Avodah Mailing List

Volume 23: Number 28

Sat, 24 Feb 2007

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Message: 1
From: "Daniel Israel" <dmi1@hushmail.com>
Date: Thu, 22 Feb 2007 16:00:16 -0700
[Avodah] Eilu v'eilu and mistakes

This is _not_ an attempt to re-open any recurring debates.  But my 
chavrusah and I had an interesting discussion and I'd like the 
chevra's input.

The basic question that we raised was whether in a machlokes 
rishonim we can say that sometimes one side is wrong, or whether we 
have to say all rishonim are right, even when they are arguing.  
The discussion then drifted to what lies between eilu v'eilu, and 
one side being right and the other wrong.

Which leads to these specific questions:

1) We see ev"e explicitly applied to Tannaim.  While the term is 
used on this list often enough in the context of contemporary 
issues, do we have a clear source which indicates that it remains 
applicable in the same sense as in the Mishna?  (The sense that I 
understand it is that the totality of Torah can't be expressed in 
human terms by a single opinon, and both sides in an ev"e represent 
an aspect of Torah.)

IOW, when contemporary poskim disagree on the correct bracha on 
rice cakes, is this ev"e?  If so, must we say it is just a 
reflection of a machlokes already implicit in the Tannaim?  Or can 
it be a "chidush"?  And if there are no "new" cases of ev"e, when 
was the cutoff?

2) I've occasionally seen achronim suggesting certain other 
achronim were actually wrong.  The examples I can think of involve 
claims that a certain achron was missing a certain source, or 
relying on an incorrect girsa.  But perhaps there are example is 
which one achron argues that another has incorrect s'vara as well.  
(I'm not talking about contemporary issues which are, so to speak, 
still being adjudacted by the poskim.)  My question is, is there a 
cutoff date before which we do not say that one side may be wrong?  
IOW, in a machlokes Rashi and Tosfos, for example, is it possible 
that one side is actually incorrect (even if we are not able to say 

3) Finally, does anyone want to propose an intermediate position?  
That is, are there some arguements which are not ev"e, but neither 
side is "wrong."  My chavrusa proposed something along the lines of 
"they are doing different things," but it didn't sit well with me.  
Any thoughts? 

Daniel M. Israel

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Message: 2
From: "Micha Berger" <micha@aishdas.org>
Date: Thu, 22 Feb 2007 19:11:43 -0500 (EST)
Re: [Avodah] Torah and Slavery

On Wed, February 21, 2007 5:11 pm, R Jonathan Baker wrote:
: Funny, though, I've been having the "slavery is inherently evil"
: vs. "the Torah permits, even semi-approvingly, enslavement of
: non-Jews, albeit with restrictions beyond what the American
: South had", on another Jewish list.

"Semi-approvingly"? I'm arguing that the Torah permits it in scenarios where
that's what the neighboring countries are doing. When the economy requires
slavery to prevent failure, poverty, and even worse ills, then Hashem says
"this is how to do it".

(The Roman Empire or the 19th cent US were both eras in which the need to feed
the masses could not be met without the cheap labor. Both were cases of a
rapidly expanding population and growth on the frontiers. The same economic
pressures creates pseudo-slavery in sweatshops. But at least there is the
human dignity of not having qinyan haguf. Once the industrial revolution
provided a moral alternative, more efficient farming per person, places that
could leverage that technology had the luxury to clamor to do away with
slavery. Brazil freed its slaves not long after the US, without a civil war to
compel the issue.)

But halakhah doesn't condone slavery as much as limit its ills. In a case
where someone must choose least of evils, this is the best possible way to do

The eved ivri isn't a slave -- no qinyah guf, provisions against making it
permanent, etc... But this too seems to only be condoned in the case of
geneivah. And being cared for by someone who will teach the criminal
marketable skills seems to me to be a sound alternative over throwing him into
prison with other criminals for peers.

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             Spirituality is like a bird: if you tighten
micha@aishdas.org        your grip on it, it chokes; slacken your grip,
http://www.aishdas.org   and it flies away.
Fax: (270) 514-1507                            - Rav Yisrael Salanter

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Message: 3
From: "Micha Berger" <micha@aishdas.org>
Date: Thu, 22 Feb 2007 19:29:52 -0500 (EST)
Re: [Avodah] Zipped

On Thu, February 22, 2007 1:36 pm, R Zev Sero wrote:
: It can't mean that, because buttons (as a means of fastening) had not
: yet been invented.

It was fastened by a blue string on one side, and a stone in a setting sowed
onto a shoulder strap on the other. It could have been a loop at the end of
the string, which is pretty much buttoning, perhaps the string was repeatedly
wrapped around a narrowing in the setting, or perhaps the eiphod was hung
using loops of techeiles that ran through the ring around a narrowing in the
setting of one of the avnei shoham and tied again.

Josephus isn't a maqor for halakhah, but as a kohein who served in the BHMQ,
there is a likelihood he wrote the following from personal observation of the
kohein gadol. The translator assumes he is speaking of buttons, but to me it
sounds more like the loop idea.

Antiquities of the Jews
Book III, Chapter VII, Section 5

5. Besides these, the high priest put on a third garment, which was called the
Ephod, which resembles the Epomis of the Greeks. Its make was after this
manner: it was woven to the depth of a cubit, of several colors, with gold
intermixed, and embroidered, but it left the middle of the breast uncovered:
it was made with sleeves also; nor did it appear to be at all differently made
from a short coat. But in the void place of this garment there was inserted a
piece of the bigness of a span, embroidered with gold, and the other colors of
the ephod, and was called Essen, [the breastplate,] which in the Greek
language signifies the Oracle. This piece exactly filled up the void space in
the ephod. It was united to it by golden rings at every corner, the like rings
being annexed to the ephod, and a blue riband was made use of to tie them
together by those rings; and that the space between the rings might not appear
empty, they contrived to fill it up with stitches of blue ribands. There were
also two sardonyxes upon the ephod, at the shoulders, to fasten it in the
nature of buttons, having each end running to the sardonyxes of gold, that
they might be buttoned by them. On these were engraven the names of the sons
of Jacob, in our own country letters, and in our own tongue, six on each of
the stones, on either side; and the elder sons' names were on the right
shoulder. Twelve stones also there were upon the breast-plate, extraordinary
in largeness and beauty; and they were an ornament not to be purchased by men,
because of their immense value. These stones, however, stood in three rows, by
four in a row, and were inserted into the breastplate itself, and they were
set in ouches of gold, that were themselves inserted in the breastplate, and
were so made that they might not fall out. Now the first three stones were a
sardonyx, a topaz, and an emerald. The second row contained a carbuncle, a
jasper, and a sapphire. The first of the third row was a ligure, then an
amethyst, and the third an agate, being the ninth of the whole number. The
first of the fourth row was a chrysolite, the next was an onyx, and then a
beryl, which was the last of all. Now the names of all those sons of Jacob
were engraven in these stones, whom we esteem the heads of our tribes, each
stone having the honor of a name, in the order according to which they were
born. And whereas the rings were too weak of themselves to bear the weight of
the stones, they made two other rings of a larger size, at the edge of that
part of the breastplate which reached to the neck, and inserted into the very
texture of the breastplate, to receive chains finely wrought, which connected
them with golden bands to the tops of the shoulders, whose extremity turned
backwards, and went into the ring, on the prominent back part of the ephod;
and this was for the security of the breastplate, that it might not fall out
of its place. There was also a girdle sewed to the breastplate, which was of
the forementioned colors, with gold intermixed, which, when it had gone once
round, was tied again upon the seam, and hung down. There were also golden
loops that admitted its fringes at each extremity of the girdle, and included
them entirely.

Ad kan "Antiquities".

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             Spirituality is like a bird: if you tighten
micha@aishdas.org        your grip on it, it chokes; slacken your grip,
http://www.aishdas.org   and it flies away.
Fax: (270) 514-1507                            - Rav Yisrael Salanter

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Message: 4
From: "Micha Berger" <micha@aishdas.org>
Date: Thu, 22 Feb 2007 19:37:09 -0500 (EST)
Re: [Avodah] Parashat Zachor - Natzim and Amalek

On Thu, February 22, 2007 6:02 pm, Galsaba@aol.com wrote:
: This article is based on another article, more detailed with Mekorot and
: Simuchin, written by Harav Prof David Golinkin in March 2005. I could not
: find, however, that one, the one he posted on 2005.

Not quite a frum source. It would be more useful if you find someone with a
halachic attitude who could show that the din is somehow "written out". Such
as the Rambam's take that an Amaleiqi who becomes a ger toshav is no longer
bedin Amaleiq. But even that is "convert or die", if you acknowledge that
becoming a geir toshav as a convert, albeit not to being Jewish). As it is,
the essay is not useful to the chevrah.

I think the only thing we can do is add it to the list of unanswered questions
we must grapple with. Knowing that we aren't likely to find a resolution, but
also knowing we can't desist from it.

Lemaaseh, the same One Who authored the law was the One Who authored the
history that makes it no longer applicable. Amaleiq bizman hazeh is limited to
those who accept Amaleiq's mission. A set of individuals, not the innocent
others in their nation.

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             Spirituality is like a bird: if you tighten
micha@aishdas.org        your grip on it, it chokes; slacken your grip,
http://www.aishdas.org   and it flies away.
Fax: (270) 514-1507                            - Rav Yisrael Salanter

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Message: 5
From: "Moshe Yehuda Gluck" <mgluck@gmail.com>
Date: Fri, 23 Feb 2007 00:53:36 -0500
Re: [Avodah] [Areivim] 13 Ikkarim

R' Dov Weinstock:
With regard to the YCT discussion, several people mentioned that denial of
one of the 13 Ikkarim is evidence of non-orthodoxy. Just curious - have
those people read Marc Shapiro's book (can't recall the title)? He
demonstrates that every last one of the 13 Ikkarim has always been a matter
of dispute. He draws on Gemara, gaonim, rishonim and achronim. I found it
quite convincing, and so I question the idea of the 13 Ikkarim as a
yardstick for orthodoxy.

[Bounced to Avodah at moderator's request - MYG.]
I think that the 13 Ikkarim are a yardstick for Orthodoxy, as Shabbos,
Kashrus and Tahars haMishpacha are a yardstick for "Frum." It is not easy to
call someone who speaks Lashon Hara "Not Frum", yet we have no problem
calling someone who doesn't keep Shabbos "Not Frum." (Story with R' Shimon
Schwab notwithstanding.) Similarly, if a movement believes in egalitarianism
or social justice it can still be called Orthodox - but if it doesn't
believe in one of the 13 Ikkarim, it is not.


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Message: 6
From: "Shoshana L. Boublil" <toramada@bezeqint.net>
Date: Fri, 23 Feb 2007 11:57:48 +0200
[Avodah] Ki Avadim HaYitem

Many many halachot regarding how we are supposed to treat the OTHER, in the 
Torah, include this sentence: "...b/c you were slaves in Egypt.. and I took 
you out..."

Nowadays we are facing a situation whereby dozens of men, women and children 
from the Sudan have escaped the moslem raiders that are threatening their 
lives, and they have made their way to Israel, to the Jewish State believing 
that a people who have undergone a Holocaust would be willing to grant them 

Meanwhile, most communities in Israel have been silent on this issue.  The 
refugees have been placed in wire surrounded camps.  Only the Kibbutzim have 
agreed to take in some of the refugees.

There is some indication that they could be found jobs in the agricultural 

Some questions:

As a Jewish Halachic State, what would be our obligation towards those who 
are not Jewish but seek refuge in Israel?
Do we accept them without reservation?
Do we accept them on condition that they renounec idol worship and accept 7 
Mitzvot Bnei Noach?

In our current situation, shouldn't we, the religious community in Israel, 
take it upon itself to at least discuss the issue?  It looks like the 
political leadership hasn't a clue what to do.  Isn't this the kind of thing 
where religious Jews shouldn't keep quiet?

Shoshana L. Boublil

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Message: 7
From: Daniel Eidensohn <yadmoshe@012.net.il>
Date: Fri, 23 Feb 2007 13:27:49 +0200
[Avodah] Biblical text isn't precise record?

I have found a number of sources which indicate that prophets - 
including Moshe - were sometimes not precise in their wording. However 
as long as they accurately conveyed the idea the precise wording does 
not matter. This is obviously very problematic. So far however I have 
found the Ibn Ezra and Rashba make this assertion. And the Radvaz 
explicitly reject the Rashba. R' Chaim Heller discusses this briefly in 
his introduction to the Rambam's Sefer HaMitzvos. Any additional sources 
would be appreciated. I am not concerned here with the question of 
errors or authorship. Rather that verses were originally written 
imprecisely. I went through Prof. Shapiro's work and did not see the 
issue addressed.

Daniel Eidensohn

*Rashba[1] <#_ftn1>(1:12):? *However the rest of the disparities which 
are found between Shmuel and Chronicles in which the essential content 
is the same are not a problem. That is because the Biblical verses are 
not concerned with the words but only the content. This also happens not 
only in the Bible but also in theTorah itself. This even occurred in the 
Ten Commandments. The Torah is not particular except that the content be 
accurate. Also this variablity occurs concerning the names of people 
such as the children of Shimon who are listed sometimes as Yachin and 
Tzochar and elsewhere Tzochar was replaced with Zerach. That is because 
both Tzochar and Zerach have the same meaning of illumination. Therefore 
the Torah is not concerned with the exact spelling since the meaning of 
illumination is preserved.


?????? ???? ??????? ??????? ???? ????. ??? ???? ??????? ?????? ????? ?? 
?????? ??? ???? ????? ????? ????? ?? ????? ?????? ??? ?? ??? ?????? 
????? ?? ?????? ???????. ?? ????? ??? ??? ???? ?? ???? ????? ??? ????? 
???? ?????? ???? ???? ????. ?????? ???? ????? ??? ???? ???? ????? ????? 
??? ???? ???? ???? ????? ???? ???. ???? ???? ??? ????? ?? ?????? ????? 
?????? ???? ???? ?????? ????? ???? ??? ???? ???? ???? ????.

*Ibn Ezra[1] <#_ftn1>(Yesod Morah chapter I): [[*"The prophets do not 
preserve the exact wording when they repeat something. They only 
preserve its substance. For that is what is important".  . Similarly Ibn 
Ezra says that it makes no difference whether scripture employs full or 
defective spelling.


??????? ???? ?????? ????? ????? ?????? ???? ?? ?????? ?????? ???? ??? 
??????? ????? ?????? +?????? ?"?+ ??????? ??????. ????? ??? ????? +?? 
?"?+ ????? ????? ???? ???? ???? ????? ???? ??????? ???? ?' ???? ????. 
?????? +?? ?"?+ ???? ???? ????? ???? ??????? ?? ???? ??, ????? ????? 
+????? ?"?+ ??? ?? ???? ??? ??? ??. ?????? ??? +?? ?"?+ ????? ?????? ?? 
????? ????? ????? ?? ??? ???? ????? ???? ???? ???? ?? ????? ????. ????? 
+???? ?"?+ ???? ????? ?? ???? ??? ??? ????? ???? ???? ???? ??? ???? 
??????? ????? ?? ??? ????? ????. ???? ????? ?????? +?? ?'+ ???? +????? 
?'+ ????? +?? ?'+ ??? ????? +????? ?'+ ??? ????? +?? ?'+ ??? ??? +????? 
?'+ ??? ???. ???? ??? ??? ??"? ???? ???? ???? ???"?. ?? ?? ???? ??? 
?????? ?????? ??????? ????.

*Ibn Ezra[1] <#_ftn1>**(Shemos 11:5): *I have already said that the 
prophets did not report exactly what they heard but only the message. 
For example the words (Bereishis 24:17) and Bereishis (24:45) refering 
to drinking are different but have the same meaning. Concerning the Ten 
Commandments (Shemos 20 and Devarim 5) the variations such as remember 
and observe, meaningless and false, lust and desire have basically the 
same meaning. I will talk about this again concerning the prayer of 
Moshe (Shemos 32:9)?//


????. ??? ???? ???? ???? ???????. ???? ????? ?? ??????? ???? ?????? 
????? ?? ??????. ?? ??? ???????? ??????. ????? ????? ???? ???? ?? ????? 
??? ????? ???? ????. ???? ???? ?? ?? ????? ???. ???? ???? ?????. ??? 
???? ????. ?? ?????? ???? ??? ????? ???? ???? ????? ????? ??????? ???? 
????? ???? ?? ??? ???? ????:

*Ibn Ezra[1] <#_ftn1>(Shemos 20:1): [[*Ibn Ezra writes, "know, words are 
like bodies and their meanings are like souls (Shemos 20:1). He goes on 
to say that the words used are unimportant if the meaning remains 


???? ????? ??? ???, ??? ???? ????. ??? ????, ?? ??? ??? ????? ???? ??? 
???? ??? ???, ??? ?????? ????? ??? ??????, ??? ?? ?????? ?? ????? ?"?, 
???? ??? ?? ????? ??? ???. ??? ???? ??????? ??????? ????? ??????? ???? 
???? ??? ??? ???? ?????, ?????? ?????? ??? ???????, ?? ??? ???? ?? ???? 
??? ???, ?? ??? ???? ??? ???, ?? ???????. ??? ???? ???? ?? ?? ??? ?? 
????? ?? ???? ??? ???? ????. ???? ??? ???, ????? ????, ?? ???? ???????? 
???? ??? ???????, ????? ?????, ????? ????? ???? ???? ??"?. ??? ????? 
?????. ???? ???? ???? ???? ??? ????? ????? ??? ?????, ???? ????? ????? 
????? ?????, ????? ????? ????? ????. ???, ?? ????? ?? ??????, ??????? ?? 
??????, ????? ?????, ??? ??? ???, ?? ?? ???? ?? ?????? ??? ???? ?????? 
??????, ????? ?????? ????? ?????, ??? ??? ???? ?????, ???? ??? ?? 
???????. ??? ??? ???? ???? ??? ?? ?????, ?? ????? ?? ????? ?? ???? ?? 
??? ??, ?? ??? ???? ???? (???' ?, ?? - ??). ???? ??? ?? ???? ???? ???? 
??? ??? ????? (?? ??, ??). ??? ??? ???? ?? ?? ?????? ?? ???? ???? ??? 
????? ???? ?????. ???? ??? ?????? ??????? ?? (?? ??, ??). ???? ???: 
????? ???? ?????? ?? (?? ??, ??). ??? ??? ???? ???? ??? ???? ???? (???? 
??, ??), ?????: ???? ????? ??? ??? ?????? (???? ??, ?). ???? ????? ????? 
????? ???? ?????? ?? ????? ????? ????, ????? ???? ????? ?????? ??' ?? 
??? ??? ???? ?? ?? ?????. ?????, ?? ??? ????, ??? ???? ????, ?????????, 
??????? ???? ???? ???? ?????, ?? ???? ???. ????? ????? ?? ???? ????? ??? 
????, ???? ?????, ?? ???? ????? ?????? ??? ????, ?? ????? ????, ????? 
???. ??? ??? ????? ?????? (???? ??, ?), ???? ??? ???? ?????? (???? ??, 
?). ??? ???: ???? ??? (???? ??, ?), ???? ???: ????? ??? (???? ??, ?). 
????? ????, ?????? ??????, ?? ????? ??? ??"? ??? ??? ????, ??? ????, ?? 
????? ???"? ?? ????, ????? ?????? ????. ???? ???"? ???? ????? ????? ???, 
??? ??? ???? ?? ??? ??? ????, ???? ????, ???? ????, ?? ?? ??? ????, ???? 
?? ????? ?????? ?? ?? ???? ???? ???? ???, ?"? ??? ???? ??? ??? ????? ??? 
????? ??, ??? ??? ?????, ??? ???? ???, ?? ??? ???. ???? ??? ???? ????? 
??? ???? ?? ????, ???? ??? ?????? ??? ???? ???, ?? ????? ??? ????? ??? 
?? ??? ??? ????? ?????. ???? ??? ?? ???, ??? ?? ??? ???? ????, ??? ????, 
??? ????? ????? ?????. ?????? ???? ??? ??"?, ???? ?"? ??? ??"?, ????? 
???. ??? ????? ??????, ??? ???? ?????. ???? ??? ?? ???? ????? ?? ?? ???? 
??. ???? ?? ??? ?????? ????? ?? ?????. ???? ???? ??? ????????, ??? 
?????. ??? ???? ??????, ?? ?????? ????.

*Radvaz**[1]* <#_ftn1>*(3:549): *? My explanations resolve the 
disparities and changes found between the first and second Tablets. Even 
though the Rashba has written that Scripture is not concerned with the 
words only the subject matter ? I don?t agree. And surely according to 
the view of the Rambam who counts the prohibitions of coveting(tachmod) 
and lust (tisava) as two separate prohibitions. That means that even in 
subject matter there is a difference between the first and second 
Tablets since it doesn?t mention lust (tisava) in the First Tablets but 
only in the Second Tablets. But in truth as I explained everything was 
written in the First Tablets and in the Second Tablets there were some 
changes made.


???????? ??? ??? ????? ??????? ?????? ??????? ???"? ???? ????"? ?"? 
?????? ???? ????? ????? ??? ????? ????? ?? ????? ??? ???? ???? ??? ?"? 
?? ???? ????"? ?"? ???? ?? ????? ??? ????? ???? ????? ?"? ?? ????? ?? 
????? ???? ?????? ???????? ?? ????? ??? ??? (?????) [?????] ????????? 
????? ??? ???? ??? ?? ??? ??? ???? ?????? ???????? ?????? ???? ???? ???? 
????? ??? ??? ???? ?????. ?????"? ?????:

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Message: 8
From: "Newman,Saul Z" <Saul.Z.Newman@kp.org>
Date: Fri, 23 Feb 2007 08:41:23 -0800
[Avodah] sold or leased?

0-h/aderetLease.jpg  a frum record company's non-sale of its records. an
amalgam of halachic /civil law issues?
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Message: 9
From: "Moshe Yehuda Gluck" <mgluck@gmail.com>
Date: Fri, 23 Feb 2007 16:20:45 -0500
Re: [Avodah] sold or leased?

I would assume that it's not legally binding, otherwise the RIAA would have
done it long ago. In addition, halachically, there isn't any shtar, any
kinyan or any t'nai. Doesn't seem to be binding at all. Also, according to
what they write, it would be l'chatchilah assur to damage or to discard
their CDs  - the absolution is only for after the fact. As far as copying is
concerned, fair-use permits it (whatever fair-use is), so how can they say
that it's bona fide theft according to civil law? Also, unless it's in the
package insert, they never disclosed the terms of the lease. Also, where is
the kinyan taking place? The retailer pays Aderet, and the customer pays the
retailer. Yet, Aderet is trying to enter into a contractual relationship
directly with the customer. To sum up, I think that this is just a PR
effort, not worth the paper it's printed on.






From: avodah-bounces@lists.aishdas.org
[mailto:avodah-bounces@lists.aishdas.org] On Behalf Of Newman,Saul Z
Sent: Friday, February 23, 2007 11:41 AM
To: 'Avodah'
Subject: [Avodah] sold or leased?


0-h/aderetLease.jpg  a frum record company's non-sale of its records. an
amalgam of halachic /civil law issues?

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Message: 10
From: "Chana Luntz" <chana@kolsassoon.org.uk>
Date: Sat, 24 Feb 2007 23:06:31 -0000
Re: [Avodah] Slavery

RMK writes:

> On 2/18/07, T613K@aol.com <T613K@aol.com> wrote:
> > ...  What he seems to own is not the eved but the
> > right to the eved's labor.
> Is this correct halachically?  Is ownership of an eved 
> considered a kinyan haguf or kinyan peiros?  I believe that 
> at least for an eved k'naani, it is considered a kinyan haguf.
> (Toby's point remains unchanged, that despite the particular 
> technical halachic categorization, the owner essentially only 
> has the right to the eved's work, not to do anything with him at all.)

In the case of an eved canani, you are talking about a kinyan haguf.  To
put us all on the same page, however, here is a copy of a post I did for
another list, setting out various key si'ifim in the Shulchan Aruch on
the subject:

"On the topic of an eved c'nani (as opposed to an eved ivri), I think it
might be helpful to bring down some of the sources on the subject, so
that at least people can see what the halacha is, rather than what they
understand the halacha to be from reading the Torah or various bits of
gemorra - for this reason I quote the Shulchan Aruch Yoreh Deah 267:

3: An eved who is acquired from a non Jew they say to him is it your
will that you enter into the category of an avdei Yisroel and be made
kosher or not, and if he wants, you make known to him the essence of the
religion, and a few of the easy and difficult mitzvos and punishment and
reward like you make known to a ger [convert] ...

4: One who acquires an adult eved from a non Jew and the eved does not
want to be circumcised it can be put off for 12 months, but more than
that it is forbidden to remain with him uncircumcised rather one must
return and sell him to a non Jew. [The Rema hold slightly differently,
if one makes a tannai that he will remain uncircumcised he can,
especially where it is forbidden by the general law to convert him, but
he remains in the status set out in 9 and 17 below, ie a complete non
Jew, not an eved c'nani].

5: If one circumcises his eved and tovels [immerses him in a mikvah] him
against his will l'shem avdus [for the sake of servitude] he hasn't done
anything. [Rema if he does so wish to be toyveled, and he carries out
all the mitzvas of an eved, the master can free him afterwards against
his will]

9: One who acquires an eved from a non Jew does not acquire the body of
him until he is toyveled l'shem avdus.  Therefore if before he toyvels
l'shem ben chorin [freedom] behold he is free. [discussion in the Rema
about monetary payment, and what happens if somebody suggests to the
eved that he toyvels l'shem ben chorin - the one who suggests is patur
from paying, but the eved has a debt on him to pay off the master his

17 One who acquires a non Jewish eved from a Jew or a non Jew and also a
non Jew who sells himself to a Jew or sells his sons or daughters,
behold they are as an eved c'nani but that one which is acquired from a
non Jew his body is not acquired only the work of his hands ... and for
all of them all the time that they have not had tevilla l'shem avdus
they are a non Jew in all matters and after tovelling l'shem avdus he
is an eved and is chayav in mitvas like a woman and with this eved it is
permitted to work him harshly [b'farech] but even though the din [law]
is so from midus chassidus and darchei chachama [the ways of wisdom] he
should be a merciful master and should not make heavy the yoke on his
eved and not anguish him and shall feed him from all food and drink and
shall not shame him not with his hand and not with words and not
multiply for him yellings and anger rather speak with him calmly and
listen to his complaints. [There seems to be some discussion as to
whether the shaming with hands and/or words is midus chassidus or din
for which you need to pay - see  Nida 47a  where Shmuel paid his
maidservent 400 zuz for shaming her.  Tosfos explains that is to save
himself from punishment, because in terms of payment, he didn't owe her
since payment for shame goes to the master. The Beis Hillel seems to
learn from this that there is an obligation to apease]

26-36 deals with what kinds of injuries need to be inflicted before the
eved goes free - it is a detailed list, but includes the tips of his
fingers and his ears.

80: One who sells his eved to a non Jew or a ger toshav the eved goes
out to freedom ... 

84: An eved who says he wants to make aliya to Israel they force his
master to make aliya with him or to sell him to one who will make aliya.
If the master wants to go out of Israel he may not take out his eved
unless he wishes, and this is true in all times, even when Eretz Yisroel
is in the hands of non Jews.

85: An eved who flees from outside Israel to Israel you do not return
him to servitude and upon him it is said (Devarim 23:16) You shall not
deliver to his master.."

As you can see from the above, an it is definitely a kinyan haguf, but
there has to be a formal conversion to create this, with the eved
accepting upon himself to carry out the mitzvos that woman has (nb, this
is a machlokus rishonim, but it is clear from here that we posken that
this is required).

There is also an issue, which I have not adverted to above, as to how
the eved was originally acquired. Remember kidnapping is, according to
most, an violation of the shiva mitzvos benei noach - and comes in under
the heading of theft - so if this slave is being sold because he was
originally kidnapped you have stolen property issues.  This is not true
if eg the dina d'malchusa allows for a person to be sold as as slave, eg
for avoiding taxes but there needs as a starting point to be a
legitimate property right under dina d'malchusa (or din melech, or
whoever is the authority granting and establishing proprietry rights).
But even once there is, there are various other requirements, such as
the consent of the eved, an acceptance of mitzvos, mila and tevila in
order to create a bone fide eved c'nani.

Shavuah tov



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