Honoring My Critical Elderly Mother [948]

Question

My mother who is 87 years old has come to live with me. She has a personality of “fire” – she is very motivated to achieve, even at her age. But she is critical. What is the advice of the Rav on how I can succeed in fulfilling the mitzvah to honor my mother, without destroying myself? Or is this my opportunity to attain bittul (self-nullification)?

Answer

Reflect and recognize where your boundary is. Then ‘divide it halfway’, advancing and retreating back and forth [between honoring her and retreating back to your own boundary], and reflect [to make sure] that your state of retreat [your boundaries] should always be kept stable.

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