Re: Slavery

pat hoon (
Sat, 28 Dec 1996 14:18:06 -0600

Akiva Miller wrote:
> But there is still a common thread between the two which bothers me very
> much emotionally. And that is the concept of *ownership*.
> This concept of "ownership" is what distinguishes a slave from an
> employee. How can a person sell himself? Suppose someone is in debt, or
> had stolen and needs to pay it back. Why must he sell himself? Why can't
> he just offer himself as an employee for the same price, same length of
> time, and same conditions of employment? Why is that insufficient, that
> he must also sell his body?

In response to the many comments on slavery in the Torah particularly the
idea of ownership of another human being, I began to wonder if we are being
shown that we do not own ourselves but are rather owned by G-D. We are
slaves in the sense of doing service to our master who is entitled to our
work product even our children. In return we will be cared for and our
basic needs met. While with a modern eye I find the notion of slavery
abhorant, I recognize that we can all be slaves to our passions, our wants,
and to some extent our employers if we choose of our own free will to work
for another. How much better to be a slave to Hashem.

Patricia Hoon Galvan