General

Honor your parents to live long

13.12.15

Question

My father respected his parents all his life but he died at the age of 44 which contradicts the Torah. How could that be?

Answer

It says in Midrash Tannaim to Deuteronomy Chapter 22:

Rabbi Jacob said: There is no commandment written in the Torah that gives an immediate reward and which is not dependent on the eventual Resurrection. It says about sending the mother bird from the nest “in order that it be good for you and your days be long.” By the commandment of honoring parents, it says ”in order that your days will be long, and in order that you will have it good.”

They asked him:  A man was told by his father to go up on the roof and bring him baby birds. He went up to the roof and sent the mother away and took the fledglings. On his way back, he fell and died. So how did he have it good? Where is his long life?  He explained: “in order that it be good for you” — in the world that is totally good (World to Come) and “in order that your days will be long” in the world that is long forever” (also the World to Come).

 

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