created at: 2011-06-01The image we are using today comes from, a website “directed to the ‘after 50′ audience [where] the writers and editors … don’t sugar-coat the 50+ years but reveal what boomers today, as individuals, are thinking, exploring and experiencing.”

Ed. Note: Today’s post comes from Bernice Sue Behar and speaks to the Fifth Commandment. Halfway through the series, we would like to ask for your feedback! Are you enjoying the series? What are you finding best about these posts? What would you like to see more or less of in future posts?

When I saw the note asking each of us to say a few words of reflection about one of the Ten Commandments, I didn’t hesitate about which I would choose. The words “thou shalt honor thy mother and thy father” are part of the conversation I have with myself every day.

I decided that the essence of this commandment relates to vulnerability. We usually interpret “honor” as somehow synonymous with respect, but I don’t think that respect can be commanded. Instead, I think that to show honor in a way that matters really means to attend to the needs of our parents as they become older and more vulnerable. As our parents age, they begin to lose capabilities, their life long companions, and often, their dignity. As Jews, we know that it is incumbent upon us to take care of those who are in need and I believe that honoring our parents falls into the same framework. As their children, we are ultimately the ones who are responsible for helping our parents and for bringing them comfort and the reassurance of love.

-Bernice Sue Behar