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From: Russell Hendel <rhendel@mcs.drexel.edu> Date: Sun, 22 Aug 1999 22:41:31 -0400 (EDT) Subject: RE: Legal Rights of an Eved Canaani I seem to have been misquoted by Warren Burnstein in mj-v29n57. Allow me to re-clarify myself. (The subject under discussion was my assertion that (a) you are prohibited from beating slaves (b) the eved cnaani is like a child and (c) the slave has legal recourse in the courts. Let me now examine Warren's comments and reply using my previous posting. >>The eved cnaani never "grows up".<<< Not true. Rabban Gamliel freed his slave to make a minyan--in other words the slave had his Bar Mitzvah (Cited as law in Rambam Slaves 9 and referenced to the Gmarrah's incident.) Furthermore as is clear from the last law in Slaves 9, slaves were suppose to be treated with kindness, good food etc so that they could grow up. The only point worth conceding here is that the slave can't sue for this right. But the owner is obligated. On the other hand if the slave can't emancipate himself from his former habits he can remain the way he is (with the good meals). >While I agree that the master was not permitted to cause unnecessary >pain, It was permitted to cause just as much as required to get the >slave to work. On the other hand, if one has a dispute with a free >person an eved ivri, one is not allowed to cause any pain whatsoever >(unless it's in self-defense). That proves my point. I never said a slave was a free person. I said he was like a child and the above paragraph is the way you treat a child. >Why should the master get any work at all out of a slave who he doesn't >feed?...And the obligation to help the Canaanite slave live is the same as >tzedaka --....the slave has no more recourse than a poor person who >doesn't manage to collect sufficient donations for his needs. Slaves 9:7 That is exactly why I cited Gitin 12, the Shulchan Aruch and Kesef Mishnah--the slave has a right to go to court and demand "Feed me or free me." The master can only force him to live off charity IF there is a market for his work. To sum it up---a canaanite slave while not a free person (I never said he was) has the rights of a child---he can sue for the right not to be tortured or starved to death and has the option to "grow up" and be emancipated. Russell Hendel;Moderator Rashi Is Simple;http://www.shamash.org/rashi/