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Are all/any the halachos of slavery still in effect today? For example:

  1. If a destitute Jewish person stole and did not have the money to repay, could a modern beis did sell him/her as a slave?
  2. If a person wanted to sell himself as a slave would someone (living in America, for example) be allowed to buy him if it goes against the laws of the land?
  3. If "Reuven" purchased a non-Jewish slave and then freed him would that slave need to go through the conversion process?

slightly related

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CYLOR!​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ –  Double AA Feb 26 '12 at 17:42
    
re: #2 No, Dinah D'malchus, Dinah. –  HodofHod Feb 26 '12 at 17:43
    
@DoubleAA let me be clear, I am in no way trying to propose that someone should in any way be involved in slavery. I'm simply asking if any/all halachos related to it would function the same today. If not, why not, and if some would be different which ones. –  none Feb 26 '12 at 17:46
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@Moshe I'm kidding. I never would have suspected this of being a practical question! –  Double AA Feb 26 '12 at 17:47
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@Moshe you did say: "be allowed to buy him", which is not the same as "will the kinyan take effect?". –  HodofHod Feb 26 '12 at 18:08

1 Answer 1

up vote 8 down vote accepted

On #1: the Gemara (Erchin 29a) states, and Rambam (Hil. Avadim 1:10) cites it as halachah, that the rules of a Jewish slave apply only when the Yovel is in effect (i.e., when most Jews live in their designated tribal territories in Eretz Yisrael, a state of affairs that hasn't existed since the end of the First Temple era and almost certainly won't exist again until Moshiach's times).

(Shem Yosef to Rambam there cites and discusses the opinion of Ritva, though, that the basic law is still in effect in the sense that a Jew sold as a slave would need a formal document of emancipation (get shichrur). However, this seems to be limited to a case where the person sells himself - Ritva writes that יכול הוא למכור עצמו לעכו"ם או לישראל - but not that beis din can do so.)

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"won't exist again until Moshiach's time": I agree it might not, but how do you know it won't? –  Double AA Feb 26 '12 at 18:11
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@DoubleAA, let's put it this way: the chances are vanishingly small. See my answer here and comments thereon. –  Alex Feb 26 '12 at 18:14
    
Looks better. +1 –  Double AA Feb 26 '12 at 18:17

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