14

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 ...


11

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 ...


11

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 ...


11

The master of a female Hebrew slave has the option to marry her either to himself or to his son (with her consent). If he (or his son) does marry her, it is not his right, but in fact his obligation to have relations with her, since a husband is obligated to have relations with his wife (Exodus 21:10; Maimonides, Laws of Slaves, 4:7-8). A Jewish slave owner ...


10

http://www.shemayisrael.com/publicat/hazon/tzedaka/beliefinone.htm The belief of our people in the Redeeming One inspired other oppressed people to have faith in eventual salvation. For example, Rabbi Hirsch mentions that this faith in eventual salvation gave “hope to the black slave in the plantation” (The Hirsch Haggadah, page 265). Rabbi Hirsch ...


10

The Beit Yosef (OC 46) writes (quoting Sefer Abudirham): השבוי מברך שלא עשאני עבד שלא תקנו ברכה זו מפני העבדות עצמה, אלא מפני שאין העבד חייב במצות כישראל ואינו ראוי לבא בקהל ופסול לכמה דברים.‏ One who is captured blesses "SheLo Asani Eved" for [our sages] did not enact this blessing because of the work itself, but rather because a slave is not ...


9

You could not circumvent the obligation, as an Eved Ivri remains obligated in positive time-bound commandments. (An Eved Kena'ani is not, but to make your plan work you'd have to first become a Kena'ani.)


9

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.


9

Apparently although the Mechilta understood the prohibition to be kidnapping it still recognizes the literal meaning of theft. This is implied by this mechilta and also somewhat implied by this mechilta.


9

I thought of two possible answers, and am happy to see that they are both supported by Mefarshim here: Because we were just released from being slaves in Egypt: התחיל המשפט הראשון בעבד עברי, מפני שיש בשילוח העבד בשנה השביעית זכר ליציאת מצרים הנזכר בדבור הראשון, כמו שאמר בו: וזכרת כי עבד היית בארץ מצרים ויפדך י״י אלהיך על כן אנכי מצוך את הדבר הזה היום (...


8

A friend and I were recently at the Princeton Art Museum, which contained a text from the Caribbean with a blessing on circumcising one's slaves:


7

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).


7

If you read further in the Gemara Bava Kama 74b you see that although he blinded him he did not go free as there were no witnesses.


7

It is a ‘prohibition’ derived from the positive command implied by Vayikra 25:46: לעולם בהם תעבדו For all time shall you treat them as slaves See Sefer HaChinuch 347 for details.


7

The Rambam himself, in the same law (9:6), says that it's permitted to free a slave for the purpose of fulfilling a commandment. Since there are cases that freeing a slave is permitted, the description of how to free a slave can be used for the permitted cases. ומותר לשחררו לדבר מצוה אפילו למצוה של דבריהם כגון שלא היו עשרה בבית הכנסת ה"ז משחרר עבדו ומשלים ...


6

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 ...


6

I'm going to put some more information out there in addition to @Jeffery Mensch's above. Here's the picture again: Slaves were kept in the Caribbean by Jews and according to some estimates, Jews controlled ~20% of the Dutch slave trade. Remember that these Dutch-colony Jews were of Sephardic descent and spoke Judeo-Portuguese/Spanish as well as Portuguese ...


6

The Jewish Virtual Library on Homosexuality states that the Talmud records that the Egyptian Potiphar purchased Joseph "for himself " (Sotah 13b), that is, for homosexual purposes (Rashi). ArtScroll Gemara Sotah 13b2 and 14a1 Potiphar, a courtier of Pharoah, purchased him Rav said: This means that [Potiphar] bought [Yoseph] for himself, i.e. for ...


6

R. Baruch HaLevi Epstein in Torah Temimah to Shemot 30 footnote 22 writes that according to the opinion which you cited that would exempt women from tefilat musaf (which he attributes to Besamim Rosh and subsequently R. Akiva Eger) and according to the many opinions that a young man from thirteen to twenty years of age was exempt from the obligation to ...


5

Excerpts from "Orthodox Approaches to Biblical Slavery" by Gamliel Shmalo - which appeared in The Torah u-Maddah Journal Volume 16 2012-2013 http://daattorah.blogspot.co.il/2014/06/biblical-slavery-and-morality.html Rav S. R. Hirsch (Shemos 12:44): The consideration of certain circumstances is necessary, correctly to understand the fact that the Torah ...


5

Good question. A freed slave did not go to another master. He obtained the status of a full-fledged Jew. (In fact, many of the laws pertaining to converts in the Talmud are actually phrased as "converts and freed slaves.")


5

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 ...


5

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 ...


5

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 ...


5

I suspect you're not aware what is involved in the sale of a daughter. The daughter is not sold into slavery. She is essentially being given up for adoption, to use a modern parallel. The aim of the sale is to have her marry the buyer or one of his sons. If, by age 12, they have not gotten married, she's free and goes back home. (Though she works for a ...


5

I think that you will see that the reference to Ish occurs when he appears as the leader of a major caravan with 10 camels, showing wealth and needing to impress Rivkah's parents and brother with his position. Only when he gets to his mission is he called eved. This shows that his viewpoint is to do the best he can for his master and that his own concept of ...


5

Not that they sold him into the sex trade, but that they thought that is where he ended up due to his beauty. See Bereishis Rabba 91 6 here, when the brothers came to Mitzraim for food, they were also keeping their eyes out to find Yosef. They headed to the area where the prostitutes were, saying our brother Yosef is is beautiful, perhaps he is there. And as ...


5

Rambam (based on Kiddushin 25a) writes (Avadim 5:4 (English)): כיצד בראשי אברים: המכה את עבדו בכוונה, וחיסרו אחד מעשרים וארבעה אברים שאינן חוזרין--יצא לחירות, וצריך גט שיחרור. אם כן למה לא נאמר בתורה אלא "שן" (שמות כא,כז) ו"עין" (שמות כא,כו), לדון מהן: מה שן ועין, מומין שבגלוי ואינן חוזרין--אף כל מום שבגלוי שאינו חוזר, יצא העבד בו לחירות.‏ How is ...


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

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 ...


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