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TheKnight

...Biblical Slavery...

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TheKnight
(Source)

The immediate reaction to slavery is that it is utterly and completely wrong. But is that a reaction to slavery per se, or is it an expression of disgust to what slavery has become, or slavery as we knew it? In other words, are we opposed to someone giving up certain rights in exchange for many privileges, or are we protesting abuse, humiliation, and manipulation?

We object to slavery because we only know it as the latter. But the Torah regulates it to the former, and allows its practice in order to give the underprivileged privileges.

We look at the issue of slavery from the perspective of a person living in modern western societies, using our own prisms of judgment based on today's societal norms and liberties. In a society where no one has to die from hunger slavery appears to be cruel (and rightfully so). But in a society built on different constructs, with very different, very few, or absolutely no, social welfare institutions, the reverse would be the truth.

For the pauper living in that society, or that era of history, it would be the harshest cruelty to forbid slavery. Without that option he was likely to remain economically deprived with absolutely no support in the community.

For much of history this poverty was the reality, and there was no system of communal or governmental support.

Rather than die of hunger or freeze in the market places, many people were eager to be slaves. In exchange for committing to the needs of their owner, the owner would be committed to the needs of the slave (at least so they hoped). A slave often gave up independence because to him independence was not a privilege but a burden. When you have food and shelter you worry about your right to vote and ability to express your opinion. But when you are starving to death you couldn't care less about voicing your opinion.

In theory slavery can be seen as a form of adoption. You deprive your children of certain rights and independence, but you also commit yourself to care for their needs. The impoverished slave was willing to make the same exchange.

The problem, however, is that the privileged have a tendency (until this very day) to abuse and manipulate the underprivileged. Rather than acquire a slave as an act of sympathy, power hungry people purchased slaves as a demonstration of dominance. What the poor man thought of as a dream, the rich man soon turned into a nightmare. Unfortunately those who opted to be slaves were often abused, and ultimately impoverished people who did not want the exchange of slavery were forced into it nonetheless.

Viewed in this context one has a better understanding of the Torah's approach to slavery. The Torah does not command one to have a slave, but it does provide various commandments to protect the slave. By not prohibiting slavery per se the Torah leaves it as an option for a time of need, and by regulating it (rather than leaving it to a "black market") the Torah protects those who find themselves in this desperate situation.

Hopefully after reading this article, people will understand why slavery is not prohibited in Jewish Law.

Edited by ~HaParash~

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hairston630

Did you change your name again Standup?

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TheKnight
Did you change your name again Standup?

Yes.

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hairston630
Hopefully after reading this article, people will understand why slavery is not prohibited in Jewish Law.

To respond to your thread, I dont think in every case it was a willful submission into slavery and its not as rosey as alot of apologists claim it to be. This matter should not be sugar coated.

God even gives us guidelines on how to buy, sell and treat slaves. In some cases the slave would be branded as a permanent slave (Exodus 21:6) in order to keep the wife that was given him by the master and the kids she would produce. God even gave the same command for the masters to do so with the maid slaves (Deuteronomy 15:16-17). God also instructed the men in selling their very own daughters into slavery.

God warned in Joel 3:8 that he would sell sons and daughters to a specific people who would then sell them to others. God even decreed a sort of slavery with the woman to the man in Genesis. Leviticus 25:44-46 says "Both thy bondmen, and thy bondmaids, which thou shalt have, shall be of the heathen that are round about you; of them shall ye buy bondmen and bondmaids. Moreover of the children of the strangers that do sojourn among you, of them shall ye buy, and of their families that are with you, which they begat in your land: and they shall be your possession. And ye shall take them as an inheritance for your children after you, to inherit them for a possession; they shall be your bondmen for ever: but over your brethren the children of Israel, ye shall not rule one over another with rigor.”

God also allowed punishment of slaves in Exodus 21:26-27 and Proverbs 29:19. He was also very lenient on how masters were to treat slaves. In Exodus 21:20-21 God said "If a man strikes his male or female slave with a rod and he dies at his hand, he shall be punished. If, however, he survives a day or two, no vengeance shall be taken; for he is his property. In deuteronomy 20:13-14 God tells the isrealites to take women and children as spoils of war "Whereas the men must be killed, the women and children are to be taken as the spoils of war."

I believe there is a little bit more "immorality" involved than what ASK MOSES like to portray.

Edited: Wording

Edited by hairston630

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TheKnight
To respond to your thread, I dont think in every case it was a willful submission into slavery and its not as rosey as alot of apologists claim it to be. This matter should not be sugar coated.

God even gives us guidelines on how to buy, sell and treat slaves. In some cases the slave would be branded as a permanent slave (Exodus 21:6) in order to keep the wife that was given him by the master and the kids she would produce. God even gave the same command for the masters to do so with the maid slaves (Deuteronomy 15:16-17). God also instructed the men in selling their very own daughters into slavery.

God warned in Joel 3:8 that he would sell sons and daughters to a specific people who would then sell them to others. God even decreed a sort of slavery with the man to the woman in Genesis. Leviticus 25:44-46 says "Both thy bondmen, and thy bondmaids, which thou shalt have, shall be of the heathen that are round about you; of them shall ye buy bondmen and bondmaids. Moreover of the children of the strangers that do sojourn among you, of them shall ye buy, and of their families that are with you, which they begat in your land: and they shall be your possession. And ye shall take them as an inheritance for your children after you, to inherit them for a possession; they shall be your bondmen for ever: but over your brethren the children of Israel, ye shall not rule one over another with rigor.”

God also allowed punishment of slaves in Exodus 21:26-27 and Proverbs 29:19. He was also very lenient on how masters were to treat slaves. In Exodus 21:20-21 God said "If a man strikes his male or female slave with a rod and he dies at his hand, he shall be punished. If, however, he survives a day or two, no vengeance shall be taken; for he is his property. In deuteronomy 20:13-14 God tells the isrealites to take women and children as spoils of war "Whereas the men must be killed, the women and children are to be taken as the spoils of war."

I believe there is a little bit more "immorality" involved than what ASK MOSES like to portray.

Most certainly it wasn't always that they would submit themselves into slavery. A thief who couldn't pay double for what he stole was placed into slavery. You say that there is "immorality" involved in the slavery of Judaism, but that is simply because you do not know how a slave is to be treated. Granted, a slave can be beaten, but its something that should be avoided. Beating a slave because it pleased you at the time is not a good reason to beat the slave, and a person could be charged with battery for doing so. AskMoses explains this in another place:

(Source)

The Torah commands the master to treat his Eved (slave) with dignity and respect -- the Eved must be fed the same foods and wines that the master enjoys and our sages tell us that if there is only one pillow in the house the master must let the Eved sleep on it!

Additionally, the master is also responsible to take in the wife and children of his Eved and feed them as long as the Eved is working for him.

A slave in Judaism is not the same as a slave in Americanized Western culture. A slave was comparable to what we would call an unpaid servant today.

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hairston630
Most certainly it wasn't always that they would submit themselves into slavery. A thief who couldn't pay double for what he stole was placed into slavery. You say that there is "immorality" involved in the slavery of Judaism, but that is simply because you do not know how a slave is to be treated. Granted, a slave can be beaten, but its something that should be avoided. Beating a slave because it pleased you at the time is not a good reason to beat the slave, and a person could be charged with battery for doing so. AskMoses explains this in another place:

A slave in Judaism is not the same as a slave in Americanized Western culture. A slave was comparable to what we would call an unpaid servant today.

You can put whatever kind of spin on it you want, it changes nothing. Yes I DO understand the slave process and I even specifically stated that it was different than the americanized version that started in the 1600's (if you read my whole post you would have seen that). If a slave can be beaten in small quantities then it is STILL considered immoral. The only time a person was charged with "battery" for beating a slave is if he didnt kill him! If the slave recovered in the couple days then he got away with it. Your making an apologetics case with the presumptive A priori mentality that Judaism cannot be immoral.

Edited by hairston630

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Cadetak

"Freedom is the right of all sentient beings."-Optimus Prime

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SunDogDayze
Most certainly it wasn't always that they would submit themselves into slavery. A thief who couldn't pay double for what he stole was placed into slavery. You say that there is "immorality" involved in the slavery of Judaism, but that is simply because you do not know how a slave is to be treated. Granted, a slave can be beaten, but its something that should be avoided. Beating a slave because it pleased you at the time is not a good reason to beat the slave, and a person could be charged with battery for doing so. AskMoses explains this in another place:

So, according askMoses, a slave gets treated with the utmost respect. Eating the same food, drinking the same wine, even having dibs on the one pillow in the place. Where does being a slave come in? Sounds like a really annoying houseguest to me. The more one tries to justify the treatment of a slave, the more it doesn't even sound like a slave. It's a really good tactic to sound like you are justifying something that is unjustifiable, but it really isn't working.

No one considers real slavery to be acceptable. By definition, a slave is a piece of property. Social morals tell us that it is wrong to consider another human being as property. Everyone is entitled to be unowned by someone else. There is no justifying slavery.

Your spin makes it sound like being a slave is a wonderful adventure, where you get treated well and are looked at like one of the family. But in reality, it's not like that, otherwise they would not be called slaves.

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brave_new_world
So, according askMoses, a slave gets treated with the utmost respect. Eating the same food, drinking the same wine, even having dibs on the one pillow in the place. Where does being a slave come in? Sounds like a really annoying houseguest to me. The more one tries to justify the treatment of a slave, the more it doesn't even sound like a slave. It's a really good tactic to sound like you are justifying something that is unjustifiable, but it really isn't working.

No one considers real slavery to be acceptable. By definition, a slave is a piece of property. Social morals tell us that it is wrong to consider another human being as property. Everyone is entitled to be unowned by someone else. There is no justifying slavery.

Your spin makes it sound like being a slave is a wonderful adventure, where you get treated well and are looked at like one of the family. But in reality, it's not like that, otherwise they would not be called slaves.

Good post. :tu:

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TheKnight
You can put whatever kind of spin on it you want, it changes nothing. Yes I DO understand the slave process and I even specifically stated that it was different than the americanized version that started in the 1600's (if you read my whole post you would have seen that). If a slave can be beaten in small quantities then it is STILL considered immoral. The only time a person was charged with "battery" for beating a slave is if he didnt kill him! If the slave recovered in the couple days then he got away with it. Your making an apologetics case with the presumptive A priori mentality that Judaism cannot be immoral.

When is it possible for someone to beat a person so bad that they are injured for two days but aren't dead? You look at these laws and forget all the other laws of Judaism. There is a law which says "a rebellious son should be stoned" but then in the Talmud it says "a rebellious son was never stoned by the Court". Why? Because you can't just look at one law, but the whole of the law. God says to the Israelites "Kadesh Ani Kadesh" (Be Holy As I Am Holy). Part of the law is having good character and a relationship with God. Thus, the chances of a slave being halachically beaten that bad was very very slim. Again, its not like a slave could be beaten for anything. The slave would have to commit an offense first. And even then, the laws placed on a person's character would guarantee that a slave was never beaten that bad. So what is the purpose of the law condining the beating of a slave? Though you shouldn't beat your slave, if you should happen to do so out of anger, so long as you don't kill him it is ok. But one must realize that punishing a slave out of anger is also halachically forbidden.

So, according askMoses, a slave gets treated with the utmost respect. Eating the same food, drinking the same wine, even having dibs on the one pillow in the place. Where does being a slave come in? Sounds like a really annoying houseguest to me. The more one tries to justify the treatment of a slave, the more it doesn't even sound like a slave. It's a really good tactic to sound like you are justifying something that is unjustifiable, but it really isn't working.

No one considers real slavery to be acceptable. By definition, a slave is a piece of property. Social morals tell us that it is wrong to consider another human being as property. Everyone is entitled to be unowned by someone else. There is no justifying slavery.

Your spin makes it sound like being a slave is a wonderful adventure, where you get treated well and are looked at like one of the family. But in reality, it's not like that, otherwise they would not be called slaves.

Again, you are looking at "slave" from the Americanized view. Your right, optimally no one would be owned by someone else. However, you are not nearly as concerned about "being owned" when you are poor and the streets and need a place to stay and get food. There are laws of charity, but a lot of men have pride issues with accepting handouts. In lieu of that a person had the option of going into slavery. To provide work in exchange for food, dwellings, protection, a warm house, and a stable life-situation. The mindset of the slave-owner is key, and I am certain that it is not Kosher to believe that someone else is your property. It most certainly goes against "Love thy neighbor as thyself" to believe that someone else is your property. While there may be laws which condone horrible things that can be done to slaves, there are also laws which prohibit a person from being the kind of person who would consider another life as their property.

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chaoszerg
Optimus Prime

The one true God :lol:

Slavery is wrong and I don't care how you try to sugar coat it.

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TheKnight
Slavery is wrong and I don't care how you try to sugar coat it.

Define slavery.

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hairston630
When is it possible for someone to beat a person so bad that they are injured for two days but aren't dead? You look at these laws and forget all the other laws of Judaism. There is a law which says "a rebellious son should be stoned" but then in the Talmud it says "a rebellious son was never stoned by the Court". Why? Because you can't just look at one law, but the whole of the law. God says to the Israelites "Kadesh Ani Kadesh" (Be Holy As I Am Holy). Part of the law is having good character and a relationship with God. Thus, the chances of a slave being halachically beaten that bad was very very slim. Again, its not like a slave could be beaten for anything. The slave would have to commit an offense first. And even then, the laws placed on a person's character would guarantee that a slave was never beaten that bad. So what is the purpose of the law condining the beating of a slave? Though you shouldn't beat your slave, if you should happen to do so out of anger, so long as you don't kill him it is ok. But one must realize that punishing a slave out of anger is also halachically forbidden.

You are reading in between the lines my friend. It doesnt say anything about a slave having to commit an offense. This is an example of defending ones faith at all costs. The very simple fact that God allowed (Says the Hebrews) this type of treatment is immoral, whether it was done 1 time or 5,000 times. What about god giving another humans' rights over to the Isrealites as SPOILS OF WAR? Can you find a reason to justify this action?

Edited by hairston630

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brave_new_world
"Freedom is the right of all sentient beings."-Optimus Prime

Lets hope the machines dont start having ideas like this for themselves! :lol:

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chaoszerg
Define slavery.

For me Slavery is keeping someone against their will to do your bidding.

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TheKnight
You are reading in between the lines my friend. It doesnt say anything about a slave having to commit an offense. This is an example of defending ones faith at all costs. The very simple fact that God allowed (Says the Hebrews) this type of treatment is immoral, whether it was done 1 time or 5,000 times. What about god giving another humans' rights over to the Isrealites as SPOILS OF WAR? Can you find a reason to justify this action?

The sources of Jewish law are not contained within the Torah. It is said many many times that without the Talmud the Torah is "like a piece of trash". Thus, without knowing the full halacha concerning slavery, one would get the wrong impression.

Asking if I can find a reason to justify that is like asking is there a reason to go to war in the first place. Nowadays there really isn't a reason to go to war. Back then war was more necessary. A person had the right to keep slaves after a war, but the chances of it happening were slim. Why? Because the whole of the Torah is not contained in one law/verse. The Torah must be viewed as a whole when concerning its laws. You can't simply cut out a piece and say "this piece is abhorrent". I could respond "That piece is also inunderstandable. The Written Torah without the Oral Torah isn't the Great Torah which we love, its just a simple, confusing, general Torah. The kind that the Christians use.

For me Slavery is keeping someone against their will to do your bidding.

No one said anything about keeping someone against their will to do your bidding.

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hairston630
The sources of Jewish law are not contained within the Torah. It is said many many times that without the Talmud the Torah is "like a piece of trash". Thus, without knowing the full halacha concerning slavery, one would get the wrong impression.

Asking if I can find a reason to justify that is like asking is there a reason to go to war in the first place. Nowadays there really isn't a reason to go to war. Back then war was more necessary. A person had the right to keep slaves after a war, but the chances of it happening were slim. Why? Because the whole of the Torah is not contained in one law/verse. The Torah must be viewed as a whole when concerning its laws. You can't simply cut out a piece and say "this piece is abhorrent". I could respond "That piece is also inunderstandable. The Written Torah without the Oral Torah isn't the Great Torah which we love, its just a simple, confusing, general Torah. The kind that the Christians use.

Is this your way of justifying the fact that God told His people to take the women and children as spoils of war? Regardless if it was slim or often, it STILL happened once according to this verse. Its only needed one time to be accused. I dont know of ANY jew that calls the Torah a "piece of trash" either btw (well I know one now).

Edited by hairston630

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Marby

First of all, I think SunDogDayze and hairstone630 covered the reasons this is all pretty messed up.

However, at the time this was written, it was commonplace to take slaves as the spoils of war because they had nowhere else to go after their village was razed. It was considered the humane thing to do and it probably was.

Fast forward a few centuries and there is no excuse for slavery. Dude, HaParash, you are using the same arguments used in the Old South to justify an institution that is not only no longer relevant, but completely devoid of compassion for other human beings. No one has the right to beat another human being... for any reason. No one has the right to tell anyone what to do if they are not breaking any laws.

Why am I even on this thread?

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TheKnight
Is this your way of justifying the fact that God told His people to take the women and children as spoils of war? Regardless if it was slim or often, it STILL happened once according to this verse. Its only needed one time to be accused. I dont know of ANY jew that calls the Torah a "piece of trash" either btw (well I know one now).

I'm not a Jew. But if you ask a Rabbi they will tell you that the Torah is pretty much useless unless you have ALL of it (which includes the Talmud). Who said it happened once? Are there any recorded accounts of Jewish people taking women and children as spoils of war?

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TheKnight
First of all, I think SunDogDayze and hairstone630 covered the reasons this is all pretty messed up.

However, at the time this was written, it was commonplace to take slaves as the spoils of war because they had nowhere else to go after their village was razed. It was considered the humane thing to do and it probably was.

Fast forward a few centuries and there is no excuse for slavery. Dude, HaParash, you are using the same arguments used in the Old South to justify an institution that is not only no longer relevant, but completely devoid of compassion for other human beings. No one has the right to beat another human being... for any reason. No one has the right to tell anyone what to do if they are not breaking any laws.

Why am I even on this thread?

Did you read the first post?

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Marby
Did you read the first post?

Yeah, and ok, I get it, but you know what, most people would rather starve and die than be slaves to anyone else. And really, again, while I see the point, it was only relevant about 2000 years ago. Not now.

I may post again tonight once or twice, but will be more eloquent and clear tomorrow when I am not in between ten million things in the real world. :)

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hairston630
I'm not a Jew. But if you ask a Rabbi they will tell you that the Torah is pretty much useless unless you have ALL of it (which includes the Talmud). Who said it happened once? Are there any recorded accounts of Jewish people taking women and children as spoils of war?

Leviticus 25:44-46. Or does this not count?

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TheKnight
Yeah, and ok, I get it, but you know what, most people would rather starve and die than be slaves to anyone else. And really, again, while I see the point, it was only relevant about 2000 years ago. Not now.

I may post again tonight once or twice, but will be more eloquent and clear tomorrow when I am not in between ten million things in the real world. :)

What about it is not relevant? Explain how it is not relevant that a person can provide for his family through his labor by submitting himself into slavery?

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TheKnight
Leviticus 25:44-46. Or does this not count?

It doesn't. It's not an account of people actually keeping people as spoils of war, but saying that it isn't forbidden to keep spoils of war.

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Marby
What about it is not relevant? Explain how it is not relevant that a person can provide for his family through his labor by submitting himself into slavery?

You mentioned in another post that we have no reason for war in the modern age. However, we have as much reason for it now as we did when the first people from opposite ends of the forest started throwing rocks at one another. The majority of us don't like it. We don't like worrying over family and friends that are off fighting in those wars, and we don't always agree with the leaders who start those wars, but we are no more enlightened than those rock throwers millions of years ago. War is, unfortunately a part of being the most aggressive animal on the planet. In the 60's. hippies were asking the question, "What if they threw a war and no one showed up?" The answer to that is, a lack of participation results in conquest. Anyway...

Over time, man has created rules for war. These rules were meant to make for a quick return to normality after the war was over and reflect the context of the time that war took place in. In the time that all this was written HaParash, chances are, the slaves taken as spoils of war were women, the very young, and the very old. Not to say that a man fit for battle wasn't occasionally a part of this scenario, but let's face it, it was easier to kill them. Women were property anyway, the very young were easy to assimilate, and the very old that were fit to do something for someone else were spared death because even back then, it wasn't necessarily cool to slaughter grandpa. The taking of people as spoils of war, however merciful to the women, children, and elderly that might have starved or otherwise perished as a result of the conquest, was still a form of humiliation, though. It is still making the enemy submit in the least dignified way possible.

The fact remains, submitting to slavery for any reason is an affront to human dignity. The world pretty much understands this, which is why instead of enslaving people when we win a war now, we parachute rations down to them. We cannot, should not, and generally do not justify enslaving people that we capture in battle because there is no justification for it. We don't need their women, we don't need the labor, and we would probably be rightfully convicted of war crimes if we did. 2,000 years ago, human dignity was a luxury and privilege afforded only to the powerful. We've worked long and hard as human beings to move away from that, so no, providing for one's family by submitting to slavery is not relevant in today's world, and is in fact, criminal for very good reason. You can have the kindest master in the world, you can dress up the concept all you want, but if you are his slave, you are really just livestock, and any human being is worth more than that.

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