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14

From a conversation with Eli Faber (A professor of history at John Jay College in New York and author of Jews, Slaves and the Slave Trade: Setting the Record Straight): The only thing I have encountered is a description of how, in Jamaica, the Jewish slave owner gave his slaves all of Saturday (Shabbat) as well as Sunday off. This was very significant ...


8

Perhaps we need to start by defining what the word eved means in Judaism anyway. It doesn't necessarily mean slavery or servility; in the Bible it is frequently used of royal ministers (and even in one instance - see the answer I linked - King Rehoboam is advised to "be an eved to the people"). Great figures in Jewish history - Moses, Joshua, David - are ...


8

The Meam Loez says that she meant that Achashveirosh shouldn't kill the Jews, as he would thereby lose out. Had the Jews been sold as slaves, Achashveirosh could have always changed his mind later on (once realized how useful the Jews are). However, once they would be dead, he couldn't have done anything.


6

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 ...


6

Avodah Zarah 10b quotes Antoninus as wanting to serve Rabbi in olam haba. Rabbi tells him that descendants of Esav who don't think like Esav are not included in "there won't be a remainder to Esav" (Ovadiah 1:18).


5

In the Messianic era the nations will recognize and facilitate Israel's role as a priestly nation. The imagery used by the Bible suggests servitude, "Foreigners will stand and tend your locks and the sons of the stranger will be you plowmen and your vineyard workers. And you will be called 'priests of Hashem"' "ministers of our G-d" will be said of you. You ...


5

An idea that was sparked by a similar line of reasoning in this post from the Parsha Blog: Yosef was sold 182 years after Yishmael was born. (That's 14 until Yitzchak is born, 60 more until Yaakov is born, and Yaakov is 130 when he stands before Par'oh after 22 years of Yosef being away = 182 years.) Just because Yitzchak and Yaakov waited a long time to ...


4

You must mean a non-Jewish (actually, quasi-Jewish) slave, a "shifcha." (I.e. she was born non-Jewish, then underwent a part-conversion when she became a slave.) A born-Jewish, "ama ivriyah" goes free automatically upon reaching puberty, so that case is moot. I don't know whether the partial conversion given to a shifcha already wipes out all existing ...


4

I'll start off by saying that yes, it's troubling. So I'll do my best to quote a few answers I've heard, without saying "aha that answers it." Sefer HaChinuch (c. 1300) says "the chosen people have a special role and thus were given helpers." There is a letter from Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook (c. 1920) where he is open to the possibility that slavery was too ...


4

Let's start with the captive. This only applies when the Kingdom of Israel is going to war. That has to be declared at the national level and has a particular legal status. As an individual I can't do "war", only "self-defense." What's more, Rambam Laws of Kings and Their Wars Ch. 8 spells out that the Jewish soldier is allowed to be with the captive one ...


3

See אמת ליעקב by Rabbi Yaakov Kamenetsky who explains that this has to do with the teachings Yeshiva of Ever (Eber) whose students were unaffiliated by family or origin, only by their actions and beliefs, like a slave who is unaffiliated in his low stature. The term Yisroel denotes an exalted person and all people who bear that name are related by ...


3

I saw an answer in the Midrash Rabba (end of Pesichta 3). Esther was saying that she would be silent, since it could be that they deserved to be sold as slaves. After all, the Torah says in the Tochacha that if the Jews don't keep the Torah they will be sold as slaves. However, there is no curse in the Torah that says the Jews will be all eradicated. Since ...


3

Esther knew she had to tread lightly. Ask for too much, and she'd find herself queen no longer. We approach this with a different attitude today because we're used to governments that, thank G-d, give Jews a great deal of freedom. To illustrate: Rabbi Moshe Feinstein's younger years were spent living under Communist Russia. There was no way you could ...


3

At the heart of the slavery issue are the questions: To whom do you belong? If your body belong to yourself, can you do whatever you want with your body? If you can choose to do whatever you want with your body, does that include sell it? Also, if I'm in debt, cant I sell myself as a slave to work off my debt? How do these questions differ between ...


2

The question is simple Moshe wants to go into Eretz Yisroel so he wants to stay in Hashem's servitude but the answer Hashem replies can only be understood in the context of the Gemara in Kiddushin (כב, א) there the Gemara explains that in order to enslave himself further he must make this statement twice. Therefore Hashem tells him do not continue to speak ...


1

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.) ...


1

Sifrei says in Deuteronomy Re'eh: מנין כשאתה קונה לא תהא קונה אלא עבד עברי שנאמר כי תקנה עבד עברי From where [do we know] when you buy [a slave] you should only buy a Hebrew slave? As it says: 'When you shall buy a Hebrew slave. Ohr Hachaim explains very similarly in Exodus on our verse (The Birchas Shimon, who comments on the Ohr Hachaim, points ...


1

The Rashi you quote is from the Mekhilta. The Ramban, too, holds that this verse can only refer to a Canaanite woman (see his commentary in which he disputes Rashi somewhat). The pesuqim discuss an 'Ivri who stole and is subsequently being sold by a Beit Din. The Kli Yaqar (21:4) explains that, if the 'eved was married previously married, the master is ...


1

Around the time of the Exodus, the Jewish people were known as "Hebrews", certainly as individuals. (Take a look at some Ellis Island records and you'll see a lot of people listing their nationality as "Hebrew, Polish"). As a whole they become known as "Bnai Yisrael." Similarly, Joseph is described as a Hebrew, and Jonah introduces himself as such as well. ...



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