I was recently reading something about whether or not it would be right for this woman to show up to her father’s funeral who was a convicted murderer. She did not want to, and people were discussing this. It got me thinking about not only the Jewish perspective on this, but of the concept of if kavod av would still be applicable in the same form as if he hadn’t been a murderer.

  • I feel like this has been discussed before
    – sam
    Commented Jan 16, 2019 at 2:14
  • 1
    @sam Are you thinking of judaism.stackexchange.com/q/23403? Related, but not quite a duplicate.
    – DonielF
    Commented Jan 16, 2019 at 3:21
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    who says he didn't do teshuvah? Why does a sin obviate the rest of his life? Maybe he regretted it even if he didn't do full teshuvah? Commented Jan 16, 2019 at 4:30
  • A very interesting and extensive discussion here (thnx Sam) hakirah.org/Vol%2012%20Dratch.pdf
    – Al Berko
    Commented Jan 16, 2019 at 10:39
  • @DavidKenner I think the OP is assuming a case where he didn’t do teshuvah (however we know that).
    – DonielF
    Commented Jan 16, 2019 at 10:44

2 Answers 2


Explicit Rambam - Mamrim 6, 11:

"הממזר חייב בכבוד אביו ומוראו.
אע"פ שהוא פטור על מכתו וקללתו עד שיעשה תשובה.
אפילו היה אביו רשע ובעל עבירות מכבדו ומתיירא ממנו...:"

"A mamzer is obligated to honor and fear his father even though he is not liable for striking him or cursing him until he repents. Even when his father was a wicked person who violated many transgressions, he must honor him and fear him."

As a Mamzer is one whose father had sinned with illicit relations punishable by death, he's still obligated with all the Dinim of Kibud Av.

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    As I noted on a now-deleted answer, while this Rambam is correct, and later paskened by the Shulchan Aruch (YD 240:18), the Rema argues that this only applies once the parent has done Teshuvah. Further, the OP discussed a case where he’s liable to capital punishment; how can you prove from here that it extends to such a case? A Mamzer is חייבי כרת - there’s not necessarily סקילה (ex. no witnesses).
    – DonielF
    Commented Jan 16, 2019 at 10:35
  • @DonielF I wondered if this is a Machlokes Mechaber and Rama is that how Ashkenazi and Sefardim differ? Seemingly not. As it is Deoraiso we probably should be Machmirim. Anyway, this is a simple answer to a simple question, not an extensive Hakirah.
    – Al Berko
    Commented Jan 16, 2019 at 10:44
  • I’m not saying you’re wrong, I’m just saying there are other opinions than the one you cited. I honestly don’t know what Ashkenazim hold here, and I’ve never needed to ask the sha’alah (BH). While I agree that “As it is Deoraiso we probably should be Machmirim,” that doesn’t answer a question asking about the base Halacha.
    – DonielF
    Commented Jan 16, 2019 at 10:49
  • @DonielF I didn't mean to open a serious discussion. As Rem"o only mentioned other opinions BTW, we still Pasken as Mechaber.
    – Al Berko
    Commented Jan 16, 2019 at 10:50

See mishna psachim 4, 8 (in realty this is not a mishna but a tosefta included later in the mishnayot). The king Chizkiahu did an humiliation to his father Ahaz, at the time of burial (see Tosfot Yom Tov and Rashi Berachot 10b) and chachamim approved him.


גירר עצמות אביו על מיטה של חבלים, והודו לו


גירר עצמות אביו. לפי שהיה רשע בזהו ולא נהג בו כבוד בקבורתו להוציאו כהוגן במטות זהב וכסף

And see mishna in Sanhedrin chapter 6 (daf 46ab in gemara) about family members of one is liable to capital punishment, that didn't observe mourning rites:

Further the gemara (47a) learned rules from the case of Chizkiahu and (explained by Rashi there) stated that Chizkiahu didn't want kavod for himself and not for his father, following the rule that there is no kvod for father who didn't behave as Jewish people did.


על מטה של חבלים. דרך בזיון מפני שהיה אביו רשע וביזהו לעיני כל כדי שיתייסרו האחרים ולכבוד עצמו לא חש ומפני כבוד אב נמי ליכא למיחש דנשיא בעמך כתיב (שמות כב) בעושה מעשה עמך נבזה בעיניו הוא עצמו נתבזה ונמאס בפני עצמו שלא חש לכבודו במקום קידוש ה' ואי אמרת כבוד שעושין למת אינו שלו אלא של חיים מ"ט עביד הכי למה ביזה את החיים:‏

ולא היו מתאבלין, אבל אוננין.שאין אנינות אלא בלב.‏

Rabbi Aqiva Eiger in the margin point to the shut rabbi Yaaqov leveit Halevi klal 5, responsum 49

An interesting point thanks to @Al Berko. See the kesef mishne in mamrim 6, 11. The kibud av contains two parts, a positive part, to make honorific acts, a negative part, to avoid negative actions. If the father is rasha, the positive part is not a duty, but the negative part remains. So we can ask about humiliation of Ahav by his son Chizkia. I leave this question without a strong answer (Maybe that the mishna in Sanhedrin about chayve mitot is itself an answer, because lake of mourning is an humiliation). But to make a positive honor in the levaya is not a duty.

  • -1 He did so to atone for his father’s sins (Rashi to Pesachim 56a). There’s no proof from there that he had no chiyuv kavod.
    – DonielF
    Commented Jan 16, 2019 at 3:15
  • rashi berachot 10b גירר עצמות אביו. לפי שהיה רשע בזהו ולא נהג בו כבוד בקבורתו להוציאו כהוגן במטות זהב וכסף: @Doniel
    – kouty
    Commented Jan 16, 2019 at 6:27
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    ...Huh. In Pesachim he clearly says משום כפרה ולא קברו בכבוד בדרגש ומטה נאה ומפני קידוש השם שיתגנה על רשעו ויוסרו הרשעים. I’ll take off my downvote, but it’s interesting that Rashi interprets it differently in each location.
    – DonielF
    Commented Jan 16, 2019 at 10:28
  • Who and how generalizes from this to Kibud Av Rasha?
    – Al Berko
    Commented Jan 16, 2019 at 10:45
  • @AlBerko What’s wrong with the last Rashi he quotes about עושה מעשה עמך?
    – DonielF
    Commented Jan 16, 2019 at 10:47

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