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I vaguely recall hearing in a shi`ur once about a grave prohibition against speaking negatively about Rabbis. Unfortunately, I don't recall the shi`ur (I think it may have been by R' Eli Mansour) nor the original source for such a teaching.

Does such a special/separate prohibition exist (aside from the general prohibition of Leshon Hara`)? If so, what is it's source?

  • I don't know about the shiur. But, I believe that one source can be derived from Rash"i's discussion of the tochahcha (rebuke) in parshat Bechukotai. He delves into a progression which begins with someone despising the mitzvoth, and eventually despising chachamim. It doesn't per se, mention a prohibition, but it does mention dire consequences for behaving this way. Other prohibitions to doing this would probably be some form of lashon hara as well as more likely, Chillul Hashem. It depends how it's done, what's said and to whom. – DanF Sep 6 '17 at 14:50
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The Mishnah in Sanhedrin says "... an apikores has no share in the world to come." Commenting on this records the Gemara (San. 99b):

רב ור' חנינא אמרי תרוייהו זה המבזה ת"ח

Trans.: Both Rav and R. Chanina interpret this ["apikores" to mean] one who disrespects a talmid chacham

Another Gemara in Shab. (119b) states:

א"ר יהודה לא חרבה ירושלים אלא בשביל שביזו בה ת"ח שנאמר (דברי הימים ב לו, טז) ויהיו מלעיבים במלאכי האלהים ובוזים דבריו ומתעתעים בנביאיו עד עלות חמת ה' בעמו עד [ל] אין מרפא מאי עד לאין מרפא אמר רב יהודה אמר רב וכל המבזה ת"ח אין לו רפואה למכתו

Trans. from Soncino:

Rab Judah said: Jerusalem was destroyed only because scholars were despised therein: for it is said, but they mocked the messengers of God, and despised his words, and scoffed at his prophets, until the wrath of the Lord arose against his people, till there was no remedy.28 What does 'till there was no remedy' intimate? Said Rab Judah in Rab's name: He who despises a scholar, has no remedy for his wounds.

Rambam writes (Talmud Torah 6:11):

עוון גדול לבזות את החכמים או לשנאותן

Trans: It is a grave sin to disrespect or despise scholars

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