THE PUNISHMENT FOR CURSING [Mekalel: punishment]
(Rav Idi bar Avin): If one cursed someone with Hash-m's name, he is lashed, even without an action.
Sanhedrin 66a (Mishnah): One is liable for cursing his father and mother only if he curses with Hash-m's name;
R. Meir says, if he cursed with a Kinuy (another name of Hash-m) he is liable;
Chachamim say, he is exempt.
Question: What Lav forbids this?
Answer: If his father was a judge, he transgresses "Elokim Lo Sekalel." If his father was a Nasi (king), he transgresses "v'Nasi v'Amcha Lo Sa'or."
Question: If his father was neither a judge nor a Nasi, what is the source?
Answer #1: "Lo Sekalel Cheresh" forbids cursing a deaf-mute. We learn from the Tzad ha'Shavah of all three. They act like one of your nation, and we are commanded not to curse them. The same applies to one's father.
Objection: We cannot learn from these, for each of them is special!
Answer #2: The Torah could have omitted Nasi or a judge (it could be learned from the other two), so we use it to teach about one's father.
Even according to the opinion that "Elokim Lo Sekalel" refers to Hash-m (and forbids blasphemy), the extra 'Lamed' forbids cursing a judge. (It could have said 'Elokim Lo Sekal'.)
Shevu'os 36a (Mishnah): One who curses himself or another person with any of the names of Hash-m (listed earlier in the Mishnah) transgresses a Lav.
(R. Yanai): One who curses himself transgresses "Hishamer Lecha u'Shmor Nafshecha Me'od";
(R. Avin): 'Hishamer', 'Pen', or 'Al' always denotes a Lav.
One who curses another person transgresses (a Lav learned from a Tzad ha'Shavah of cursing a parent and) "Lo Sekalel Cheresh."
Rambam (Hilchos Sanhedrin 26:1): Anyone who curses a Yisrael judge transgresses a Lav "Elokim Lo Sekalel". If one cursed a Nasi, i.e. a king or the head of a Great Sanhedrin, he transgresses "v'Nasi v'Amcha Lo Sa'or." One who curses any Yisrael transgresses "Lo Sekalel Cheresh." The Torah lashes even for a deaf-mute who does not hear or feel pain due to the curse. It seems that one who curses a minor who is shamed (when he hears the curse) is lashed. (He is like a Cheresh.)
Rambam (3): One who curses himself is lashed just like one who curses others, for it says "Hishamer Lecha u'Shmor Nafshecha Me'od". One who curses himself, another, a Nasi or judge is liable only if he curses with Hash-m's name or a Kinuy.
Ra'avad: The Yerushalmi says that one is liable only for Hash-m's explicit (four-letter) name.
Rambam (4): One is lashed only if he was warned in front of witnesses, like other Chayavei Lavin.
Rambam (6): Even though a judge or Nasi can pardon his honor, he cannot pardon being cursed. Similarly, if Ploni cursed Reuven, even if Reuven pardoned him, we punish Ploni, for he already sinned and was liable.
Shulchan Aruch (CM 27:1): If one cursed a Yisrael with a Kinuy or a name that Nochrim use for Hash-m, he is lashed.
Nesivos ha'Mishpat (Chidushim 2, from Urim 2): Many people are quick to say G-d, and transgress a Torah Isur. They think that anything not in Lashon ha'Kodesh is a mere description of Hash-m; they err. They write Hash-m's name (in other languages) on documents, and it ends up in the trash. Chazal made a Yom Tov on the day they ceased to write Hash-m's name in documents (Rosh Hashanah 18b)! This has lowered Yisrael. People are quick to say Hash-m's name, especially with disgrace and without reason. Likewise, one must be careful not to write G-d in friendly letters. It is a Kinuy for Hash-m.
Shulchan Aruch (ibid.): If there were witnesses and warning, he is lashed once for "Lo Sekalel Cheresh."
Beis Yosef (DH Kasav): The Tur's text of the Rambam says that he obligates one who curses a sleeping person. Some texts say 'ha'Nichlam', i.e. a minor who feels shame. We learn this from the law of shaming people. The Tur's text is better, for it is compared to a Cheresh. (Also a sleeping person does not hear the curse.)
Beis Yosef (DH u'Mah): Since it is a Chidush to be lashed for cursing, since it is a Lav without an action, one might have thought that warning is not needed. The Rambam teaches that this is not so. Alternatively, since cursing is normally amidst anger and haste, one might have thought that warning is not needed.
Bach (DH u'Mah): The Tur and Rambam say that we learn from Cheresh, and the Torah taught about Cheresh to teach that even though he does not hear... The Gemara says oppositely! I answer that they asked that in the conclusion, we learn from Cheresh and one's father. If so, why did the Torah specify a Cheresh? The Torah should have forbidden to curse any Yisrael, and we would not need to learn from a father! They answered that if so, one might have thought that there is no Lav for cursing a Cheresh, since it does not pain him. It taught Cheresh, and all the more so one who can hear. However, now that it wrote Cheresh, one might have thought that just the contrary, it is forbidden only because he is deaf! Therefore we must learn also from a father.
Shulchan Aruch (ibid.): If he was a judge, he is lashed another time for Elokim Lo Sekalel.
Bach (DH Kasav): The Rambam taught how many times one is lashed for cursing different people. The Tur omitted it, for nowadays there are no lashes. However, why did the Tur teach that one is lashed only if there was warning? It seems that primarily, he teaches that it is forbidden, lest one say that since there are no lashes, it is permitted. Also, if one cursed a Chacham, even though there are no lashes, there is disgrace to a Chacham in this cursing, so we excommunicate him.
SMA (5): The Tur did not mention extra lashes for a judge because he disagrees with the Rambam. I explained this in the Drishah. (Note: I could not find any Drishah on this Siman.)
Nesivos ha'Mishpat (Chidushim 3): The extra lashes are relevant to being Pasul for testimony. Mid'Oraisa, one is disqualified only for an Aveirah worthy of lashes. If one did not know that it is forbidden to curse a colleague, he is not disqualified for this (34:24). Unfortunately, people consider this to be permitted. However, he knew the Isur to curse a judge, so he is disqualified for this (Urim v'Tumim, Urim 3).
Gra (Likut): The Mechilta says that if the Nasi's son cursed his father, he is liable four times. It learns that "b'Amcha" forbids cursing any Yisrael.
Pischei Teshuvah (1, citing Birkei Yosef 4): This is only for a judge fixed to judge matters Bein Adam l'Chavero. A temporary judge is not considered a judge for this law. The Rambam, Ramban (Vayikra 19:14) and Sefer ha'Chinuch (75) connote like this.
Ra'anach (1:111): A case occurred in which the appointee of the Tzibur (Mordechai) criticized Ploni for not paying his debts to the Tzibur, and they verbally reviled each other. Mordechai is exempt, even for things that one is liable for saying to another, since the appointee of the Tzibur is like a Shali'ach Beis Din. If he hit or damaged the body or property of one who refused (to do what Beis Din orders), he is exempt, like R. Yerucham and the Nimukei Yosef say. Mordechai is exempt even for slandering Ploni's father, since Sanhedrin 52a permits calling a Rasha ben Tzadik 'Rasha ben Rasha'. However, we exempt a Shali'ach Beis Din only for what he did in order to get the litigant to obey Beis Din's command. Here, the verbal abuse was merely due to anger, so he is liable for it. Ploni's verbal abuse of the Tzibur's Shali'ach is an insult to the Tzibur. He must be punished for it, even if Mordechai pardoned him. The Tur wrote the law of abusing a Shali'ach Beis Din near the law of Kevod Beis Din, to teach that it is like insulting Beis Din, so the Shali'ach cannot pardon this. If one embarrassed a married woman, her husband receives part of the payment. The Rosh says that her pardon does not exempt from this. If Mordechai was appointed over all matters of the Tzibur, he is considered a judge, and there is an addition Isur for cursing him. Ploni must be excommunicated or lashed mid'Rabanan for this. However, the Rishonim wrote that for verbal abuse, we punish only the one who initiated it, but not one who responded with insults, even if they were worse than the instigator's insults. If a Chacham called an Am ha'Aretz a Rasha, and the Am ha'Aretz called the Chacham a fool, Mahariyo and the Rivash exempt the Am ha'Aretz. However, merely saying 'can a Kushi change his skin?!', 'you are not pleasant to people, and you have no Emunah' is not considered abuse that normally angers people. One who responds to this with abuse is liable.
Shulchan Aruch (2): If there was no warning, or he cursed without Hash-m's name or a Kinuy, or the curse was inferred (from not being blessed), he is not lashed. The same applies to cursing the dead. It is forbidden. If he reviled a Chacham, we excommunicate him. The judges may lash him mid'Rabanan as they see fit. If he reviled an Am ha'Aretz, we punish based on what is needed at the time.
Beis Yosef (DH ha'Mekalel): The Gemara (Sanhedrin 85b) needed to learn that one is liable for cursing a parent after death. This shows that one is exempt for others after death. Semag learns from Toras Kohanim, which learns from Cheresh that the Isur is to curse only living people.
Rema: Even if the one whom he abused pardoned him, we punish him, for he already sinned and was liable.
Question (SMA 10): The Rema connotes that this applies even to reviling a Chacham, that pardon does not help. The Rambam and Tur connote that this is only for cursing commoners, for he transgressed Torah law, but pardon helps for reviling and disgracing, just like pardon helps for one excommunicated for audacity towards Beis Din.
Gra (14): The Rambam said that pardon does not help only when there were witnesses and warning, since mid'Oraisa he must be lashed!
Answer (Shach 1, and Nesivos ha'Mishpat 4 citing Urim v'Tumim 6): The Bach explains that the Rema discusses only cursing. The Rema called it "Chiruf" (abuse) because nowadays we do not lash mid'Oraisa.
Bach (7): If Ploni cursed a Chacham, even if he pardoned it, we punish Ploni. This is even if he cursed in a way that mid'Oraisa there are no lashes, e.g. there was no warning, or he cursed without Hash-m's name, or the curse was inferred. If the cursed an Am ha'Aretz, other punishments are proper. Pardon does not exempt from them.