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Orthodox Judaism/Slavery & the "Ten Commandments"


Slavery was acceptable at the time of the delivery of the Torah, correct?  I believe there are laws setting limits on the slave-holder, but how do we explain that it was not prohibited?  I am guessing that the non-Orthodox, by citing the mores of the time, would have an easier time answering this than would an Orthodox person -- which is exactly why I've come to you!  Thanks in advance for your response.

Since the Torah allows slavery, the orthodox have no issue with it in principle what so ever.  Naturally since today's society does not accept it and Jews are very in tune and adaptive to their surroundings, we would be abhorred at someone today holding a slave.  From our point of view however, there is no explanation necessary for the Torah permission of slavery.  Just because many evils can come from slavery does not mean it is in essence wrong.  If the master is a decent man, the relationship between master and slave is very beneficial to the slave.  If the master is evil, there are many evils committed today in the name of democracy, freedom and other great ideals.  No one would think they are cause enough to do away with democracy.

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David Rosenblum


I am an ex-student of yeshiva and I like to be presented with Torah study problems. If you have studied the Torah and have questions on the subject matter, I want to hear about it. I am not a Rabbi and not qualified to decide halachic issues. I am still interested in halachic questions for which I can sometimes offer general guidelines or present decisions in halachic works such as Mishna Berurah. I welcome questions from non-Jewish people but I cannot respond to religious references that are not part of Judaism. If you are working on a paper or doing research and want general information on a Jewish subject, I may or may not satisfy your need, depending on how comfortable I am with the question. If you have a personal problem, I am not qualified to help you but I will do what I can to offer you some assistance.


yeshiva student

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