Behar – Shishi

You Can’t Fire Me – Slaves Have to be Sold!

By Rabbi Jack Abramowitz

If a person becomes impoverished, he may sell himself into servitude, but don’t treat him like an actual slave! He’s more like a household employee. The terms of his employment only last until the Jubilee year, then he returns to his hereditary property.

Since G-d took the Jews out of Egypt, He claims them as His own. Their servitude is limited and they certainly may not be resold in the market place!

The Israelites were permitted to own slaves purchased from other nations (or, perhaps, captured as prisoners of war). These are more traditional slaves, who are not released in the Jubilee.

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