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Ask the rabbi Family and Society Honoring Parents vs. Other Mitzvot

Respecting Ones Parents

Question
When my girlfriend and I decided to marry I felt it only proper to go and ask her fathers permission. Although I have known the family for many years when I asked he stated that I was not good enough to marry his daughter. I am an Orthodox boy (24 years old) who has attended a Yeshivah High School and studied for a year in Israel. I have known my girlfriend for many years and she wants to marry me for who and what I am. I believe her parents issue is that I do not learn enough. Iagree that I could/should learn more but I have many other good midos that would make me a good husband and father and I do not believe that starting to learn more now would change their minds. Although I have spoken to her parents more than once on this issue they refuse to give thier blessing. At all times I have attempted to be respectful and have not "dragged" anyone else into this problem. I would like to know what the halachic implications are. I realize that Kibood Av V’em is one of the 10 commandments. Can we get married without her parents permission?
Answer
In principle, if the young woman whom you want to marry also wants to marry you, her parents' objections are not by themselves sufficient to prohibit the marriage. Kibud Av does not obligate a woman to forsake a marriage to the man of her choosing (Shu"t Yabiyya Omer VIII Yoreh Deah 22). I recommend that if possible you speak to a rabbi who knows all the parties involved so that things can be worked out amicably.
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