rishonim that claim that once a woman marries she does not return to respect her parents ever again.

  3. This is one of those rare cases when Kaballah made silently its way to the Halachah without anybody paying attention.

  • 1- How do you see this from the Gemara? It's not talking about anything practical. Additionally it's only talking about where he married purely לשם שמים. So it wouldn't apply to all couples as your implying. And where do you see that she should respect him as "her new father? 3-How do you know this has something to do with Kabbalah?
    – Orion
    Sep 16, 2018 at 22:22
  • Your 3rd point is quite a wild claim to make. You think that somehow the chachamim didn't know kabbalah and that they simply unknowingly included a teaching in the gemera? That makes no sense at all.
    – Dude
    Aug 16, 2023 at 0:55

I do not agree with your assumption that the husband "exempts" his wife from Kibbud Av Va'em.

Of course she has to honor her parents when it doesnt clash with honoring her husband. She is just not always able to carry that out, as she has a higher code of honor to her husband, which could sometimes affect her ability to honor her parents. That is why the Posuk excludes women, as they can have overriding responsabilies to their spouse.

See Gemoro Kiddushin 30, If both my father and mother ask me to bring them water, which request should I honor first? Your father's comes first, because you and your mother are commanded to honor your father. Your point 1 about a wife not being required to honor her husband is now moot, as the Gemoro is clear to the contrary.

You may ask from where does the Gemoro learn this code of honor towards her husband, and indeed that it supersedes her requirement of honor to her husband. That though is a different question.

  • 1
    1. Your opinion that the exemption is not "complete" is backed by some Rishonim, but this is not the Pshat of the Gemarah. 2. your second point "as she has a higher code of honor to her husband" is exactly my question WHY? 3. I didn't say the wife should not honor her husband, I said it's not an obligation, neither from Torah nor from Rabanan.
    – Al Berko
    Sep 16, 2018 at 22:02
  • @al berko perhaps the answer to your query lies in understanding the meaning of the verse (Gen. 3:16) "...and he will rule over you." Rather than say that there is a d'oraisa obligation, one can argue that this is a matter of metziyus, i.e. this is the dynamic of the spousal relationship. The husband is absolutely loyal to and responsible for his wife (the d'veykus described earlier in the parsha) and she is "subject" to his wishes. Where her other obligations don't conflict with that responsibility she must fulfill them. A little drash-y, I know. Oct 17, 2018 at 5:13
  • @ShmuelBrown How is what you offer different from Gemorrah's "רשות אחרים עליה"? Besides, my point is that according to my humble understanding, to cancel a Deorayso obligation you need at least another Deoraytho. A mere Droshe will not suffice. That's where I'm stuck.
    – Al Berko
    Oct 17, 2018 at 12:16
  • @AlBerko it appears from perusal of the commentaries on both the Gemara and the Rambam that this idea that she is under his rishus is axiomatic and all of her obligations to him are corollaries of this. He acquires her through one of two d'oraisa-level methods and one rabbanan and thus leaves her father's reshus to enter his, with all that entails.. See the very beginning of Hilchos Ishus, as well as the first several sugyos of Kiddushin. Oct 17, 2018 at 17:44
  • Also, see this: sefaria.org/… Oct 17, 2018 at 18:06

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