The more I listen to the balagan (craziness) going on in this world, the more the Ten Commandments make sense. Our loving Creator knows what we need more than we do, even if we don’t want to hear about it. How often have parents tried to warn their children about what not to do, but children always think they are smarter than their parents. What can they know? So, they turn their backs on their parents and do what they want without having the foggiest notion of the consequences.
The Fifth Commandment says, honor your father and your mother that your days may be long upon this earth. The reason we are to honor them is for our sake. He doesn’t say love them or agree with them, it says to honor them. The world today has lost the idea about what it means to honor someone or something. Honor is to hold in high esteem, to revere, to place in a special position of respect. The role of parent is an office, a position with the father as the provider and mother as the keeper of the hearth, she is the nurturer. This too has been lost today with the modern feminist movement.
Having a role means fulfilling a position, like the Presidency. The person may not be fit to hold that position, but the office of President is to be honored and respected. It is the same with parents. It is an office, a position which demands honor. In the olden days, my days, we would never have fought or argued with our parents; we wouldn’t have questioned their authority; disrespect was met with swift punishment. This has disappeared now that parents want to be their children’s friend. Our children don’t need our friendship, they need our guidance. Today, babies and children are thought of as cute when they answer their parents back rudely. We are no longer supposed to say no to our children or discipline them in case we damage their sensitive sensibilities. We are raising a generation of people who will care only about themselves.
A good friend told me that it’s so hard to honor his father because he really hurt him. Most parents want the best for their children. they don’t wake up in the morning thinking, ‘how can I hurt my kids today.’ Instead, they work hard despite their own limitations to build a life for themselves and their families. I remember being so upset by something that my mother did that hurt me so badly when I was in high school. Many years later I confronted her with it and when she explained, I totally understood the wisdom of her decision. It’s the same with our Avinu sheba Shamayim, our Father in heaven. He allows certain things to happen that we may not understand at that moment, or when He tells us what we are to do and what not to do, it is because He knows what is best for us. If we will not honor our parents who we see, how can we ever honour our Father in heaven who we do not see.
We are so limited in our understanding of His creation because we are stuck in third dimension mentality. Our Creator created this universe; He lives in a dimension beyond our comprehension. When He tells what is best for us, why do we choose to ignore Him and believe someone from this dimension who is not all-seeing, not all-wise and not all powerful? That is the human condition and that’s our dilemma. We need to be willing to open our eyes so that we can turn this world around; hopefully it’s not too late.
The situation the world is in right now is deplorable; we did this to ourselves and it is up to us to need to fix it. Let’s bring back God’s Ten Commandments. Let’s put them back in our homes, back in our schools and back in our governments and our courts of law. That’s where we need to begin to be able to fix this world. Everything we are trying to do is like putting a small band-aid on a very deep gash. It needs to be cleaned, stitched and given time to heal. That’s what teshuva does, that means turning around to meet God face to face. We need to acknowledge that we are responsible for the injuries we are causing to ourselves and others; we can find the solutions with God as our partner and make things right. Then the healing can begin.
Back to the Fifth Commandment, even if our parents are long gone, it’s not too late to give them their place of honor whether they deserved it or not; remember, it is so we can live long upon this earth. It’s also time to give God His place of honor and thank Him for the wonderful planet He gave us to enjoy.