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From: Russell Hendel <rhendel@saber.towson.edu> Date: Sun, 13 Aug 2000 18:00:47 -0400 (EDT) Subject: A Summary of the Slavery Postings I just finished reading the half dozen or so postings in V33N4 about female slavery. While some statements shocked me, nevertheless I think that some excellent points have been made which I would like to tersely summarize with additional sources. In defending the laws allowing Fathers to sell their daughters we should remember that 1)(Perets Mett) A Jew can NEVER sells himself into slavery; rather he sells himself(or daughter) as an indentured servant. This is a real work contract as can be proven from the fact that the sale itself must intrinsically allow for breaking the contract by reimbursement of funds (Rambam Slaves 4:3) 2) (Russell Hendel) The rights of a female minor slave and a child minor are about the same. So nothing is really being lost by selling her. 3) (Russell Hendel) I suggested that female minor slavery is allowed to prevent expected prostitution which happens in very poor families. I neglected to cite the explicit source (Slaves 4:2) "A father may not sell his daughter unless he is so poor that he has neither movables real estate or even clothing. And EVEN THEN the fathers first obligation upon obtaining funds is to buy back his daughter." (So the only way she could remain a slave was if the father is perpetually poor) 4) (Perets Mett) All fathers can initiate a marriage of their minor daughters (I should add that no female minor slave could be married without her consent (Slaves 4:8). Furthermore (Rabbi Berkowitz rephrased) a female minor slavery which could not end in marriage is not valid (Slaves 4:11) One final point: I think the statements about infant genocide and the idea that "The modern environment, in which women are able to easily earn an independant living without engaging in prostitution, is very new" are extreme statements. The above defense of slavery focuses on female vulnerability; it does not focus on an assumption of widespread infantacide and female job prostitution as a rule.Furthermore while I certainly hope that tractors replace animals in the messianic world there are strong opinions that poverty (and hence slavery) will still exist (Dt15-11). Russell Jay Hendel; Phd ASA Dept of Math RHEndel@Towson.Edu Moderator Rashi is Simple http://www.RashiYomi.Com