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  • Family and Society
  • Honoring Abusive Parents

Unloving Feelings

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Rabbi Jonathan Blass

2 Cheshvan 5766
Question
The thought of my dog dying makes me want to cry. The thought of my dad dying leaves me . . . unmoved. My dad was a hateful man as I grew up. He has not changed. Are my feelings wrong? Evil? What can I do?
Answer
A Jew is commanded to respect his/her father. If your father has done things that make you not love him (one is commanded to love not just one's father but also one's fellow man - ie: to hope that good things will happen to him) it is possible that his activities justify this lack of love. If you are troubled by your feelings it might be a good idea to speak to a rabbi who knows you or to a counselor who can help you work through your feelings.
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