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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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Were slave-related commandments observed in America?

Since there was slavery in the Americas between their discovery and 1865, do we know of any Jewish slave-owners there who observed slavery-related laws of Judaism?
Lev's user avatar
  • 1,575
16 votes
1 answer
675 views

Didn’t the Ishmaelites know they were buying their second cousin?

In studying bereishis I have come up with questions about Joseph and his brothers that have long bothered me. One question is in parsha vayeshev, where we read how Joseph was sold by his brothers to ...
Dennis's user avatar
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15 votes
1 answer
702 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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14 votes
5 answers
287 views

Would Esther really have kept silent?

In Esther 7:4 we read וְאִלּוּ לַעֲבָדִים וְלִשְׁפָחוֹת נִמְכַּרְנוּ, הֶחֱרַשְׁתִּי--כִּי אֵין הַצָּר שֹׁוֶה, בְּנֵזֶק הַמֶּלֶךְ ... ... But if we had been sold for bondmen and bondwomen, I had held ...
none's user avatar
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11 votes
1 answer
570 views

Slavery in halacha today

Are all/any the halachos of slavery still in effect today? For example: 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? If a ...
none's user avatar
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10 votes
6 answers
911 views

Why does God allow slavery?

How could a kind G-D allow his people to use slavery on their weaker contemporaries and neighbors and yet be so strict with other requirements?
roman.geroski34's user avatar
10 votes
2 answers
221 views

In Moses' time, would freeing a slave be harmful to the slave?

Exodus 21:26 is about letting a (Canaanite - Rashi) slave go free if they are injured by their owner. This appears to be a good thing, but I'm also wondering if it would be detrimental to a slave to ...
Frank Henard's user avatar
9 votes
3 answers
6k views

Are non-Jews/gentiles permanent slaves to Jews in Olam Habah?

Are non-Jews permanent slaves to Jews in the world to come? I'll post the source text once I find it, or if someone can edit this and post the source for me. I believe it's in the Talmud, but not sure ...
EhevuTov's user avatar
  • 1,348
8 votes
1 answer
169 views

The Ear That Heard "Don't Steal"

Rashi to Exodus 21:6 quotes the Mechilta which connects the drilling of the ear of the slave to hearing "don't steal" at Sinai. The obvious question asked by the Moshav Z'keinim (there) is that Rashi ...
mevaqesh's user avatar
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8 votes
1 answer
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Second and third person at beginning of Mishpatim

The start of Mishpatim (Exodus 21:2-6) discusses the Hebrew slave. It starts with "Ki sikneh eved ivri" - "When you will buy a Hebrew slave", referring to the master in the second person. The ...
Ypnypn's user avatar
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7 votes
2 answers
558 views

Rav Hirsch and Black Slavery

I once saw Rav Hirsch make a passing reference to black slavery in America in his Collected Writings, but no longer remember where. Does anyone know where this might be?
Jewels's user avatar
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7 votes
2 answers
424 views

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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7 votes
2 answers
640 views

Can one buy a slave nowadays?

Assuming that there's no legal issues (like the slave doesn't mind, or doesn't know that he can run away), can one buy a slave nowadays in America to have the laws of an Eved Kenaani?
ertert3terte's user avatar
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7 votes
2 answers
304 views

Why is the name of Eliezer often missing?

Very often in the Torah Eliezer's proper name is omitted when he is discussed. Examples include the story of finding a wife for Yitzhak where he is referred to as eved or ish, his accompanying Avraham ...
rikitikitembo's user avatar
6 votes
4 answers
386 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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6 votes
2 answers
311 views

What would a slave say in the birchot hashachar?

Given that women replace shelo asani isha with she'asani kirtzono, is there any halacha on what a Jewish slave would say for shelo asani eved? Also, would a slave need to be need to be acquired & ...
ZBL's user avatar
  • 133
6 votes
1 answer
705 views

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
  • 507
6 votes
1 answer
234 views

In the story about Eliezer searching for a wife for Yitzchak, why does the Torah alternate terminology about him between "slave" and "man"?

In viewing the story in Breishit 24, regarding Eliezer searching for a wife for Yitzchak, we see that the Torah first calls him עבד - slave (starting from the point that Eliezer leaves Avraham's home) ...
DanF's user avatar
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5 votes
4 answers
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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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5 votes
5 answers
656 views

Are we children or servants of HaShem?

HaShem teaches us to serve Him (Shemot 23:25), because we're His servants (Vayikra 25:42, 25:55), HaShem also teaches that we're His children (Devarim 14:1). There is a long explanation about these ...
Levi's user avatar
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5 votes
1 answer
259 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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5 votes
1 answer
334 views

How did Israel's slavery in Mitzrayim begin?

When Yosef is about to die he tells his brothers that God will surely remember them and bring them up out of Mitzrayim (Bereishit 50:24-25). This suggests that they were already not free to leave (...
Monica Cellio's user avatar
5 votes
2 answers
214 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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5 votes
0 answers
90 views

Does a husband have to maintain his wife's bondwomen?

A mishna on Ketubot 59b lists the household tasks a husband may demand of his wife (grinding corn, baking bread, washing his clothes, etc). It then goes on to say that if she brought a bondwoman (...
Monica Cellio's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
2k views

Did the rights of a Jewish slave owner include having sex with his female slaves?

I know that Abraham had sex with his slave who acted as a surrogate for Sarah and I understand that to have been standard practice (even though God did not intend for his promise to be fulfilled ...
Ruminator's user avatar
  • 1,157
4 votes
3 answers
674 views

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
  • 41
4 votes
2 answers
408 views

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
4 votes
2 answers
392 views

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
  • 1,750
4 votes
1 answer
264 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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4 votes
1 answer
143 views

Why is Yaakov calling Esau "Master"?

It is stated in this weeks Parsha, Parshas Vayishlach 32:5: That he commanded them, saying, "This is what you should say to my master to Esau, 'this is what is what your servant Yaakov said, "I ...
yehuda sneidz's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
333 views

The status of Eliezer as a slave

I am going to piece together a variety of bits of information, so please bear with me. Eliezer was in charge of Avraham's house already before Avraham had his name changed (Bereishit 15:2) Eliezer ...
rosends's user avatar
  • 38.3k
4 votes
2 answers
235 views

What was the justification for selling Joseph into slavery?

In Parashat Vayeishev, the story is recounted about how the children of Jacob conspired to kill Joseph. The explanation is that they judged him to be guilty of several violations and deserving of ...
CodyBugstein's user avatar
  • 1,356
4 votes
3 answers
454 views

Why didn't the Israelites fight against being enslaved?

In Parashat Shemot, the pasuk says וַיֹּאמֶר, אֶל-עַמּוֹ: הִנֵּה, עַם בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל--רַב וְעָצוּם, מִמֶּנּוּ Pharaoh was, for whatever reason, worried that the Israelites had become more ...
Daniel's user avatar
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4 votes
1 answer
148 views

Understanding the servants' hard/soft hearts

In Parshas Bo (10:1) we read that God hardened the hearts of Pharaoh's servants: כִּי אֲנִי הִכְבַּדְתִּי אֶת לִבּוֹ וְאֶת לֵב עֲבָדָיו. The Ohr HaChaim explains that this is so that the servants ...
not-allowed to change my name's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
102 views

Is there a blessing for boring the ear of a slave?

In Shemot 21:6 the Torah states the commandment of God וְהִגִּישׁוֹ אֲדֹנָיו אֶל־הָאֱלֹקים וְהִגִּישׁוֹ אֶל־הַדֶּלֶת אוֹ אֶל־הַמְּזוּזָה וְרָצַע אֲדֹנָיו אֶת־אׇזְנוֹ בַּמַּרְצֵעַ וַעֲבָדוֹ לְעֹלָם׃ {ס}...
rikitikitembo's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
287 views

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
  • 25.9k
4 votes
1 answer
100 views

Backlash from ownership of all the land/people?

The simple reading of the Torah text implies that, through Joseph's leadership, in exchange for the grain, Egypt/Pharoah came to own all the land all over the world and the people were indentured to ...
user13950's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
352 views

How is it permissible for a Jewish slave to marry a Canaanite slavewoman?

In Shemot, chapter 21 verse 4, we learn that a master can give his Jewish slave a Canaanite slavewoman to bear the master slave children: If his master gives him a wife, and she bears him sons or ...
Ani Yodea's user avatar
  • 13.2k
4 votes
0 answers
72 views

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
  • 26k
3 votes
3 answers
1k views

Yosef sold into prostitution

I remember hearing of a source that states that Yosef was sold into prostitution, or some other form of sexual slavery, by his brothers, and not just plain slavery as is commonly assumed. Does such a ...
WhoKnows's user avatar
  • 2,662
3 votes
2 answers
414 views

Haman servant of Mordechai: text of document

The gemara in Megillah 15 writes that Mordechai acquired Haman for a piece of bread. Rashi writes: וזה בא בפרוזבולי - מרדכי בא אליו בטענת עושר המן בא בטענת עוני שמכר המן את עצמו למרדכי קודם לכן ...
sam's user avatar
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3 votes
1 answer
72 views

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.
Eliyahu's user avatar
  • 5,465
3 votes
1 answer
98 views

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
  • 522
3 votes
1 answer
313 views

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
  • 381
3 votes
1 answer
128 views

When does an Eved Knani become bar mitzvah?

When does an Eved Knani become bar mitzvah, at age 12 like a woman or 13 like a man?
Avi's user avatar
  • 31
3 votes
1 answer
375 views

Ear Piercing of Jewish slave that wants to stay a slave a mum?

I heard in a daf yomi shiur (on kedushin 21b) that a koen can not want to stay a slave (one opinion says it is because he the Ear Piercing will make him have a mum What Ear Piercing makes a mum? ...
hazoriz's user avatar
  • 7,546
3 votes
1 answer
109 views

Is Esther's comment in Esther 7:4 a reference to one of the curses in Devarim 28:68?

In Esther 7:4, Esther says that had the Jews been sold for slaves and maidservants, she would have been silent. Devarim 28:68 says that we would be shipped to Egypt, and we would try to sell ...
DanF's user avatar
  • 70.7k
3 votes
1 answer
274 views

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
  • 7,546
3 votes
0 answers
109 views

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
  • 4,850
3 votes
1 answer
72 views

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
  • 25.9k