Pisqa’ 259

Pisqa’ 2591


“Do not return a slave to his master” (Dt.23:16).

On this basis, they taught:

one who sells his [Hebrew] slave to gentiles

or [to an owner] beyond the Land—

the slave goes forth a free man.

“When he has sought refuge with you from his master” (Dt .23:16)—

this includes as well a resident alien.

“He may live with you” (Dt.23:17)—

but not in the city itself.

“In your midst” (Dt.23:17)—

but not on the border lands.

“In the place he shall choose” Dt.23:17)—

in the place where he earns his living.

“In one of your gates” (Dt.23:17)—

he may live in [any] of your gates,

but not in Jerusalem,

[which falls outside the tribal inheritances]. 2


When He says:

“In one of your gates” (Dt.23:17)—

this implies that he shouldn’t wander from city to city.

“If he is doing well” (Dt.23:17)—

that is, if he moves from a poor area to a fine area.


“Do not oppress him” (Dt.23:17)—

with verbal oppression, in particular.3

Another word:

“Do not return a slave to his master” (Dt.23:16)—

this verse concerns a gentile escaping enslavement to a foreign cult.

  1. H:257-258;JN2:188.
  2. Cf. T. Neg. 6:2 in re: the incorrigible son (Dt. 21:18ff., Pisqa’ 218.4), whose trial and execution may occur “anywhere but Jerusalem, to publicize that it belongs to all Israel [and not to any one tribe].”
  3. Cf. M. BM. 4:10, in re: verbal oppression of the resident alien and the child of converts: “A person shall not say to him: Recall the deeds of your ancestors!” See also T. BM. 3:25 and Mechilta Ishmael, neziqin, 18.