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Ask the rabbi Family and Society Honoring Abusive Parents

Honor Thy Mother.......

Rabbi Elchanan Lewis29 Cheshvan 5767
1074
Question
Some mothers pour bleach and other such things into their children’s milk. They get sick, go to Hospital, need an operation. This maternal Disorder is called Munchaussen-by-Proxy Disorder. Should these children go home for another glass of "milk"? My mother ordered me last year to eat my dinner off of the floor; she had gone into a mad rage and was throwing my food--my dinner--all over the floor. I choose not to lick it all off of the floor as she had so demanded. Is that a violation of Honor Thy Mother and Father? How many times should I permit her to leave me licking my "heart" off of the floor?
Answer
The Shulchan Aruch YD 240 10 rules that a if the parent had gone mad or is mentally ill to the extent the child can't handle his or her care he can leave them and hand over their care to others who can handle it. In any case you don't need to suffer or harm your physical or mental health for this Mitzvah. Nevertheless one can't even then degrade his parents or actively disrespect them.
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