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Does the commandment to Honor Your Parents apply to gentiles as well?

by Rabbi Moshe Miller


Library » Jewish Identity » Non-Jews » The Role of the Non-Jew | Subscribe | What is RSS?


Gentiles are, indeed, obligated to respect their parents, as is understood from the following story told in the Jerusalem Talmud (Tractate Kiddushin 31a):
The Sages asked Rabbi Eliezer how far one should go in honoring parents. He said to them: Go and see how one gentile in Ashdod honored his father, and Dama the son of Netina was his name.

Netina lived in Ashkelon and dealt in precious stones. He used to keep his gems in a very secure box to which only he possessed the key. Wherever Netina went, so did the key. He would even place it under his pillow when he went to sleep. In the middle of one hot summer day, Netina decided to take a nap. He returned home, put the key under his pillow, and fell fast asleep, leaving his son, Dama, in charge.

The Sages asked Rabbi Eliezer how far one should go in honoring parents. He said to them: Go and see how one gentile in Ashdod honored his father...
While Dama son of Netina was minding the store, a group of rabbis entered. They had been searching for jasper, one of the gems which would be placed in the High Priest's breastplate. The rabbis offered one hundred coins for the gem. When Dama went to retrieve the gem he discovered that his father was lying on the key to the chest. He returned and told the rabbis that he couldn't sell it to them.

Figuring that he wanted a higher price, they offered him two hundred coins, and then one thousand coins. He refused to sell it. When his father awoke Dama retrieved the jasper and brought it to the rabbis, who were willing to pay the last negotiated price. Dama said he will only accept the original offer; I didn't sell you the stone earlier simply because my father was sleeping, and I will not accept monetary compensation for honoring my father. 

In general see – many of the principles of family responsibilities can be derived directly from the seven Noahide laws.


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Usually referring to the Babylonian edition, it is a compilation of Rabbinic law, commentary and analysis compiled over a 600 year period (200 BCE - 427 CE). Talmudic verse serves as the bedrock of all classic and modern-day Torah-Jewish literature.
Established by King David to be the eternal capital of Israel. Both Temples were built there, and the third Temple will be situated there when the Messiah comes.