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In terms of obligation in mitzvos, what is the difference between an Eved Knani and a woman? And if they are the same, why do we have two separate brachos for each in the morning prayers?

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isn't freedom from being a slave a reason to be thankful? – ray Apr 4 '14 at 7:31
also an eved is not necessarily born a slave. so he might have acquired the mitzvot later in life – ray Apr 4 '14 at 7:59
@ray But that does not delineate between the two. What's the difference in terms of obligation? – WhoKnows Apr 4 '14 at 10:09
The eved Kna'ani doesn't have the laws of niddah so I see a difference between an eved and a woman. – Danno Apr 4 '14 at 14:29
@Danno A women doesn't have the laws of Keri or Milah. (And for the record men and women are equally obligated not to be a partner in sex-with-a-niddah.) – Double AA Apr 4 '14 at 14:30
up vote 2 down vote accepted

The שלמי חגיגה in 6:(4) (starting on page 30) has 2 long pieces discussing this – and from what I understand, women and Eved Knani are incidentally similar in their obligations.

(Not completely incidental, as their dispensations have the same source: both the Eved Knani and the Married Woman have another Boss besides for the Torah. He discusses that too.)

He brings – based on Rishonim – that an Eved Knani is either a non-Jew with some Jewish obligations or else "2nd class" Jew with limited obligations.

Either way, an Eved Knani is not a fully fledged Jew - and is therefore on a higher level than a non-Jew but a lower level than a Jewish woman.

As a result, the Bracha for Eved Knani is between the one where we thank for not being non-Jews with no obligations, and the one where we [men] thank for not being women who are fully fledged Jews with certain dispensations.

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