How much can a parent tell an adult child what to do? Shalom Rosenfeld examines these issues in an article in a recent issue of Tradition. His article “Parental Say In the Life Choices of the Post-Adolescent Child: Some Halakhic Guidelines” from Tradition (46:2) is presented here, with permission: link (PDF).
Here is a snippet from his conclusion:
In summary, should the letter of the law be demanded, it appears we can conclude as follows:
- In most situations, there is no absolute obligation for parents to feed or educate an adult child.
- Whether the value of honoring parents is compelling enough on its own will vary depending on the case and the rabbi consulted.
- A non-binding commitment has signifi cant halakhic value and should be weighed strongly against other considerations.
- Monetary contracts would be recognized, if properly executed.
- Oaths are not recommended.
I know that I have been delinquent in providing summaries of new periodicals. I hope to return to the practice soon.