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In Moed Qatan 17a, the story is brought of Rebbi's handmaiden who placed somebody in nidui because she saw him striking his adult son. According to her, this was an infringement of the prohibition of placing a stumbling block before the blind, and the rabbonim uphold her decision.

According to Rashi, the reason that striking one's adult son is a prohibition of this principle is that doing so might cause him to retaliate, and then he will be guilty of striking his own father (a crime, incidentally, that depending on whether or not it causes injury might incur the death penalty). But this seems odd.

Granted: a person shouldn't hit their adult children anyway (they shouldn't hit people at all, for that matter), but is the reason really because otherwise their might retaliate?? Following that logic, does this mean that a rebbi should never chastise his students for fear that they might be guilty of answering back? If the halakha demands punitive measure of some description, why should we be concerned about retaliation?

  • Having a lot of difficult tagging this one... – Shimon bM Feb 13 '17 at 23:49
  • I don't think it's granted that one shouldn't use physical violence in discipline. Hitting a child with a switch was totally normal not that long ago. – Double AA Feb 14 '17 at 0:21
  • a child tends to be afraid of adults since they believe that they are authourties,however,an adult has the understanding that no one is in charge of him and he can make his own decisions. So when one hits a child that usually brings fear upon them as opposed to an adult who will become angry from getting hit,the Kitzur Shulchan Aruch brings many ideas from the gemara about how one should hit or not hit,its a very tricky area,but hitting an adult is very diff since they tend to hit back... the Igros also has a teshuva about this – sam Feb 14 '17 at 3:20
  • If the halakha demands punitive measure of some description, why should we be concerned about retaliation? Is your question predicated on an halakhic demand for punitive measures? If so, consider editing in a source for it. – mevaqesh Feb 14 '17 at 5:52

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