In light of the recent Charlie Hebdo incident with depictions of Mohammed (and others like), are there any punishments for derogatory depictions of our Jewish prophets and sages (be it in our times or times of yore)?

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    It is forbidden to make derogatory statements unwarranted against anyone. And against righteous people in particular, and talmidei chachamim. Not sure if there is a special rule for prophets as such. – CashCow Jan 15 '15 at 16:55
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    unless it's Elisha and you call him a baldie. Then you get eaten by bears – CashCow Jan 15 '15 at 16:55
  • @CashCow II Divrei HaYamim 36:16: ויהיו מלעבים במלאכי הא-להים ובוזים דבריו ומתעתעים בנבאיו עד עלות חמת ה' בעמו עד לאין מרפא. T'hillim 105:15: אל תגעו במשיחי ולנביאי אל תרעו. Though navi could be interpreted broadly to include Torah scholars (e.g. Shabbos 119b, ובנביאי אל תרעו אלו ת"ח). – Fred Jan 15 '15 at 19:12
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    Highly related: judaism.stackexchange.com/q/45629 – Fred Jan 16 '15 at 5:39
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    And just to clarify what shouldn't need to be clarified: even if the Halachah does warrant some response to a sin, it most definitely does NOT give anyone the right or permission to take matters into their own hand, or start a murderous rampage. – Salmononius2 Jan 16 '15 at 17:13

The Talmud (Sanhedrin 99b) says that one who is mevazeh a Torah Sage has no place in the World to Come.

Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh Deah 334:43) lists this as the first of 24 reasons why a person can be excommunicated, even after the Sage passed away. As discussed in the commentaries there, the Sage has to be of a certain stature for it to reach that point.

I think the reasonable translation of mevazeh is denigrate, or make something despised in people's eyes (compare with Koheles 9:16).


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