Rav Sternbuch (2:444): Question: The mitzva of honoring parents is different than all other mitzvos. On the one hand there is no obligation to spend money on this mitzva since the halacha is that honoring parents is on the father’s expense and not the son’s. In contrast all other mitzvos require payment up to a fifth of his wealth. On the other hand the positive command of honoring parents is more severe than all other mitzvos since the parent’s honor is equated to that of G‑d. Another question is why is it that will all other mitzvos we say that there is no obligation to do it if it causes great embarrassment since there is the principle that “human dignity if great since it allows avoiding in a passive way of any positive mitzva. The Achronim discuss that that great torment is equivalent to great embarrassment in that it exempts the obligation to do a positive mitzva and it doesn’t exhaust his wealth because he is only obligated to spend at most a fifth of his wealth. In contrast the mitzva of honoring parents is obligatory even when there is great torment and great embarrassment. We know that even if the father insults him verbally in public it is prohibited to respond. In the present case where the sun claims that if his father lives with him it will cause him great torment and he will be required to deal with him constantly and because of that it will totally destroy his relationship with his wife and family. He will end up totally occupied with his father’s needs. The son says that this will be extremely great torment that will require unlimited care for his father. In addition it will entail expenses that are much greater than a fifth of his wealth. Answer: In my opinion the son’s words are totally wrong because we are not talking about doing a mitzva on a single occasion but rather that his father will be dwelling with him and as a result he will have hundreds of opportunities to do the mitzva. The Ran at the end of Yoma has stated that even concerning two serious prohibition which involve stoning and here we have the mitzva of honoring parents which will occur many times - it is impossible to push off the obligation and merit of such a mitzva. Therefore it is necessary to explain to his wife about the great merit that he will get from this as well as the great reward she will receive for assisting her father-in-law. In addition that he can not get out of doing this mitzva with the excuse that it will cost more than a fifth of his wealth. However if he is forced to send his father to a nursing home in order to get proper treatment it would seem that he has the obligation to pay if the father can’t afford it and he not deduct the expenses from his charity funds. The reason for this I once heard in the name of the Brisker Rav that this that we rule that the father is obligated to pay his expenses that is only for things which are he is not personally obligated to do. But if the son is personally obligated and he is paying in order to avoid personally taking of his father – then he must pay. That is because he isn’t paying for his father but rather to avoid having to do that which he is obligated to do. Thus we see that he is actually according to the law to pay since it isn’t for his father but simply to avoid personal involvement. Consequently in the present case where is is obligated according to the law to take his father into his house but he wants to avoid this obligation by sending his father to a nursing home – then he must pay out of his pocket in order to avoid doing the mitzva personally. However if the father has the money then according to the law then the son doesn’t have the personal obligation to take care of his father. That is because the father has the option of being in a nursing home at his own expense. Thus it seems that the father would then be obligated to pay. Nevertheless even if the father has the money but he is a miser and he is prepared to pay and he truly needs the services of the nursing home, it seems that the son should pay for his father and afterwards deduct it the inheritance that goes to the father’s heirs. It is correct to issue a notice first before 2 witnesses that he is not paying for the nursing home as a gift to his father but rather the father owes him the money and he will deduct it later. Nonetheless it is prohibited to leave his father in a neglected condition. (There is a well known story regarding someone who asked Rav Chaim Brisker whether he was obligated to pay transportation costs to visit his father in Warsaw since the halacha is that honoring of parents is the father’s expense. Rav Chaim replied, that he was obligated to go to Warsaw by foot but if he didn’t want to walk he could pay for the fare to get there. Nevertheless it needs to be investigated whether he actually needs to walk to another city in order to fulfill the mitzva of honoring parents. See Moadim v’Zmaninm (1:4). I heard that Rav Chaim Brisker discussed with the Chazon Ish when they met in Minsk during the War whether the halacha requires going to another city in order to acquire a kosher esrog. See Moadim v’Zemanin (1:3) Nevertheless with the mitzva of honoring parents is a more stringent mitzva because it is associated with honoring G‑d. This requires further study.