Rebbetzin Jungreis wrote that "In biblical times the Jewish people never had a prison system." While her emphasis on the Eved Ivri method is highly positive, the above statement is factually inaccurate:
"And they put him in ward, that it might be declared unto them at the mouth of HaShem." (Leviticus 24:12)
"And they put him in ward, because it had not been declared what should be done to him." (Numbers 15:34)
"Now at that time the king of Babylon's army was besieging Jerusalem; and Jeremiah the prophet was jailed in the court of the guard, which was in the king of Judah's house." (Jeremiah 32:2)
"Who executeth justice for the oppressed; who giveth bread to the hungry. HaShem looseth the prisoners;" (Psalms 146:7)
Selling an offender to serve as a Hebrew slave does not apply to all crimes.
Very true and beautiful. A true Judaeo-Christian interpretation of the TanaKH and our traditions.
Ivri means both "Hebrew/Jew" and "one who crosses over", that is, one who crosses over from an old life into a new. it is closely related to the concept of being spiritually re-born or born from above/Heaven.