The passage called Mishpatim in Torah begins with laws about slaves and slavery. It’s not an easy topic to discuss in America. Colonial slavery most people are familiar with in America, was truly brutal, unjust, and inhumane. The mistreatment of slaves in America in the not-so-distant past still has its ghosts today, and it forever colors any discussion that touches on the term “slavery.” The tensions are inescapable at the mere mention of the topic. What we encounter in Torah in regard to slavery, however, is quite different.


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