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Jewish Ethics and Family Responsibility for the Elderly

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Publication Date: January 1990

Publisher(s): Conference of Jewish Communal Service (U.S.)

Author(s): Louis J. Novick

Series: Journal of Jewish Communal Service, 66:4

Special Collection: Berman Jewish Policy Archive

Topic: Culture and religion (Religion and religious groups)
Health (Health services for older people)

Keywords: Jewish Text; Elderly; Social Services

Type: Report


The responsibility of offspring to their parents, which is expressed in honoring them, supporting them financially when they require it and the children have the means to supply it, and being physically present when such presence is necessary to sustain the emotional health of parents, is a basic tenet of Jewish ethics. When aged parents require a level of care that their children cannot themselves provide, seeking admission to a good long-term care facility may fulfill the imperative of the Fifth Commandment, "Honor your father and your mother."