Halacha 1: Cursing and hitting one’s parent
- Cursing parent: One who curses his father or mother [transgresses a Biblical negative command and] is liable for Sekila [i.e., death by stoning] if the cursing took place in the presence of witnesses and with prior warning.
- This applies even after the death of the parents.
- This applies both for a man or woman [i.e., a son or daughter] who curses [their parent].
- This, however, only applies if one curses the parent with one of the [seven] designated names of G-d [that cannot be erased]. If, however, a nickname for G-d was used in the curse, then the child is [not liable for stoning but rather is] only liable for transgressing a negative command like anyone else who curses any other Jew.
- Hitting one’s parents: One who hits his father or mother during their lifetime is liable for the death penalty of strangulation. This applies whether to a son or a daughter. However, this applies only if blood was drawn through the hit. If, however, blood was not drawn through the hit, then [one is not liable for death, although] it is included within the negative command against hitting any Jew.
Halacha 2: Causing one’s parent to become deaf:
- One who hit his parent by their ear and caused them to become deaf is liable for death, as it is not possible that one become deaf without a wound with a drop of blood that is extracted from within the ear and causes him to become deaf.
- Removing a splinter from a parent: It is forbidden for a son to remove a splinter that is stuck within the skin of his father [or mother] due to that one may come to cause him a wound in the process.
- Performing an amputation and bloodletting to a parent: If a child is a professional bloodletter or doctor, it is forbidden for him to [cut him to] perform bloodletting on his father, or amputate a limb of one’s father [or mother for medicinal reasons] even though he intends to do so for healing purposes.
- If there is no one else available to do so: The above prohibition, however, only applies if there is another doctor available to perform the procedure. If, however, there is no one else available, and the parent is in pain [or danger], then the son may let blood from him and amputate him according to that which the parent allows to do.
Halacha 4: If one’s parents are Reshaim:
- [Even] if a person’s father and mother were complete Reshaim and transgressed sins, it still remains forbidden for the son to hit or curse his parent.
- This prohibition applies even if the parent was liable for capital punishment and was in the process of being taken out to be killed.
- However, if one hit or cursed a parent in such a state [of being taken out for capital punishment], then he is exempt from [the death penalty].
- If, however, the parents performed Teshuvah, then the son is liable for the death penalty [for hitting or cursing them] even though the parents are in the process of being taken out to be killed.
Halacha 5: Son executing a court’s orders
- Giving lashes to one’s parents as an emissary of the court: If a person’s father or mother transgressed a sin for which they are liable to receive lashes, then the son cannot be the one to administer the lashes to his parents even if the son is the appointed executioner of the court.
- Excommunicating one’s parents as an emissary of the court: If a person’s father or mother transgressed a sin for which they are liable to receive excommunication, then the son cannot be the one to administer the excommunication to his parents even if the son is the appointed executioner of the court.
- Harassing and hitting one’s parents as an emissary of the court: A son cannot harass or hit his parents even if the son is the appointed executioner of the court. This applies even if the parents are befitting of receiving this harassment from the court and have not repented.
Halacha 6: Shaming-The punishment for one who shames his father or mother
- Whoever shames his father and mother is considered cursed by the mouth of G-d [i.e., Gevura], as the verse states “cursed should be one who shames [i.e., Makleh] his father and mother.” This applies even if one only shamed them with words.
- This applies even if one only shamed them with a mere hint [and did not explicitly express the shame in words].
- A court of Jewish law has the authority to give rabbinical lashes to such a child and is to give due punishment to the child as they see fit.
- Swearing in court: If in litigation against their son, a father [or mother] has been found liable by the court to swear to the son regarding a statement they made, then the oath taken may not contain a curse, as this is considered as if the son is cursing his father. Rather, the oath taken shall not contain any curse.
Halacha 7: Shtuki-One who does not know the identity of his father
- A person who is Halachically defined as a Shtuki, which is that he does not know the identity of his father even though he knows the identity of his mother, is [nonetheless] liable for hitting and cursing his mother.
- He is not liable for hitting and cursing his father. This applies even if the mother claims the man to be his father, nonetheless, she cannot cause him to get punished due to her word.
Halacha 8: Gentile children
- Son or daughter from a gentile woman: A person’s son from a maidservant [i.e., Shifcha Kenanis] or from a Gentile woman [is not considered Jewish and hence] is not liable [for hitting or cursing] his father or mother.
- Converts: If a woman converted when she was already pregnant, then the child born is not liable [for hitting or cursing] his father or mother.
- Converts: It remains forbidden for a convert to curse or hit or shame his father [or mother] in order so people do not say that his conversion caused him to leave a higher state of holiness to a lower state of holiness. This applies even if his parents are idol worshipers.
- Slave [Eved Kenani]: A slave does not have any lineage, and hence his father is not considered like his father for any purpose. Accordingly, even if a slave was emancipated, he is not liable for cursing or hitting his father [or mother] and there is no prohibition involved in doing so any more than any other person.