Questions tagged [slave-serve-eved-avadim]

Use for questions about the practice of slavery in Judaism, including when a person is considered a slave, the obligations of slaves and slave owners, and laws regarding the practice or regulation of slavery.

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Martzeia in the eye?

The Torah describes how a slave who doesn't want to leave his master (by Shmitah) has to get pierced through his ear: Exodus 21:6 וְהִגִּישׁ֤וֹ אֲדֹנָיו֙ אֶל־הָ֣אֱלֹהִ֔ים וְהִגִּישׁוֹ֙ אֶל־הַדֶּ֔לֶת ...
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Why are the descendants of Hurdus still considered to be slaves according to Shmuel?

In Maseches Kiddushin 70b it seems that Shmuel held that Hurdus and his descendants had the status of slaves, but in Gittin 38a it seems that according to Shmuel, if the master gives up on retrieving ...
User123's user avatar
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Why the was the enslavement prophecy made to Abraham?

The Torah says: וַיֹּ֣אמֶר לְאַבְרָ֗ם יָדֹ֨עַ תֵּדַ֜ע כִּי־גֵ֣ר ׀ יִהְיֶ֣ה זַרְעֲךָ֗ בְּאֶ֙רֶץ֙ לֹ֣א לָהֶ֔ם וַעֲבָד֖וּם וְעִנּ֣וּ אֹתָ֑ם אַרְבַּ֥ע מֵא֖וֹת שָׁנָֽה׃ וְגַ֧ם אֶת־הַגּ֛וֹי אֲשֶׁ֥ר ...
Maurice Mizrahi's user avatar
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May gentiles acquire other gentiles as slaves

According to Halacha, is a gentile allowed to acquire another gentile as a slave? Jews are allowed to have other Jews be slaves, so does the Same principle apply here? Say that the law allows for it ...
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What was the main purpose of the Exodus?

From some pesukim it seems that the main purpose of yetzias mitzrayim was to provide relief from their burdens and bring them to the promised land e.g. Shemos 3:8 וָאֵרֵד לְהַצִּילוֹ מִיַּד מִצְרַיִם ...
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Punishment for disobedient Jewish slaves

What exactly is the punishment for a disobedient Jewish (Hebrew) slave? And what exactly is the procedure for the punishment, does the owner go before the Beit Din, or do the judgement themselves? And ...
Kirk's user avatar
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Ha Boel Aramis Kanoim Pogen Bo

I saw somewhere (I think that it was in a Tosphos) that since an Eved Canaani and a Shifcha Canaanis have some Kedushas Yisroel (they are mechuyavim in the mitzvos of a woman), the principal of Ha ...
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Can a Gentile be an eved Hashem?

Shalom. Some discussion of the concept of an eved Hashem can be found here: https://www.shortvort.com/2618/ And here: https://www.kby.org/english/torat-yavneh/view.asp?id=3684 My question is: Can a ...
Tom W's user avatar
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Why does Hizkiya say that old men are a burden while old women are an asset, and would this apply today?

The Gemara in Arakhin 19a quotes Hizkiya, who explains why the value of a man decreases more with age than a woman's value decreases: אמר חזקיה אמרי אינשי סבא בביתא פאחא בביתא סבתא בביתא סימא בביתא ...
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Freeing a slave by kinyan

Gittin 39b tells the story of a slavewoman whose master attempted to free her by giving her his hat. But this wasn’t valid because it was HIS hat. For the transfer to be valid, the object would have ...
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Source on the Abarbanel's stance on Slavery?

Per this answer, the Abarbanel agreed with natural slavery as a consequence of the curse on Canaan. Ironically, according to historian David Brion Davis, Abarbanel played a pivotal role in providing ...
Elie's user avatar
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What's the difference between a שִׁפְחָ֥ה and a אָמָ֖ה?

When Hagar flees before Ishmael is born, she is referred to as a שִׁפְחָ֥ה . When she and Ishmael are expelled together, she is a אָמָ֖ה. What is the difference between these two kinds of female ...
Clint Eastwood's user avatar
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4 answers
548 views

Why did Sarai & Abram have the slave Hagar?

Why did Sarai & Abram have the Egyptian slave/servant girl (שִׁפְחָ֥ה) Hagar? Was it custom for newlywed Hebrew couples like them to have servants?
Geremia's user avatar
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Which mitzvot are slaves who have been immersed obliged to follow?

R Steinsaltz notes in his explanation of a passage in Yevamot 45b that a gentile slave purchased by a Jew must be circumcised and then immersed in a ritual bath by being immersed for the sake of ...
Kleinzahler's user avatar
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Testimonies of "Not to turn over a slave who seeks refuge"

Deuteronomy.23.16 prescribes not to turn over a slave to his master. There's some Halachic discourse and the MT is very scarce adding that it only applies from abroad to Eretz Israel. Are there any ...
Al Berko's user avatar
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Was Herod Jewish?

Slightly related. This topic has been on my mind lately. According to Josephus, Herod's father Antipater was the son of Antipas, one of the Edomites converted by Yochanan Hyrcanus. I asked one of the ...
Harel13's user avatar
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Why would Sarah need to convince Hagar?

Asking for someone else. Rashi on the parsha, Beresheet 16:3, brings a midrash from Beresheet Rabbah 45:3 which says: "And Sarai, the wife of Abram, took Hagar the Egyptian, her maidservant (...
Harel13's user avatar
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Source that we were enslaved in Egypt to bring national unity

I heard in a Shiur that the Medresh says that the reason we were enslaved in Egypt was to bring national unity. Does anyone know where the Medresh says that? Thanks.
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Why does the Torah write Vayikra 25:51 & 25:52?

Vayikra 25:50-52: נ וְחִשַּׁב֙ עִם־קֹנֵ֔הוּ מִשְּׁנַת֙ הִמָּ֣כְרוֹ ל֔וֹ עַ֖ד שְׁנַ֣ת הַיֹּבֵ֑ל וְהָיָ֞ה כֶּ֤סֶף מִמְכָּרוֹ֙ בְּמִסְפַּ֣ר שָׁנִ֔ים כִּימֵ֥י שָׂכִ֖יר יִהְיֶ֥ה עִמּֽוֹ׃ נא אִם־ע֥וֹד ...
Simcha's user avatar
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Why didn't Jewish slaves rebel against the Egyptians?

A number of traditional sources indicate that the population of Jews in Mitzrayim was burgeoning. Pharaoh himself was concerned about it, worrying that they would take over the land. Why didn't a ...
shayla's user avatar
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At the time of the giving of the parshah of Nirtza (of avadim), was the avoda done by the Bchoros?

Or was it done by the kohanim at that time? [The din of nirtza is briefly to make a hole in the ear of a slave who wants to continue serving his master, he becomes a slave until Yovel.] The question ...
Dovid's user avatar
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Why did God want the Israelites to take riches from Egypt before the Exodus?

In parshat Bo, we read: And the Lord said to Moses... Speak, please, in the ears of the people, and let them ask every man of his neighbor, and every woman of her neighbor, jewels of silver, and ...
Maurice Mizrahi's user avatar
5 votes
2 answers
207 views

Ten Martyrs - Why would Binyamin be culpable?

There's the famous incident known as the Ten Martyrs (see here), where Ten famous Rabbis were killed (not in the same period) as an atonement for the Ten children of Yaakov selling Yosef. The ten are ...
robev's user avatar
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Were the "maidens" of Rebekah "schifchot" to Isaac or "pileg'shim" to Isaac?

Were all or one of the "maidens" of Rebekah "schifchot" to Isaac or "pileg'shim" to Isaac (regardless whether he consummated with them or not)? Why or why not? The "...
ninamag's user avatar
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How to become a Canaanite slave

Rambam provides the different ways how a Jew could purchase a Canaanite slave. He may be acquired through the transfer of money, the transfer of a deed of purchase, the manifestation of one's ...
mroll's user avatar
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A Jewish-slaves Mitzvahs obligations

What mitzvos is a Jewish slave (a Jew owned by a Jew mentioned Shemot 21,2) obligated in? Is a Jewish slave obligated in time bound mitzvos? or he obligated to the same mitzvos as a woman? Sources ...
hazoriz's user avatar
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Looking for a source on the city of Gilad

Some time ago I heard a Dvar Torah (which I brought here) by someone who stated, among other things, that the city of Gilad used to be, at least from the time of the sale of Yosef until it was ...
Harel13's user avatar
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Does an ex-slave need to do Tshuva?

Rashi, on Shemot 21:6 that talks about an Eved-Ivri extending his servitude, writes: What is the reason that the ear had to be pierced rather than any other limb of the servant’s body? Rabban ...
Harel13's user avatar
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Why were the Levi'im not enslaved?

Rashi on Shemot 5:4 says: GO YE UNTO YOUR BURDENS — Go to your work which you have to do at home; but it cannot signify “go to your labours as slaves”, for he was speaking to Moses and Aaron who ...
Harel13's user avatar
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3 votes
1 answer
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Slavery, an apparent contradiction?

In the Exodus, G-d hears the suffering of Israel as follows: “The Israelites were groaning under the bonding and cried out, and their cry for help from the bondage rose to G-d” (Exod 2:23); “I will ...
Shmuel's user avatar
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1 answer
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Why does the Mishneh Torah detail how to free a slave if it is forbidden?

Mishneh Torah Hilkhot Avadim 5:1-3 details how a Canaanite slave is freed (with money or a document). However, 9:6 states that one may not free a Canaanite slave (though if one does, the slave is free)...
Noam's user avatar
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2 answers
338 views

Do slaves owned by jews observe shabbat (day of rest)?

To my understanding it is a commandment of God that those who live among jews observe Shabbat. Historically, slaves owned by jews must have lived among them. Does Gods commandment apply to slaves, if ...
Nephilim's user avatar
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1 answer
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Circumventing the conversion fuss by enslaving and freeing

Can a long path of the Orthodox conversion be circumvented by the following procedure*? Enslaving a Gentile person by buying from him/herself Dipping him/her in a Mikve before a Beis Din for the ...
Al Berko's user avatar
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14 votes
1 answer
596 views

Half Jew half Gentile

I always thought it was a misconception to be "half-Jewish". Usually the speaker means one of their parents are Jewish, making them either fully Jewish or fully Gentile. However, I saw today that the ...
robev's user avatar
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Can a slave say the Haggadah?

Throughout the Haggadah, we make reference to the fact that originally we were slaves, but now we are freed. To quote just a couple of them: עבדים היינו לפרעה במצרים...ואלו לא הוציא הקב״ה את אבותינו ...
DonielF's user avatar
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7 votes
2 answers
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Do any poskim exempt 13-20-year-olds from Mussaf?

In Artscroll’s edition of Sefer HaChinuch (vol. 2, p. 303), they quote a discussion regarding whether women are exempt from davening Mussaf: If women are obligated as men are in all the communal ...
DonielF's user avatar
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Hebrew slaves and Yovel - how does it starts and ends?

The Gemmorah links the Hebrew slavery to the [idea of] Yovel (Gitin 65, Kidushin 69, Erchin 29, Rambam Avadim 1, 10): "אין אמה העבריה נוהגת ולא עבד עברי נוהג אלא בזמן שהיובל נוהג. בין עבד עברי ...
Al Berko's user avatar
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What happens if Hebrew Slave goes on strike?

@Joel's answer to my previous question "whats-so-slave-ish-in-the-hebrew-slave" showed a possible difference between a slave and an employee - the later can simply walk away. That made me think: what ...
Al Berko's user avatar
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Unexpected Yovel (50th year) to free slaves?

Rambam Avadim 2: "מְכָרוּהוּ בֵּית דִּין עוֹבֵד שֵׁשׁ שָׁנִים ... אֲבָל אִם פָּגְעָה בּוֹ שְׁנַת יוֹבֵל אֲפִלּוּ נִמְכַּר שָׁנָה אַחַת לִפְנֵי הַיּוֹבֵל הֲרֵי זֶה יֵצֵא לְחֵרוּת : If the court ...
Al Berko's user avatar
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-1 votes
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Controversies in counting the 24 organs of freeing the slave

I've already asked a couple of questions on the counting of the 248 body organs, see the list. Lately, I asked some question on slavery and here's where those topics cross. The Gemmorah in Kiddushin ...
Al Berko's user avatar
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4 votes
1 answer
242 views

Why may a master torture his non-Jewish slave?

We’re commanded to be sensitive to a convert, as we know what it’s like to be in a foreign land (Shemos 23:9): וְגֵ֖ר לֹ֣א תִלְחָ֑ץ וְאַתֶּ֗ם יְדַעְתֶּם֙ אֶת־נֶ֣פֶשׁ הַגֵּ֔ר כִּֽי־גֵרִ֥ים הֱיִיתֶ֖ם ...
DonielF's user avatar
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0 votes
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What's so slave-ish in the Hebrew Slave?

I'm trying to compare the status and duties of a Hebrew slave that sells himself to slavery versus a man that agrees to work for 7 years (שכיר שבוע), as in B"M 9,11: "שְׂכִיר שַׁבָּת, שְׂכִיר חֹדֶשׁ, ...
Al Berko's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
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What prevents a needy from stealing and being sold into slavery?

Imagine a poor Jewish guy with a screaming wife and 12 little kids that went bankrupt and lost everything he had. He still needs to support himself and his family. What prevents him from selecting ...
Al Berko's user avatar
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Are there examples of Hebrew Slaves in the Gemmorah?

Are there examples of Hebrew Slaves mentioned in the Gemmorah? Names of the slaves or their masters, the amounts paid, the terms served etc? (I recall a couple of Eved K'naani like Tavi, but can't ...
Al Berko's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
64 views

Who would want to buy a Hebrew slave to equal him to his master?

We all know how benevolent our position to the Jewish slavery is (Rambam Avadim 1): "כָּל עֶבֶד עִבְרִי אוֹ אָמָה הָעִבְרִיָּה חַיָּב הָאָדוֹן לְהַשְׁווֹתָן לוֹ בְּמַאֲכָל וּבְמַשְׁקֶה בִּכְסוּת ...
Al Berko's user avatar
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2 votes
2 answers
175 views

Why did G-d promise the former slaves to continue cultivating slavery?

This question is a different aspect of the previous question "why-parshas-mishpatim-begin-with-laws-of-slaves". A man that is discharged from a prison promises to never get back. A nation that was ...
Al Berko's user avatar
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6 votes
4 answers
380 views

Why does Parshas Mishpatim begin with laws of slaves?

Parshas Mishpatim, as its name implies, deals with the civil laws of the Torah. Out of all the civil laws in the Torah, the parshah begins with the laws of the Hebrew slave. Why did the Torah see fit ...
shmu's user avatar
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2 votes
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Israel in Egypt after being freed but before the Exodus?

One of Artscroll's "Daily Dose of Torah" books, on parshat Vaera, says that the Israelites stayed in Egypt for a significant period of time after being freed from slavery but before the Exodus. I ...
Maurice Mizrahi's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
248 views

What happened to Noah's slaves?

According to such commentators or midrashim as say that Noah had slaves that joined him on the ark[1], what happened to them? That is: We hear a lot in the immediately succeeding chapters of Genesis (...
msh210's user avatar
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Is Eved Ivri obligated in honoring one's parents?

A tough question that I could not find anyone mentioning. The Gemmorah in Kiddushin 30b says a married woman is exempt from honoring the parents as "whereas with regard to a woman, it is not in her ...
Al Berko's user avatar
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