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Parents and Aliyah

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Rabbi Jonathan Blass

4 Shevat 5764
Question
I live on the west coast of the US. I plan to make Aliyah soon, but one thing stands in my way. I have elderly parents and I don’t know how much longer they’ll be around. Aliyah is important to me, but then again, so are my parents. Taking into account the distance, I don’t know what to do. Can you suggest anything for me?
Answer
First- may your parents live in good health until 120! The answer to your question depends on factors you did not refer to: Are your parents dependent on you for medical care or daily living? How often could you visit them when you come on Aliyah? Are you an only child or are there siblings who will be with them? Can your parents come on Aliyah with you? Kibud Av V'Em does not preclude your coming on Aliyah; abandoning them in a difficult situation without adequate care is not permitted. Only someone familiar with the details of your specific situation will be able to respond correctly.
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