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Child reconciling with non-consenting parents

Rabbi Yoel LiebermanSivan 7, 5774
251
Question
Rabbi, that was an absolutely great answer! My final inquiry regarding this same scenario; .. let’s say if the child desires reconciliation and forgiveness from their non-consenting parents .. the parents may only accept their child on .. their terms .. because the issue will still be about .. the marriage to an "unwelcomed spouse," ... and the parents may require ..public restoration of their honor.. by their child.. to make a public statement of repentance ..since the wedding was performed openly .. the parents may require .. that the repentance be stated openly .. along with monetary restitution .. due to loss time, holidays, respect to parents; .. for .. who knows .. how long the child and parents were estranged / relationship severed. And, what if the parents .. still .. want their child to .. divorce the spouse?? Because the child may feel that a .. simple .. although well-meaning repentance .. should appease the parents; .. but without any consequences or punitive damages given to their parents .. for their past humiliation??? What are your thoughts about that; .. and I’ll conclude this dialogue after receiving your final response of my extensive questioning on this subject. Thank you Rabbi! God has, indeed, blessed you with a great, scholarly, and astute mind. My goal is to become a learned Torah individual & counselor.
Answer
ב"ה Shalom I view reconciliation as an appeasement between parties between which a great rift has grown. I view the scene as the mother once again holds in her embrace the child she bore and raised after a period of bitterness and resentment. I don't view reconciliation as a law suit for damages incurred. If one party feels there is a claim to be made, both parties most appear before a Rabbinical court so both sides of the conflict can be heard without bias and the Rabbinical court will decide what has to be done. There is a general guide line in Jewish for the court to seek compromise between parties in conflict. I will repeat once more what I have said in my previous answers on this issue. According to Jewish law a child does not the need the consent of the parents for the spouse they choose and surely the parents cannot ask to discontinue their marriage. The Biblical commandment of honoring one's parents also has its guidelines and it doesn’t mean that anything they want from their child has to be done. As we all know during adolescence a child develops a mind of his/her own and parents have to learn how to cope. The parents and child must see on what terms they can meet and if they cannot do it on their own, professional advice from G-d fearing people who understand the concept of respecting one's parents should be sought without shame or hesitation. Unfortunately, sometimes problems don't go away on their own and they have to be solved. Sometimes we can't solve our problems on our own and when we come to that realization we have taken a step in the right direction. I am not saying my opinion is the only one on the matter, but this is the way I see things and I pray that I have been helpful. I wish you all the best in your pursuit of Torah study and in the profession of counselling.
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