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Rambam - Sefer HaMitzvos
As Divided for The Daily Learning Schedule

Positive Mitzvah 235;
Negative Mitzvot 254, 255


  Day 286Day 288  

Positive Mitzvah 235: The Non-Jewish Slave
Leviticus 25:46 "They shall serve you forever"

The status of a Non-Jewish slave differs greatly from that of a Jewish slave.

We are commanded to observe the Torah guidelines for dealing with these slaves.

We are permitted to benefit from their services and may only release them under unique circumstances.


Negative Mitzvah 254: It is forbidden to turn in a runaway slave who flees to the Eretz Yisrael
Deuteronomy 23:16 "You shall not deliver a servant to his master"

This Negative Mitzvah applies to a slave that is living with his master outside of Eretz Yisrael.

If this slave deserts his master and seeks refuge in the Holy Land, we may not return him to his master. Rather, he is granted his freedom.


Negative Mitzvah 255: It is forbidden to hurt the runaway slave's feelings
Deuteronomy 23:17 "He shall dwell with you do not oppress him"

We may think that if the person was once a slave, he is used to being mistreated and, therefore, we do not have to watch out for his feelings.

The Torah cautions us not to think this way about a slave and never to say anything that may hurt his feelings.

We are commanded to be considerate and kind towards a runaway slave, welcoming him and treating him with respect.


Before the experience at Mount Sinai, there was a hierarchy of truth. The high priest of Egypt had the real truth. The scribes had secrets of the truth. Their initiated students had inklings. The people wallowed in ignorance. At Sinai, all men, women and children had to be present. All received the same truth, all at once. When it comes to the genuine article, there is no higher and lower. Some may perceive a truth in greater depth or in broader detail, but the essence of truth is equally everywhere and for everybody. Because G-d is everywhere.

From: Bringing Heaven Down to Earth by Tzvi Freeman - tzvif@aol.com


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