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Avadim - Chapter Eight

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Avadim - Chapter Eight


When a person sells his slave to a gentile, the slave is released as a free man. We compel the previous owner to buy him back from the gentiles at even ten times his value. He then composes a bill of release for him, and the slave is released.

If the gentile purchaser does not desire to sell the slave back at even ten times his value, we do not require the owner to make another offer. This fine is only collected and brought to judgment in a court of expert judges. If the seller dies, we do not require his heir to return the slave so that he can free him.


הַמּוֹכֵר אֶת עַבְדּוֹ לְעַכּוּ''ם יֵצֵא בֶּן חוֹרִין וְכוֹפִין אֶת רַבּוֹ לַחְזֹר וְלִקְנוֹתוֹ מִן הָעַכּוּ''ם עַד עֲשָׂרָה בְּדָמָיו וְכוֹתֵב לוֹ גֵּט שִׁחְרוּר וְיוֹצֵא. וְאִם לֹא רָצָה הָעַכּוּ''ם לְמָכְרוֹ אֲפִלּוּ בַּעֲשָׂרָה בְּדָמָיו אֵין מְחַיְּבִין אוֹתוֹ יֶתֶר. וּקְנָס זֶה אֵין גּוֹבִין אוֹתוֹ וְדָנִין אוֹתוֹ אֶלָּא בְּבֵית דִּין מֻמְחִין. וְאִם מֵת הַמּוֹכֵר אֵין קוֹנְסִין אֶת הַיּוֹרֵשׁ לְהַחְזִיר אֶת הָעֶבֶד לְשִׁחְרוּר:


The following rules apply when a person borrows money from a gentile and offers a slave as collateral. If the borrower fixed a time and told the gentile: "If this and this date arrives and I have not paid you, you acquire the body of this slave," the slave must be released immediately. If he told him: "Acquire the proceeds of his work," the slave is not released.

If the gentile expropriated the slave as payment for the debt, or attackers came upon the master and sought to kill him, and he redeemed himself from them by giving them his slave, the slave is not freed, for he was taken from his master against his will.


לָוָה עַל עַבְדּוֹ מִן הָעַכּוּ''ם אִם קָבַע לוֹ זְמַן וְאָמַר לוֹ אִם הִגִּיעַ זְמַן פְּלוֹנִי וְלֹא אֲשַׁלֵּם לְךָ תִּקְנֶה גּוּף עֶבֶד זֶה הֲרֵי זֶה יֵצֵא לְחֵרוּת מִיָּד. וְאִם אָמַר לוֹ תִּקְנֶה מַעֲשֵׂה יָדָיו לֹא יֵצֵא לְחֵרוּת. גְּבָאוֹ עַכּוּ''ם בְּחוֹבוֹ אוֹ שֶׁבָּאוּ עַל הָאָדוֹן מְצֵרִים וּבִקְּשׁוּ לְהָרְגוֹ וּפָדָה עַצְמוֹ מִיָּדָן בְּעַבְדּוֹ לֹא יָצָא לְחֵרוּת מִפְּנֵי שֶׁנִּלְקַח מִמֶּנּוּ שֶׁלֹּא בִּרְצוֹנוֹ:


If a person sells his slave to one of the servants of a king or his officers, despite the fact that the seller fears them, the slave receives his freedom. For he could have appeased them with other money.


מָכַר עַבְדּוֹ לְאֶחָד מֵעַבְדֵי הַמֶּלֶךְ אוֹ מִגְּדוֹלָיו אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהוּא מִתְיָרֵא מֵהֶם יָצָא הָעֶבֶד לְחֵרוּת מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהָיָה יָכוֹל לְפַיְּסוֹ בְּמָמוֹן אַחֵר:


In the following instances - a person sold his slave to a gentile for 30 days, sold him except for his work, sold him except for the mitzvot, or sold him except for the Sabbaths and festivals - there is an unresolved question whether the slave is free or not. Therefore, if the slave seizes property belonging to his former master that equals his worth, so that he can purchase his freedom from the gentile, it is not expropriated from him.


מְכָרוֹ לְעַכּוּ''ם לִשְׁלֹשִׁים יוֹם. מְכָרוֹ חוּץ מִמְּלַאכְתּוֹ. חוּץ מִן הַמִּצְוֹת. חוּץ מִשַּׁבָּתוֹת וְיָמִים טוֹבִים. הֲרֵי זֶה סָפֵק אִם נִשְׁתַּחְרֵר אוֹ לֹא נִשְׁתַּחְרֵר. לְפִיכָךְ אִם תָּפַס הָעֶבֶד כְּדֵי דָּמָיו לְרַבּוֹ כְּדֵי שֶׁיֵּצֵא בָּהֶן לְחֵרוּת מִיַּד עַכּוּ''ם אֵין מוֹצִיאִין מִיָּדוֹ:


Whether a Jew sells his slave to a gentile who serves idols, a ger toshav, or even to a kuti, the slave is granted his freedom. If he sells his slave to an apostate Jew, there is an unresolved question regarding the matter. Therefore, if the slave seizes property belonging to his former master that equals his worth, so that he can purchase his freedom from the apostate, it is not expropriated from him.


אֶחָד מוֹכֵר עַבְדּוֹ לְעַכּוּ''ם עוֹבֵד עֲבוֹדָה זָרָה אוֹ שֶׁמְּכָרוֹ לְגֵר תּוֹשָׁב אֲפִלּוּ לְכוּתִי הֲרֵי זֶה יֵצֵא לְחֵרוּת. מְכָרוֹ לְיִשְׂרָאֵל מוּמָר הֲרֵי זֶה סָפֵק לְפִיכָךְ אִם תָּפַס כְּדֵי דָּמָיו מֵרַבּוֹ רִאשׁוֹן כְּדֵי לָצֵאת בָּהֶן מִיַּד הַמּוּמָר אֵין מוֹצִיאִין מִיָּדוֹ:


When a person living in Eretz Yisrael sells his slave to a master from the diaspora, the slave is granted his freedom. We compel his new master to compose a bill of release for him, and his money is forfeited.

Why did our Sages penalize the purchaser alone in this instance? Because if he had not purchased the slave, this slave would not have left Eretz Yisrael for the diaspora. Selling a slave to Syria or to Acre is considered as selling him to the diaspora.


הַמּוֹכֵר עַבְדּוֹ לְחוּצָה לָאָרֶץ יָצָא בֶּן חוֹרִין וְכוֹפִין אֶת רַבּוֹ הַשֵּׁנִי לִכְתֹּב לוֹ גֵּט שִׁחְרוּר וְאָבְדוּ הַדָּמִים. וּמִפְּנֵי מָה קָנְסוּ כָּאן הַלּוֹקֵחַ לְבַדּוֹ שֶׁאִלּוּ לֹא לָקַח זֶה לֹא יָצָא הָעֶבֶד לְחוּצָה לָאָרֶץ. הַמּוֹכֵר עַבְדּוֹ לְסוּרְיָא וַאֲפִלּוּ לְעַכּוֹ כְּמוֹכֵר לְחוּצָה לָאָרֶץ:


There is an unresolved question when an inhabitant of Babylonia marries a woman in Eretz Yisrael with the intent of returning to Babylonia, and the woman brings slaves and maid-servants to his household. There is a doubt whether they are considered as having been sold to the diaspora, for the husband has the right to the fruits of their labor, or they are not considered as having been sold to him, since their physical person belongs to the woman.


בֶּן בָּבֶל שֶׁנָּשָׂא אִשָּׁה בְּאֶרֶץ יִשְׂרָאֵל וְדַעְתּוֹ לַחְזֹר וְהִכְנִיסָה לוֹ אִשְׁתּוֹ עֲבָדִים וּשְׁפָחוֹת הֲרֵי אֵלּוּ סָפֵק אִם הֵם כְּמִי שֶׁמָּכְרָה אוֹתָם לְחוּצָה לָאָרֶץ הוֹאִיל וְיֵשׁ לוֹ הַפֵּרוֹת אוֹ אֵינָן כִּמְכוּרִין לוֹ שֶׁהֲרֵי הַגּוּף שֶׁלָּהּ:


When a slave follows his master to Syria, and his master sells him there, the slave is considered to have forfeited his privilege.

When does the above apply? When his master took him to the diaspora with the intent not to return to Eretz Yisrael. If, however, his master's intent was to return, and the slave followed him with that intent, should the master sell him there, he is granted his freedom, and we compel the purchaser to release him.


עֶבֶד שֶׁיָּצָא אַחַר רַבּוֹ לְסוּרְיָא וּמְכָרוֹ שָׁם אִבֵּד אֶת זְכוּתוֹ. בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים כְּשֶׁיָּצָא רַבּוֹ עַל מְנָת שֶׁלֹּא לַחְזֹר לְאֶרֶץ יִשְׂרָאֵל. אֲבָל אִם דַּעַת רַבּוֹ לַחְזֹר וְיָצָא אַחֲרָיו וּמְכָרוֹ שָׁם יָצָא לְחֵרוּת וְכוֹפִין אֶת הַלּוֹקֵחַ לְשַׁחְרְרוֹ:


When a slave asks his master to move to Eretz Yisrael, we compel his master to move there with him or to sell him to someone who is moving there. When a master living in Eretz Yisrael desires to move to the diaspora, he cannot compel the slave to move with him against his will. This law applies in all times, even in the present era, when the land is ruled by gentiles.


עֶבֶד שֶׁאָמַר לַעֲלוֹת לְאֶרֶץ יִשְׂרָאֵל כּוֹפִין אֶת רַבּוֹ לַעֲלוֹת עִמּוֹ אוֹ יִמְכֹּר אוֹתוֹ לְמִי שֶׁיַּעֲלוּהוּ לְשָׁם. רָצָה הָאָדוֹן לָצֵאת לְחוּצָה לָאָרֶץ אֵינוֹ יָכוֹל לְהוֹצִיא אֶת עַבְדּוֹ עַד שֶׁיִּרְצֶה. וְדִין זֶה בְּכָל זְמַן אֲפִלּוּ בַּזְּמַן הַזֶּה שֶׁהָאָרֶץ בְּיַד עַכּוּ''ם:


When a slave flees from the diaspora to Eretz Yisrael, he should not be returned to slavery. Concerning such a person, the Torah Deuteronomy 23:16 states: "Do not return a slave to his master."

His master is told to compose a bill of release for him, and he writes a promissory note for his master for his worth, which the master holds until the freed slave earns that money and gives it to him. If the master does not desire to free him, the court invalidates his ownership of him, and the slave is free to go on his way.


עֶבֶד שֶׁבָּרַח מִחוּצָה לָאָרֶץ לָאָרֶץ אֵין מַחֲזִירִין לוֹ לְעַבְדוּת וְעָלָיו נֶאֱמַר (דברים כג טז) "לֹא תַסְגִּיר עֶבֶד אֶל אֲדֹנָיו". וְאוֹמֵר לְרַבּוֹ שֶׁיִּכְתֹּב לוֹ גֵּט שִׁחְרוּר וְיִכְתֹּב לוֹ שְׁטַר חוֹב בְּדָמָיו עַד שֶׁתַּשִּׂיג יָדוֹ וְיִתֵּן לוֹ. וְאִם לֹא רָצָה הָאָדוֹן לְשַׁחְרְרוֹ מַפְקִיעִין בֵּית דִּין שִׁעְבּוּדוֹ מֵעָלָיו וְיֵלֵךְ לוֹ:


This slave who fled to Eretz Yisrael is a righteous convert. Scripture adds a specific warning for anyone who would desire to deride him, for he is even more humble-spirited than a convert. Therefore, Scripture Deuteronomy 23:17 issues a command with regard to him: "He shall dwell with you, in your midst, in one of your cities that he desires. You shall not abuse him." Abusing him refers even to verbal derision.

Thus, a person who derides this convert transgresses three negative commandments: "A person should not abuse his colleague" (Leviticus 25:14), "Do not abuse a convert" (Exodus 22:20), and "You shall not abuse him." He also transgresses the commandment: "Do not oppress him" (Exodus, Ibid.), as explained with regard to the laws of ona'ah.


עֶבֶד זֶה שֶׁבָּרַח לָאָרֶץ הֲרֵי הוּא גֵּר צֶדֶק וְהוֹסִיף לוֹ הַכָּתוּב אַזְהָרָה אַחֶרֶת לְמִי שֶׁמְּאַנֶּה אוֹתוֹ מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהוּא שְׁפַל רוּחַ יוֹתֵר מִן הַגֵּר וְצִוָּה עָלָיו הַכָּתוּב שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (דברים כג יז) "עִמְּךָ יֵשֵׁב בְּקִרְבְּךָ" (דברים כג יז) "בְּאַחַד שְׁעָרֶיךָ" (דברים כג יז) "בַּטּוֹב לוֹ לֹא תּוֹנֶנּוּ". זוֹ אַף הוֹנָיַת דְּבָרִים. נִמְצֵאתָ לָמֵד שֶׁהַמְאַנֶּה אֶת הַגֵּר הַזֶּה עוֹבֵר בִּשְׁלֹשָׁה לָאוִין מִשּׁוּם (ויקרא כה יז) "וְלֹא תוֹנוּ אִישׁ אֶת עֲמִיתוֹ" וּמִשּׁוּם (שמות כב כ) "וְגֵר לֹא תוֹנֶה" וּמִשּׁוּם לֹא תּוֹנֶנּוּ. וְכֵן עוֹבֵר מִשּׁוּם (שמות כב כ) "וְלֹא תִלְחָצֶנּוּ" כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ בְּעִנְיַן הוֹנָיָה:


When a person purchases a slave from a gentile without making a stipulation beforehand, and the slave does not desire to be circumcised or to accept the mitzvot incumbent upon slaves, he is given leeway for twelve months. If at the end of this period, he still does not desire, the master must sell him to a gentile or to the diaspora.

If the slave made a stipulation with the master at the outset that he did not have to circumcise himself, the owner may maintain him as a gentile for as long as he desires and may sell him to a gentile or the diaspora.

Similarly, even when a slave who has been circumcised and immersed himself to become a slave, but afterwards caused himself to be captured by a group of brigands, if his master cannot expropriate him - neither through the laws of the Jews, nor through the laws of the gentiles - he may accept payment for him from the gentile and formalize the sale through the gentile authorities, for he is preserving his money from the gentiles.


הַקּוֹנֶה עֶבֶד מִן הָעַכּוּ''ם סְתָם וְלֹא רָצָה לָמוּל וּלְקַבֵּל מִצְוֹת הָעֲבָדִים מְגַלְגְּלִין עִמּוֹ כָּל שְׁנֵים עָשָׂר חֹדֶשׁ וְאִם לֹא רָצָה חוֹזֵר וּמוֹכְרוֹ לְעַכּוּ''ם אוֹ לְחוּצָה לָאָרֶץ. וְאִם הִתְנָה הָעֶבֶד עָלָיו תְּחִלָּה שֶׁלֹּא יָמוּל הֲרֵי זֶה מֻתָּר לְקַיְּמוֹ כָּל זְמַן שֶׁיִּרְצֶה בְּגֵיוּתוֹ וּמוֹכְרוֹ לְעַכּוּ''ם אוֹ לְחוּצָה לָאָרֶץ. וְכֵן עֶבֶד שֶׁמָּל וְטָבַל לְשֵׁם עַבְדוּת וְאַחַר כָּךְ הִפִּיל עַצְמוֹ לִגְיָסוֹת וְאֵין רַבּוֹ יָכוֹל לְהוֹצִיאוֹ לֹא בְּדִינֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל וְלֹא בְּדִינֵי אֻמּוֹת הָעוֹלָם הֲרֵי זֶה מֻתָּר לוֹ לִטּל דָּמָיו מִן הָעַכּוּ''ם וְכוֹתֵב וּמַעֲלֶה בְּעַרְכָּאוֹת שֶׁל עַכּוּ''ם מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהוּא כְּמַצִּיל מִיָּדָם:


When a person declares a slave ownerless, the slave is granted his freedom. A bill of release must be composed for him. If the master who declared him ownerless dies, his heir should compose the bill of release.


הַמַּפְקִיר עַבְדּוֹ יָצָא לְחֵרוּת וְצָרִיךְ גֵּט שִׁחְרוּר. וְאִם מֵת הָאָדוֹן שֶׁהִפְקִירוֹ הַיּוֹרֵשׁ כּוֹתֵב לוֹ גֵּט שִׁחְרוּר:


The following rules apply when a slave who was imprisoned flees from jail. If his master despaired of regaining ownership of him, he is granted his freedom. His master is compelled to compose a bill of release for him.


עֶבֶד שֶׁבָּרַח מִבֵּית הָאֲסוּרִין אִם נִתְיָאֵשׁ מִמֶּנּוּ רַבּוֹ יָצָא לְחֵרוּת וְכוֹפִין אֶת רַבּוֹ וְכוֹתֵב לוֹ גֵּט שִׁחְרוּר:


The following rules apply when a slave is taken captive by gentiles. If his first master despaired of regaining ownership of him, anyone who redeems him with the intent that he remain a slave may subjugate him, and he becomes his property. If he redeemed him with the intent that he become free, he is granted his freedom.

If the slave's first owner did not despair of regaining ownership, a person who redeems the slave with the intent that he remain a slave should take back the money he spent to redeem him from his owner, and the slave is returned to his original owner. If he redeemed him with the intent of freeing him, he is returned to his original owner without any payment.


עֶבֶד שֶׁנִּשְׁבָּה אִם נִתְיָאֵשׁ מִמֶּנּוּ רַבּוֹ רִאשׁוֹן כָּל הַפּוֹדֶה אוֹתוֹ לְשֵׁם עֶבֶד יִשְׁתַּעְבֵּד בּוֹ וַהֲרֵי הוּא שֶׁלּוֹ. וְאִם פָּדָהוּ לְשֵׁם בֶּן חוֹרִין הֲרֵי זֶה בֶּן חוֹרִין. וְאִם לֹא נִתְיָאֵשׁ מִמֶּנּוּ רַבּוֹ רִאשׁוֹן הַפּוֹדֶה אוֹתוֹ לְשֵׁם עֶבֶד נוֹטֵל פִּדְיוֹנוֹ מֵרַבּוֹ וְחוֹזֵר לְרַבּוֹ. וְאִם פָּדָהוּ לְשֵׁם בֶּן חוֹרִין חוֹזֵר לְרַבּוֹ הָרִאשׁוֹן בְּלֹא כְּלוּם:


If a master makes a slave an apotiki for his creditor and then frees the slave, the slave is freed. We also compel the creditor to free him as well. This is a measure enacted for the correction of society, lest the creditor encounter the slave at a later time and say: "You are my slave."


עֶבֶד שֶׁעֲשָׂאוֹ רַבּוֹ אַפּוֹתֵיקֵי לְבַעַל חוֹבוֹ וְשִׁחְרְרוֹ הֲרֵי זֶה מְשֻׁחְרָר וְכוֹפִין אֶת בַּעַל חוֹבוֹ לְשַׁחְרְרוֹ. גַּם זֶה מִפְּנֵי תִּקּוּן הָעוֹלָם שֶׁלֹּא יִפְגַּע בּוֹ לְאַחַר זְמַן וְיֹאמַר לוֹ עַבְדִּי אַתָּה:


When a master marries his slave to a free woman, places tefillin on his head, or tells him to read three verses from a Torah scroll in public, or the like - i.e., matters in which only a freed person is obligated - he is considered to be free. We compel his master to compose a bill of release for him.

Similar rules apply when the slave took a vow that we compel slaves to fulfill, as we have stated with regard to vows, and instead of compelling him, his master said: "The vow is annulled." Since he did not compel him in a situation in which he should have compelled him, he indicated that he was concluding his subjugation of him.

From this, I conclude that if a person frees a slave while speaking in any language and utters statements that indicate that his intent is that he does not retain any authority over him at all, and he has resolved to accept this step, he cannot retract. We compel him to write a bill of release even though he has not written one already.

If, however, a person borrows money from his slave, makes him a guardian, the slave puts on tefillin in his master's presence, or reads three verses in the synagogue in his master's presence, and his master does not rebuke him, he does not obtain his freedom.


עֶבֶד שֶׁהִשִּׂיאוֹ רַבּוֹ בַּת חוֹרִין אוֹ שֶׁהִנִּיחַ לוֹ רַבּוֹ תְּפִלִּין בְּרֹאשׁוֹ אוֹ שֶׁאָמַר לוֹ רַבּוֹ לִקְרוֹת שְׁלֹשָׁה פְּסוּקִין בְּסֵפֶר תּוֹרָה בִּפְנֵי צִבּוּר. וְכֵן כָּל כַּיּוֹצֵא בְּאֵלּוּ הַדְּבָרִים שֶׁאֵינוֹ חַיָּב בָּהֶן אֶלָּא בֶּן חוֹרִין יֵצֵא לְחֵרוּת וְכוֹפִין אֶת רַבּוֹ לִכְתֹּב לוֹ גֵּט שִׁחְרוּר. וְכֵן אִם נָדַר נֵדֶר שֶׁכּוֹפִין עָלָיו אֶת הָעֲבָדִים כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ בִּנְדָרִים וְאָמַר לוֹ רַבּוֹ מוּפָר לְךָ יֵצֵא לְחֵרוּת שֶׁכֵּיוָן שֶׁלֹּא כָּפָה אוֹתוֹ בְּמָקוֹם שֶׁיֵּשׁ לוֹ לִכְפּוֹתוֹ גִּלָּה דַּעְתּוֹ שֶׁהִפְקִיעַ שִׁעְבּוּדוֹ. מִכָּאן אֲנִי אוֹמֵר שֶׁהַמְשַׁחְרֵר עַבְדּוֹ בְּכָל לָשׁוֹן וְהוֹצִיא דְּבָרִים מִפִּיו שֶׁמַּשְׁמָעָן שֶׁלֹּא נִשְׁאַר לוֹ עָלָיו שִׁעְבּוּד כְּלָל וְשֶׁגָּמַר בְּלִבּוֹ לְדָבָר זֶה שֶׁאֵינוֹ יָכוֹל לַחְזֹר בּוֹ כּוֹפִין אוֹתוֹ לִכְתֹּב לוֹ גֵּט שִׁחְרוּר אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁעֲדַיִן לֹא כָּתַב. אֲבָל אִם לָוָה מֵעַבְדּוֹ אוֹ שֶׁעָשָׂהוּ אַפּוֹטְרוֹפּוֹס אוֹ שֶׁהִנִּיחַ תְּפִלִּין בִּפְנֵי רַבּוֹ אוֹ שֶׁקָּרָא שְׁלֹשָׁה פְּסוּקִים בְּבֵית הַכְּנֶסֶת בִּפְנֵי רַבּוֹ וְלֹא מִחָה בּוֹ לֹא יֵצֵא לְחֵרוּת:


It is forbidden for a person to teach his slave Torah. If he teaches him, he is not granted his freedom.


וְאָסוּר לְאָדָם לְלַמֵּד אֶת עַבְדּוֹ תּוֹרָה וְאִם לִמְּדוֹ לֹא יָצָא לְחֵרוּת:


If a person purchases a slave from a gentile, and the slave takes the initiative and immerses himself with intent of becoming free in the presence of his master, he attains his freedom. If he does this outside his master's presence, he must explicitly state his intent. Accordingly, the slave's master must push him into the water.


הַלּוֹקֵחַ עֶבֶד מִן הָעַכּוּ''ם וְקָדַם הָעֶבֶד וְטָבַל בִּפְנֵי רַבּוֹ לְשֵׁם בֶּן חוֹרִין יָצָא לְחֵרוּת. שֶׁלֹּא בִּפְנֵי רַבּוֹ צָרִיךְ לְפָרֵשׁ לְפִיכָךְ צָרִיךְ רַבּוֹ לְתָקְפּוֹ בַּמַּיִם:


If a Jew seizes possession of a gentile who was a minor, or finds a gentile child and has him immersed with the intent that he become a convert, he becomes a convert. If his intent was that the gentile become a slave, he becomes a slave. If his intent was that he become a free man, he becomes a free man.


יִשְׂרָאֵל שֶׁתָּקַף עַכּוּ''ם קָטָן אוֹ מָצָא תִּינוֹק עַכּוּ''ם וְהִטְבִּילוֹ לְשֵׁם גֵּר הֲרֵי זֶה גֵּר. לְשֵׁם עֶבֶד הֲרֵי זֶה עֶבֶד. לְשֵׁם בֶּן חוֹרִין הֲרֵי זֶה בֶּן חוֹרִין:


When the slaves and maid-servants of a convert take the initiative and immerse themselves in his presence, they attain their freedom.


גֵּר שֶׁקָּדְמוּ עֲבָדָיו וְשִׁפְחוֹתָיו וְטָבְלוּ לְפָנָיו קָנוּ עַצְמָן בְּנֵי חוֹרִין:

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The Mishneh Torah was the Rambam's (Rabbi Moses ben Maimon) magnum opus, a work spanning hundreds of chapters and describing all of the laws mentioned in the Torah. To this day it is the only work that details all of Jewish observance, including those laws which are only applicable when the Holy Temple is in place. Participating in one of the annual study cycles of these laws (3 chapters/day, 1 chapter/day, or Sefer Hamitzvot) is a way we can play a small but essential part in rebuilding the final Temple.
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