My Take on Father’s Day

Most of my kid’s know this song:

Today is Father’s/Mother’s Day but it’s no special day ’cause I love you Daddy/Mommy all the time.

You are so dear to me, the best you’ll always be, I thank Hashem he made you mine.

Cute. But I’m a bit torn by the lyrics. On the one hand, it’s true that we don’t need an invented holiday to show our appreciation to our parents. On the other hand, how many of us take the time out to call our parents and say thanks? If you do, then you don’t need Father’s/Mother’s Day. If you don’t, pick up the phone and say thanks!

Personal Note: A little more than six years ago, I lost my Father. A friend of mine who had lost his father fairly young told me that Father’s Day would be tough. When Father’s Day rolled around, my wife went into labor and gave me the best Father’s Day present, my daughter Atara. This year, her Birthday falls out on Father’s Day again, Happy B-Day Attie!

8 comments on “My Take on Father’s Day

  1. A number of years ago, I heard a shiur from R N I Oelbaum on Chukos HaGoyim. Someone in the audience asked R Oelbaum about Fathers’ and Mothers’ Day. R Oelbaum responded by stating that he viewed every day as Father’s and Mother’s Day because of mitzva of Kibud av vem.

  2. Oh, and by the way, one of my daughters made me a coupon good for a coffee with skim milk and splenda. The kid knows how I like it, gotta give her credit for that!

  3. I remember going to a school dinner once on Mother’s Day. I was shmoozing with a Rabbi I know who was giving his rather negative opinion about the concept of Mother’s Day. I happen to know that this particular Rabbi is a paradigm of kibud av v’em. He is always running to help his parents, take them shopping, build their succah, etc. etc.

    I told him if everybody were like him, we wouldn’t need Mother’s Day. But we’re not and guys like me need a reminder every once in a while.

  4. Thanks David.

    Quite frankly I hope our children will never learn that song.

    Honoring your parents is probably the hardest mitzvah in the book no matter what your background is.

    I see no reason in acknowledging the positive aspects of days that are set aside by men to concentrate on things that we should concentrate on. Plenty of people misuse such days and turn them into consumer holidays. But, I know that without days like Memorial Day, which we discussed before, many Americans would forget to remember the fallen.

    Same for Mother’s or Father’s Day. Sometimes it is nice to have a special day to say thank you and maybe even re-focus efforts on an important middah.

    I know that when I was growing up, we used to make coupons for Mother’s Day for our Mommy. They were for things like scrubbing the toilets, cleaning the kitchen floor, or vacuming the house. I know I didn’t come up with the idea of coupons since creativity is not my strong point, so I imagine the idea originated as a school project.

    I’d rather see the focus placed on an important mitzvah and tangible actions, rather than teaching a song that promotes neither!

    (Of course, there is no reason that the concentration of thanks need to take place on the day designated by Hallmark. The frum schools could choose a different day or month entirely if they wanted).

  5. In school. Two or three different ones if I’m remembering correctly when they learned it. Around here, it seems all of the frum kids know it.

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