Mother’s Day always reminds me of a line from Avraham Fried’s Yiddish Gems Volume 1. In the song “Di Torah” when the Malach is offering the Torah to the nations of the world, he comes to America and asks them if they want the Torah. The Americans answer back “what is in this Torah?” to which the Malach replies, “Kibud Av V’eim!, that is one of the things inside the Torah”. The Americans start laughing and then respond, “we already have that, it’s called Mother’s Day.”
On one hand it’s pretty funny that Americans have set aside a day dedicated to honoring your mother, and then again later, your father. We also have another day set aside for thanks (thanksgiving). We can say to ourselves, you should be doing these things every day, whats the chidish of this one day? But I like to take a slightly different stance on it.
Yes, of course we should do these things every day, but its not foreign to Yiddishkeit to set aside a special time to do something we are supposed to do every day. Look at Tishrei, filled with days of introspection and Teshuvah. Chanukah and Purim are special days we re-thank Hashem for the miracles he performed. Pesach we thank Hashem and remember being freed from Egypt, something we are supposed to do every day.
Kubbud Av V’eim is something we should be doing every day, but that doesn’t mean taking a day to celebrate it a lil bit extra isn’t something your father and mother won’t appreciate. It means something special when you take the extra time to make that phone call or send those flowers, or even yes, buy that tie.
Our parents know we love them, and we respect them regardless of a silly American Hallmark holiday, but at the same time, showing it extra one day doesn’t hurt .Don’t be so quick to dismiss this day, because every once in a while, in the hustle and bustle of life, its important to stop and make a big deal for nothing. So pick up that phone, buy those flowers and put a smile on your mothers face.
Here is a nice video from Chabad.org special for Mothers Day.