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Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

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< Q5.13 TOC Q5.15 >

Question 5.14:
For Mother's Day, how should one bless their mothers?


First, note that both Mother's Day and Father's Day are American holidays, not Jewish holidays. Although some congregations may recognize them, they are not Jewish holidays, as demonstrated by their being observed on a Sunday, a traditional Christian day for church worship.

So, how to bless your mother. Listen to what she says; do what she asks. Find a nice Jewish person to marry.

Seriously, although one may be able to develop a blessing for anything, in traditional Judaism, blessing one's parents is not the normal construction. In traditional Judaism, blessings are generally bestowed by the have to the have not: kohein to masses, Abraham's children to the rest of the world, parent to child, rebbe to student/chasid. To bestow a blessing implies having G-d's "ear". Everyone has G-d's attention, and "The blessing of commoners should not be a light thing in your eyes." This adds much meaning to wishing another "Mazal Tov!" or "Refu'ah sheleimah" (complete healing). However, codified blessings tend to run in one direction. A creative rabbi, of course, could craft something, but it wouldn't be a codified construction (i.e., standard in Judaism).

By the way, what is a good day in Judaism for recognizing parents? We've noted above that Mother's Day and Father's Day are not (actually, they were created by the greeting card companies). Here's a suggestion: Shavuot is a great time for children to honor their parents, as the Torah portion for the week is a reading of the 10 commandments that includes the directive. It is also a great time for remembering all the other 9 commandments, and that we should be following them (as we do every week when we study Torah).

The FAQ is a collection of documents that is an attempt to answer questions that are continually asked on the soc.culture.jewish family of newsgroups. It was written by cooperating laypeople from the various Judaic movements. You should not make any assumption as to accuracy and/or authoritativeness of the answers provided herein. In all cases, it is always best to consult a competent authority--your local rabbi is a good place to start.

[Got Questions?]Hopefully, the FAQ will provide the answer to your questions. If it doesn't, please drop Email to The FAQ maintainer will endeavor to direct your query to an appropriate individual that can answer it. If you would like to be part of the group to which the maintainer directs questions, please drop a note to the FAQ maintainer at

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