I had this conversation with a colleague today and can't verify or falsify his words. In Christianity Jesus' quote

But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also

is usually seen as an act of non-resistance, but according to my colleague in ancient Judaism there had been a difference on which cheek you slap people.

Relatives or close people would be slapped on the right cheek while plebs and strangers you'd strike on the left cheek. Is there any source at all for that?

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    Kohelet see in kohelet there is a verse saying this but the meaning is not the same. – kouty Apr 16 '19 at 13:29
  • @kouty - would you mind giving me the verse you're referring to? – Qohelet Apr 16 '19 at 13:32
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    To close voters: The OP is specifically asking for a concept in Judaism. How is this off-topic? (Before anyone gets any ideas, it’s not comparative religion, either, since it presents all necessary outside information in the post itself.) – DonielF Apr 16 '19 at 13:45
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    I think @kouty was referring to sefaria.org/Lamentations.3.30?lang=bi. But this advice is not for general usage. It's specifically for when times are really really bad and there's nothing you can do to improve them, you accept it and wait for God to make things better. – Heshy Apr 16 '19 at 15:29
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    @JoshK He quotes the texts of other religions as motivation for his question. No different than any number of other such questions on this site. – DonielF Apr 16 '19 at 18:51

Jewish sources have an extremely negative view of slapping a person in the face; regardless if it's the right cheek, or the left one.

The Talmud (Sanhedrin 58b) teaches:

And Rabbi Ḥanina says: One who slaps the cheek of a Jew is considered as though he slapped the cheek of the Divine Presence; as it is stated: “It is a snare [mokesh] for a man to rashly say [yala]: Holy” (Proverbs 20:25).

The verse is interpreted homiletically to mean: One who strikes [nokesh] a Jew is considered as though he hurt the cheek [lo’a] of the Holy One.

Rabbi Eliezer Papo, in his ethical work "Pele Yoetz" (Bizayon) explains, since G-d made the Adam in his image, therefore humiliating a person [by striking them in the face] is as if they're humiliating the Shekhina, God forbid.

According to Wikipedia:

For the sages, it was deemed of utmost importance to avoid shaming another person. Hence, they sought to impose liability for humiliating personal injury, regardless of the physical effects of the injury.

But for certain acts of violence that involve very little pain and no permanent disablement, but mainly disgrace, the sages fixed a scale of compensation, namely: for a stroke with the fist, one sela or shekel; for a slap with the open hand, two hundred zuzin; for a back-handed slap, or for pulling a man's ear or hair, or tearing off his cloak or a woman's headgear, or spitting at a person if the spittle reaches his flesh, four hundred zuzin (B. Ḳ. viii. 6).

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    Thank you for this well-researched answer. I find it interesting how different it deals with different ways of striking someone. Originally I had in my mind there might be a relation to which hand you're using, but seems there's not much information out there – Qohelet Apr 17 '19 at 8:47

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