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Ask the rabbi Family and Society Honoring Abusive Parents

Unloving Feelings

Rabbi Jonathan Blass2 Cheshvan 5766
1000
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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