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The Gemara (Sanhedrin 66a) explains that לא תקלל חרש, באומללים שבעמך הכתוב מדבר--"Scripture writes, Thou shalt not curse the deaf; thus applying the injunction even to the humblest of thy people." This means that the prohibition applies even to the lowliest members of society, and not only to the leaders or judges.

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