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Jews and Slavery

Reader comment on item: The Evil Isn't Islam

Submitted by Yehoshua Friedman (Israel), Jul 31, 2002 at 04:53

Regarding Jews and Slavery, fellow commenter Alan is right about the Hebrew servant, an institution which can only exist in Israel when the Jubilee year is in effect, meaning when each of the twelve tribes of Israel inhabits its tribal lands. Since most Jews today are outside Israel and don't know their tribal lineage, this and some other provisions are not in effect. Regarding the Canaanite slave, this is a non-Jew who is partially converted to Judaism who can become a full Jew upon his release. This provision can theoretically still apply, but is wisely not used by Jews today. I at one time asked the American Jewish Historical society if these laws were applied by any Jewish slaveowners in the South, but got no reply. Apparently none of those Southern Jews were learned enough to have thought of it. Nonetheless Pipes' statement still applies.
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