Punishments for smiting and cursing one’s parents:
A person above the age of bar/bar mitzvah who intentionally causes his parents pain, provided the child had two witnesses observing the act, is liable to capital punishment. By intentionally hurting ones parents, a person is portraying the utter most ingratitude for the very people that brought him into this world and bestowed upon him infinite kindness.
Similarly, a person who intentionally curses his parents, using Hashem’s name, (also with two witnesses observing) is liable to the capital punishment.
I cannot stress the importance of the having absolute reverence for our parents. In last week’s parsha, when we received the 10 commandments, the fifth commandment ‘Honor your mother and father’ resonated so deeply within me. It pains me that we live in a society that teaches us to be egocentric and take our parents for granted. We should have the utter most sensitivity and respect when speaking to our parents, and hold them in highest regard, even if we don’t think they deserve it. Essentially, the respect we give to our parents is equivalent to the respect we have for Hashem. By observing the mitzvah of kivood ava aim- respecting your mother and father- we are giving kavod- honor- to Hashem. Symbolically, we should look at our parents as a vehicle to serving Hashem.