The Strange Laws Of Jewish Slavery

The Surprising Origins Of The Jewish Slavery Laws

Rabbi David Fohrman
Rabbi David Fohrman


In this week's parsha, we are given the commandments relating to a Jew having a Jewish slave. The Biblical slavery laws in Deuteronomy seem strange: we give gifts to our slaves? If they want to stay, we must pierce their ear? It can be difficult to relate to these kinds of ancient Hebrew slavery laws, which hardly seem relevant thousands of years later. How are we supposed to understand these weird Jewish laws of slavery in a modern context?

Rabbi Fohrman goes through these oddities to show us that the Bible is reminding us of our own national slavery in Egypt. In doing so, he uncovers a modern guide on how we should also let go of those who work with us, with grace and empathy.