Tuesday, November 01, 2016

Dvar Hashem Mei'Yerushalmi, Yevamos, Daf 44a

Yevamos, Daf 44a

                   I will try this zman to be more regular!



Yerushalmi Yebamos 44a

The Rambam in the 14th perek of Hilchos Issurei Bi'ah
rules that a Jew who acquires a non-Jewish slave from a non-Jew must
convert him to Judaism in a manner similar to a ger tzedek
(albeit the conversion does not result in the slave having full
Jewish status, but rather the unique status of an eved kena'ani).
The conversion requires the slave's consent. If the slave does not
consent, the Jew can keep him as a slave for twelve months, during
which time he can attempt to persuade the slave to convert. If his
efforts prove futile, at the end of the twelve months the Jew must
sell the slave back to a non-Jew.

However, continues the Rambam, if as condition of the original
purchase, the Jewish owner and the non-Jewish slave came to an
agreement that slave would not undergo a full conversion (i.e., he
would not undergo milah and  tevilah), but would
take upon himself the commitments of a ger toshav (which
are, more or less, congruent with seven mitzvos bnei Noach),
then the slave can serve the Jew in that capacity for as long as the
arrangement continues.

This option does not appear in the Bavli.

The Ridbaz suggests that the source for the condition of ger
being an option is the Yerushalmi here. He
explains in this manner a cryptic line in the Gemara that reads Eved
toshav l'olam, ger v'toshav harei hu k'goy l'kol davar.
Ridbaz punctuates and explains the Gemara as follows: Eved
- if one acquired  a non-Jewish slave on the condition
that he be an eved toshav (i.e., a slave that has the
status of a ger toshav) - l'olam - he may remain
with the Jew indefinitely. Ger - but if no such condition
was made, then the assumption is that the slave was acquired  in the
normal manner, which requires the slave to undergo the full
conversion of a ger tzedek. In that case, if the slave
refuses to convert - even if he subsequently agrees to undertake the
commitments of a [ger] toshavharei hu k'goy - he
may not be kept by the Jew, and after twelve months reverts to being
fully non-Jewish.

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