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August 30, 2014 / 4 Elul, 5774
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Mishpatim: Female Servitude… Wait, What?


slave girl

In this week’s parsha, we are given the laws of female servitude — worse, a female child, being sold by her parents! How are we, as 21st century students of the Torah, meant to understand such a difficult piece of text? In this video, Rabbi Fohrman shows us that the Torah argues that to create a better society, we must be proactive about addressing social and economic inequality.



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About the Author: Rabbi David Fohrman is the dean of Aleph Beta Academy. He has taught at Johns Hopkins University, and was a lead writer and editor for ArtScroll's Talmud translation project. Aleph Beta creates videos to help people experience Torah in way that is relevant and meaningful to them. for more videos, visit: alephbeta.org.


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11 Responses to “Mishpatim: Female Servitude… Wait, What?”

  1. Susan Carroll says:

    Thank you for this clarification. Our Lord loves his daughters. As a Mormon with roots in my family of polygamy, I appreciate how wives needed to be treated with fairness.

  2. Thank you so much for this! This topic had troubled me for a while, and I really appreciate the clarification.

  3. Bryna Lazarus says:

    Thank you for this expansion of an issue which seems abhorent on the surface of our 'modern -politically correct" sensibilities

  4. Dana Stana says:

    Thank you for this topic. It expresses an entirely new perspective regarding servitude! It's very positive indeed.

  5. Lisa Kamins says:

    there still is slavery through out the world. it is barbaric and cruel. it is sadly real.

  6. Lisa Kamins says:

    thank you, you clarified what something that was bothering me, that the miforshim I'd read did not explain.

  7. never see anything like this! this is groundbreaking!

  8. What would the life of the child servant be like during the servitude time, i.e., are there protections?

  9. Beautiful Insight Todah Rabah ! However there needs to be correction that there is no slavery today – there certaintly is. Sexual slavery and trafficking is a huge problem, so slavery certaintly isnt abolished. The failure of Leadership in the Klal has also brought slavery to the people – through Beis Din corruption and a failure to follow Torah, this has brought the people into slavery. We need again to be redeemed out of this insufferable slavery that men have put on us (not Torah).

  10. Thank you very much for this teaching!!!
    It´s a light for who search liberty and love as care and responsability!!!

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