Shuchan Aruch, Yore Dea 267:15:

People who do not act in line — it's permissible to subjugate them by force and be served by them.

I see nothing in the commentaries on the page (in the standard edition) that indicates criteria for what's considered to be acting out of line. What is?

  • Nowadays, Halacha do not represent nothing for most people. If you want to force someone, he will see an odd man, perhaps mentally ill, and phone to police. If someone do not act on line, this is not rebellion. There is nobody that can be considered seriously as real authority by most Jewish people.
    – kouty
    May 19, 2016 at 6:23
  • @kouty, yeah, the Aruch Hashulchan quotes this halacha and adds "if the government permits it" IIRC.
    – msh210
    May 19, 2016 at 19:35

1 Answer 1


Let's begin from Gemara:

Baba Metsia 73b

We see several laws that subjugate real estate or man itself to his creditor or perhaps without creditor. It seems sometimes to be a way for Jewish authorities, to get money they have to pay tax per capita (that Jewish community should pay to government) even if certains refuse to participate. The minor case is When a part of Jewish people are paying taxes and the other part do not, the paying part is allowed to subjugate money or lands to reimburse themselves. Rishonim give several examples, some cases are due to the fact that the King is gave permission.

  1. real estate.
    רבינא הוה יהיב זוזי לבני אקרא דשנוותא ושפכי ליה טפי כופיתא.‏
    Ravina pay wine in advance to citizen of Shanveta and they verse it a larger amount of wine. (exceeding the quantity)
    אתא לקמיה דרב אשי, אמר ליה: מי שרי?&rlml;
    He asked Rav Ashi about an eventual problem of Ribit.
    - אמר ליה: אין, אחולי הוא דקא מחלי גבך.‏
    He answered that they give it (as a negligible error of approximation in your favor).
    - אמר ליה: הא ארעא לאו דידהו היא - אמר ליה: ארעא לטסקא משעבדא, ומלכא אמר: מאן דיהיב טסקא - ליכול ארעא.‏
    He asked but the land is not they own land. He (Rav Ashi) answered: The king ordered, people that pay keep the lands as mortgage. (So, if we can considered that the land is theirs.
  2. slavery

    1. אמר ליה רב פפא לרבא: חזי מר הני רבנן דיהבי זוזי אכרגא דאינשי ומשעבדי בהו טפי - אמר ליה: השתא איכו שכיבא לא אמרי לכו הא מילתא.‏
      Rav Papa said to Rava, you see See those scholar which pay for tax of people and mad subjugate them excessively? and He answered, if will been better to die without teaching you this rule. הכי אמר רב ששת: מוהרקיייהו דהני בטפסא דמלכא מנח, ומלכא אמר: מאן דלא יהיב כרגא לשתעביד למאן דיהיב כרגא.‏
      All people are slaves to the king. And king decided that they become slaves to whom pay per capita tax for them.
    2. רב סעורם אחוה דרבא הוה תקיף אינשי דלא מעלו, ומעייל להו בגוהרקא דרבא.‏
      Rav Seuram, a brother of Rava and enroll them by force to bear the throne of Rava. אמר ליה רבא: שפיר קא עבדת, דתנינא: ראית שאינו נוהג כשורה, מנין שאתה רשאי להשתעבד בו - תלמוד לומר (ויקרא כ"ה) לעולם בהם תעבדו ובאחיכם. יכול אפילו נוהג כשורה - תלמוד לומר ובאחיכם בני ישראל איש באחיו וגו'.‏
      Rava approved this conduct because of a Berayta: They taught: If you see that someone do not conduct himself rightly, you are allowed to subjugate him; we learn this from a verse ...

The OP asks about the last case of the Gemara above, written on Shulchan Aruch YD 267:

אֲנָשִׁים שֶׁאֵינָם נוֹהֲגִים כַּשּׁוּרָה, מֻתָּר לִרְדוֹתָן בְּחָזְקָה וּלְהִשְׁתַּעְבֵּד בָּהֶם.‏
People that do not conduct themselves rightly, we are allowed to dominate them by force and to subjugate them.

criteria for what's considered to be acting out of line. What is?

    When the Rabbi is entitled by government, he may subjugate people they make a lot of Averot
  1. Rabenu Baruch from Greece : depraved, indecent.
  2. Rabbi Yehonatan Milunel (on the left bottom): who drink a lot wine and devour meat and debauch themselves.
  3. As mentioned also by @msh210 itself the din is only when government allowed rabbinical authorities to play a role in laws. See Yekar Tif'eret (from Radbaz) on Rambam Avadim 1, 8.
    אנשים שאינן נוהגין כשורה וכו'. היינו דרב [סעורם] אחוה דרבא הוה תפיס אינשי דלא מעלי וכו' ולא נתפרש גדר הדבר דבשבילה הוו דלא מעלי והכל לפי הזמן ולפי המקום. המנהיג בי רב קרוב למלכות היה. ‏
    All follow time and place, the chief Rabbi was close to Kingdom.
    Rabbis had at this time force of law, and sentencing to forced labor criminal people. Perhaps the sins were sins recognized as such by state.

Rambam Kinyan, Avadim, 1, 8

ח אֲנָשִׁים שֶׁאֵינָן נוֹהֲגִין כַּשּׁוּרָה ‏

{People do not conduct themselves in an appropriate manner}

מֻתָּר לִרְדּוֹתָן בְּחָזְקָה וּלְהִשְׁתַּעְבֵּד בָּהֶן.‏

it is allowed to dominate and subjugate them.

מֶלֶךְ שֶׁגָּזַר שֶׁכָּל מִי שֶׁלֹּא יִתֵּן הַמַּס הַקָּצוּב עַל כָּל אִישׁ וְאִישׁ יִשְׁתַּעְבֵּד לְזֶה שֶׁנָּתַן הַמַּס עַל יָדוֹ הֲרֵי זֶה מֻתָּר לְהִשְׁתַּמֵּשׁ בּוֹ יוֹתֵר מִדַּאי אֲבָל לֹא כְּעֶבֶד. ‏

When a king decrees that anyone who does not pay the fixed head tax should be subjugated to the person who pays the head tax for him, a person who pays the head tax for someone may use that person for labor beyond the ordinary measure (because the Law of the King is Law, Rambam gzelot 5, 16). He may not, however, use him as a slave (Canaanite slave, Kessef Mishne; They has to make payment of 10 $ and we take from them work of 15 $, and it is not called Ribbit because they work as slaves, Raavad).

וְאִם אֵינוֹ נוֹהֵג כַּשּׁוּרָה מֻתָּר לְהִשְׁתַּמֵּשׁ בּוֹ כְּעֶבֶד:‏

If, however, that person does not conduct himself properly {Lich'ora this do not concern tax and this is the core of the question}, he may use him as a slave (Canaanite*, according to Kesef Mishne Gzela 5, 16).
But the Shiabud is only when there is no Bitul Mitsva , see Yereim here

Finally see Dibrot Moshe Baba Metsia tome II, heara 92. If I understand he says that the subjugation do not annulate the wag for their work. In Rambam i understand that this rule does not exist if there is not a prior debt.

  • The stuff about the taxes seems to be SA 267:16. My question is about :15.
    – msh210
    May 19, 2016 at 19:36
  • @msh210 Bli neder I will make a systematic review of the Kashak.(קובץ שיטות קמאי)
    – kouty
    May 19, 2016 at 19:44

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