Skip to main content
12 votes

Were slave-related commandments observed in America?

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:
Jeffrey Mensch's user avatar
11 votes
Accepted

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

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 ...
b a's user avatar
  • 24.8k
9 votes

Why does Parshas Mishpatim begin with laws of slaves?

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 ...
רבות מחשבות's user avatar
8 votes

Were slave-related commandments observed in America?

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 ...
marisbest2's user avatar
8 votes
Accepted

Do any poskim exempt 13-20-year-olds from Mussaf?

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 ...
Joel K's user avatar
  • 43.8k
7 votes

Freeing Non-Jewish Slave

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.
Joel K's user avatar
  • 43.8k
7 votes
Accepted

Why does the Mishneh Torah detail how to free a slave if it is forbidden?

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 ...
b a's user avatar
  • 24.8k
6 votes

Why were the Levi'im not enslaved?

From Tiferes Yonasan,(pg 85) Rav Yehonasan Eibschutz writes that Pharaoh freed shevet Levi from slavery so that they would not identify with the suffering of the rest of the Jews. He saw through ...
Shmuel Goldstein's user avatar
6 votes

Which mitzvot are slaves who have been immersed obliged to follow?

The general rule is, as cited in the Gemara (Chagiga 4a) that the obligations of a slave are equivalent to those of a women. כׇּל מִצְוָה שֶׁהָאִשָּׁה חַיֶּיבֶת בָּהּ עֶבֶד חַיָּיב בָּהּ כׇּל מִצְוָה ...
chortkov2's user avatar
  • 9,679
5 votes

Had an unmarried Jewish woman ever owned a male slave, whom she acquired or asked to become her husband?

Example in Tanach of woman marrying a slave:[Divrei Hayomim 1, 2,35]- וַיִּתֵּן שֵׁשָׁן אֶת-בִּתּוֹ לְיַרְחָע עַבְדּוֹ, לְאִשָּׁה; וַתֵּלֶד לוֹ, אֶת-עַתָּי - So Sheshan gave his daughter to Jarha his ...
user15464's user avatar
  • 11.5k
5 votes
Accepted

Why does the torah on injured slaves call out eyes and teeth but not other damages?

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 ...
Double AA's user avatar
  • 99.8k
5 votes

The suffering servant? Yeshayahu- Isaiah - Chapter 53

The nation of Israel. http://outreachjudaism.org/gods-suffering-servant-isaiah-53/ As per that website, that has been the position of Jews for a long time Origen, a prominent and influential ...
rosends's user avatar
  • 38.3k
5 votes
Accepted

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

A Canaanite slave (who's mother is Canaanite and father is foreign) is obligated in all negative Mitzvot which includes keeping Shabbos just like a Jewish woman (and some positive Mitzvot including ...
user15464's user avatar
  • 11.5k
5 votes
Accepted

Testimonies of "Not to turn over a slave who seeks refuge"

There's one case brought in Gittin 45a: The Gemara relates: There was a certain slave who fled from his master from outside of Eretz Yisrael to Eretz Yisrael. His master followed him to Eretz Yisrael ...
Harel13's user avatar
  • 25.9k
4 votes

What's the essence of the root עבד

I believe you are correct. R' SS Hirsh explain (Parshas Yisro) that the difference between "Melocha" and "Avoda" is that Melocha means intentional, purposeful, creative work and not physical toil. ...
Mbrevda's user avatar
  • 947
4 votes
Accepted

Why is a slave sold for six years?

1. Why is a slave sold for six years? Because the Torah decided so. Maybe because 6 years is a full cycle - as we see that the agricultural cycle is 6 years and in the 7th year everything stops for a ...
Danny Schoemann's user avatar
4 votes

Are there examples of Hebrew Slaves in the Gemmorah?

No, there are not. Yovel had ceased to be operative centuries earlier and the rules of Jewish slaves became inoperative with it (Rambam, Avadim 1:10). The institution of a Hebrew maid-servant and ...
Double AA's user avatar
  • 99.8k
4 votes

Why were the Levi'im not enslaved?

Just as the Egyptians freed their clergy from the taxes that Yoseph set up, so to the Leviim were in effect the clergy of the Bnai Yisrael. As a result, the Egyptians treated them the same way as they ...
sabbahillel's user avatar
  • 43.2k
4 votes

Why were the Levi'im not enslaved?

B"H I am actually writing a sefer on this (and more), so I've got this ready :) The Rabbeinu Bahya (sv. לכו לסבלותיכם) explains: The Egyptians, i.e. Pharaoh, respected Joseph’s law that ...
Shmuel's user avatar
  • 10.5k
3 votes

why is a half `Eved` not freed automatically

In the first case, the 2nd master has done nothing wrong - he owns half a slave and continues to own him. We force him to free the slave (against an IOU for half his value) so that the half-slave can ...
Danny Schoemann's user avatar
3 votes

Why does the torah on injured slaves call out eyes and teeth but not other damages?

The Tora is interpreted by hermeneutic rules,one of them is Ribuy Umyut. Here, you have a typical example. See Kiddushin 24b. 13 Midot are not a technical-formal method of lecture, but a way to ...
kouty's user avatar
  • 22.8k
3 votes

Why does God allow slavery?

I think there's always a perspective missing from these questions and answers. We always ask the question from the perspective of the "slave owner." We don't usually ask, why did so many ...
Aaron's user avatar
  • 11.2k
3 votes

When does an Eved Knani become bar mitzvah?

Yes of course. the Chiuv mitsvot (duty, legislative responsibility) follows the happening of the daat (faculty of judgment). And the daat is linked with maturity (a step in psycho-physiological ...
kouty's user avatar
  • 22.8k
3 votes
Accepted

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

Mishna & Gemara Bechorot 37b. ‏ ‏[1]‏ [משנה בדף ל"ז עמוד א': מתני' על אלו מומין שוחטין את הבכור נפגמה אזנו מן הסחוס אבל לא העור‏[2]‏ נסדקה אעפ''י שלא חסרה ניקבה מלא כרשינה או שיבשה ...
kouty's user avatar
  • 22.8k
3 votes

What was the justification for selling Joseph into slavery?

Think about the past few generations in the family: Ishmael misbehaves so he gets kicked out of Judaism; Esau misbehaves so he gets kicked out; and now Joseph is telling dad all sorts of stories about ...
Shalom's user avatar
  • 134k
3 votes

What happened to Noah's slaves?

Og was Noachs slave Pirkei derav Eliezer 23: וישאר אך נח ואשר אתו בתבה וחוץ מעוג מלך הבשן שישב לו עץ אחד מן הסולמות של התיבה ונשבע לנח ולבניו שיהיה להם עבד עולם The only other other survivors of ...
user15464's user avatar
  • 11.5k
3 votes

What's so slave-ish in the Hebrew Slave?

One major point of distinction between a hired worker and an eved ivri is that the worker has the right to simply walk away, which the eved does not (without first purchasing is freedom from his ...
Joel K's user avatar
  • 43.8k
3 votes

Why may a master torture his non-Jewish slave?

As @user15464 mentions in the comments, the Rambam defines "porech", or the torture that you quote as being permitted, in Avadim 1:6: ואיזו היא עבודת פרך זו עבודה שאין לה קצבה ועבודה שאינו ...
octothorpe_not_hashtag's user avatar
3 votes

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

Both Hebrew and non-Jewish slaves must observe Shabbos: The Hebrew slave is not actually a slave, he's a full-time day and night employee lodging by his master for 6 years or till the Jubilee year (...
Al Berko's user avatar
  • 26k
3 votes
Accepted

Slavery, an apparent contradiction?

I've pondered this question as well. Slavery in any form certainly seems immoral to our modern sensibilities. There are questions about other areas of Torah that raise similar moral concerns. The ...
Benyomin Walters's user avatar

Only top scored, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible