Chapter 15

1At the end of seven years you will make a release.   אמִקֵּ֥ץ שֶֽׁבַע־שָׁנִ֖ים תַּֽעֲשֶׂ֥ה שְׁמִטָּֽה:
At the end of seven years [you shall make a release]: One might think that this means seven years [starting from the transaction] of each loan. Scripture, therefore, states, “The seventh year [i.e., the year of release] has approached…” (verse 9). But if you say [that] “seven years” [means] for each loan, after each individual loan, how has it approached? [No loan was yet transacted.] Consequently, you learn [that Scripture means] seven years according to the counting of the Shemitha [cycle]. — [Sifrei]   מִקֵּץ שֶֽׁבַע־שָׁנִים: יָכוֹל שֶׁבַע שָׁנִים לְכָל מִלְוָה וּמִלְוָה, תַּלְמוּד לוֹמָר "קָרְבָה שְׁנַת הַשֶּׁבַע", וְאִם אַתָּה אוֹמֵר שֶׁבַע שָׁנִים לְכָל מִלְוָה וּמִלְוָה, לְהַלְוָאוֹת כָּל אֶחָד וְאֶחָד, הֵיאַךְ הִיא קְרֵבָה? הָא לָמַדְתָּ שֶׁבַע שָׁנִים לְמִנְיַן הַשְּׁמִטָּה (ספרי):
2And this is the manner of the release; to release the hand of every creditor from what he lent his friend; he shall not exact from his friend or his brother, because time of the release for the Lord has arrived.   בוְזֶה֘ דְּבַ֣ר הַשְּׁמִטָּה֒ שָׁמ֗וֹט כָּל־בַּ֨עַל֙ מַשֵּׁ֣ה יָד֔וֹ אֲשֶׁ֥ר יַשֶּׁ֖ה בְּרֵעֵ֑הוּ לֹֽא־יִגֹּ֤שׂ אֶת־רֵעֵ֨הוּ֙ וְאֶת־אָחִ֔יו כִּֽי־קָרָ֥א שְׁמִטָּ֖ה לַֽיהֹוָֽה:
to release the hand of every creditor: Heb. שָׁמוֹט כָּל-בַּעַל מַשֵּׁה יָדוֹ, [lit. to release every master the loan of his hand, which makes no sense. Therefore, Rashi interprets the verse to mean] to release the hand of every creditor [from reclaiming the loan].   שָׁמוֹט כָּל־בַּעַל מַשֵּׁה יָדוֹ: שָׁמוֹט אֶת יָדוֹ שֶׁל כָּל בַּעַל מַשֶּׁה:
3From the foreigner you may exact; but what is yours with your brother, your hand shall release.   גאֶת־הַנָּכְרִ֖י תִּגֹּ֑שׂ וַֽאֲשֶׁ֨ר יִֽהְיֶ֥ה לְךָ֛ אֶת־אָחִ֖יךָ תַּשְׁמֵ֥ט יָדֶֽךָ:
From the foreigner you may exact: This is a positive command (See Ramban.). - [Sifrei]   אֶת־הַנָּכְרִי תִּגֹּשׂ: זוֹ מִצְוַת עֲשֵׂה (שם):
4However, there will be no needy among you, for the Lord will surely bless you in the land the Lord, your God, is giving you for an inheritance to possess.   דאֶ֕פֶס כִּ֛י לֹ֥א יִֽהְיֶה־בְּךָ֖ אֶבְי֑וֹן כִּֽי־בָרֵ֤ךְ יְבָֽרֶכְךָ֙ יְהֹוָ֔ה בָּאָ֕רֶץ אֲשֶׁר֙ יְהֹוָ֣ה אֱלֹהֶ֔יךָ נֹתֵֽן־לְךָ֥ נַֽחֲלָ֖ה לְרִשְׁתָּֽהּ:
However, there will be no needy among you: But further on it says, “For there will never cease to be needy [within the land]” (verse 11). [These two verses seem to contradict each other. However, the explanation is:] When you perform the will of the Omnipresent, there will be needy among others but not among you. If, however, you do not perform the will of the Omnipresent, there will be needy among you. - [Sifrei]   אֶפֶס כִּי לֹא יִֽהְיֶה־בְּךָ אֶבְיוֹן: וּלְהַלָּן הוּא אוֹמֵר "כִּי לֹא יֶחְדַּל אֶבְיוֹן"? אֶלָּא בִּזְמַן שֶׁאַתֶּם עוֹשִׂים רְצוֹנוֹ שֶׁל מָקוֹם אֶבְיוֹנִים בַּאֲחֵרִים וְלֹא בָכֶם, וּכְשֶׁאֵין אַתֶּם עוֹשִׂים רְצוֹנוֹ שֶׁל מָקוֹם אֶבְיוֹנִים בָּכֶם:
needy: Heb. אֶבְיוֹן, [denoting someone who is] poorer than an ע ָנִי. The term אֶבְיוֹן means“to yearn for” (תָּאֵב) , i.e., one who yearns for everything [because he has nothing]. — [Vayikra Rabbah 34:6, see B.M. 111b]   אֶבְיוֹן: דַּל מֵעָנִי, וּלְשׁוֹן אֶבְיוֹן שֶׁהוּא תָּאֵב לְכָל דָּבָר (עי' ויקרא רבה ל"ד):
5However, if you hearken to the voice of the Lord, your God, to be careful to do all this commandment, which I am commanding you today.   הרַ֚ק אִם־שָׁמ֣וֹעַ תִּשְׁמַ֔ע בְּק֖וֹל יְהֹוָ֣ה אֱלֹהֶ֑יךָ לִשְׁמֹ֤ר לַֽעֲשׂוֹת֙ אֶת־כָּל־הַמִּצְוָ֣ה הַזֹּ֔את אֲשֶׁ֛ר אָֽנֹכִ֥י מְצַוְּךָ֖ הַיּֽוֹם:
However, if you hearken [to the voice of the Lord, your God]: then “there will be no needy among you” (verse 4).   רַק אִם־שָׁמוֹעַ תִּשְׁמַע: אָז לא יהיה בך אביון:
you hearken: Heb. שָׁמֹעַ תִּשְׁמַע. [The repetition of the verb form suggests:] If one listens a little, he will be granted the opportunity to listen much [i.e., he will be taught much Torah as a reward]. — [Sifrei]   שָׁמוֹעַ תִּשְׁמַע: שָׁמַע קִמְעָא מַשְׁמִיעִין אוֹתוֹ הַרְבֵּה (ספרי):
6For the Lord, your God, has blessed you, as He spoke to you, and you will lend to many nations, but you will not borrow; and you will rule over many nations, but they will not rule over you.   וכִּֽי־יְהֹוָ֤ה אֱלֹהֶ֨יךָ֙ בֵּֽרַכְךָ֔ כַּֽאֲשֶׁ֖ר דִּבֶּר־לָ֑ךְ וְהַֽעֲבַטְתָּ֞ גּוֹיִ֣ם רַבִּ֗ים וְאַתָּה֙ לֹ֣א תַֽעֲבֹ֔ט וּמָֽשַׁלְתָּ֙ בְּגוֹיִ֣ם רַבִּ֔ים וּבְךָ֖ לֹ֥א יִמְשֹֽׁלוּ:
[For the Lord, your God, has blessed you,] as He has spoken to you: And where did He speak about this? “Blessed are you in the city…” (Deut. 28:3). - [Sifrei]   כַּֽאֲשֶׁר דִּבֶּר־לָךְ: וְהֵיכָן דִּבֵּר? (דברים כ"ח) בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה בָּעִיר (ספרי):
and you will lend: Heb. וְהַעֲבַטְתָּ. Whenever an expression denoting lending refers to a lender [of money], it adopts the hiph’il [causative] form. For example, וְהִלְוִיתָ, or וְהַעֲבַטְתָּ, you will lend. However, if it would have said וְעָבַטְתָּ, [in the kal, simple conjugation,] it would be referring to the borrower, like וְלָוִיתָ, you will borrow.   וְהַֽעֲבַטְתָּ: כָּל לְשׁוֹן הַלְוָאָה כְּשֶׁנּוֹפֵל עַל הַמַּלְוֶה נוֹפֵל בִּלְשׁוֹן מַפְעִיל, כְּגוֹן וְהִלְוִיתָ, וְהַעֲבַטְתָּ. וְאִם הָיָה אוֹמֵר וְעָבַטְתָּ הָיָה נוֹפֵל עַל הַלֹּוֶה, כְּמוֹ וְלָוִיתָ:
and you will lend to [many] nations: One might think that you will borrow from this one and lend that one. Therefore, Scripture states, “but you will not borrow.”   וְהַֽעֲבַטְתָּ גּוֹיִם: יָכוֹל שֶׁתְּהֵא לֹוֶה מִזֶּה וּמַלְוֶה לָזֶה, תַּלְמוּד לוֹמָר "וְאַתָּה לֹא תַעֲבֹט":
and you will rule over many nations: One might think that [at the same time] other nations will rule over you. Therefore, Scripture states, “but they will not rule over you.” - [Sifrei]   וּמָֽשַׁלְתָּ בְּגוֹיִם רַבִּים: יָכוֹל גוֹיִם אֲחֵרִים מוֹשְׁלִים עָלֶיךָ, תַּלְמוּד לוֹמָר "וּבְךָ לֹא יִמְשֹׁלוּ" (שם):
7If there will be among you a needy person, from one of your brothers in one of your cities, in your land the Lord, your God, is giving you, you shall not harden your heart, and you shall not close your hand from your needy brother.   זכִּי־יִֽהְיֶה֩ בְךָ֨ אֶבְי֜וֹן מֵֽאַחַ֤ד אַחֶ֨יךָ֙ בְּאַחַ֣ד שְׁעָרֶ֔יךָ בְּאַ֨רְצְךָ֔ אֲשֶׁר־יְהֹוָ֥ה אֱלֹהֶ֖יךָ נֹתֵ֣ן לָ֑ךְ לֹ֧א תְאַמֵּ֣ץ אֶת־לְבָֽבְךָ֗ וְלֹ֤א תִקְפֹּץ֙ אֶת־יָ֣דְךָ֔ מֵֽאָחִ֖יךָ הָֽאֶבְיֽוֹן:
If there will be among you a needy person: The most needy person has priority. - [Sifrei]   כִּי־יִֽהְיֶה בְךָ אֶבְיוֹן: הַתָּאֵב תָּאֵב קוֹדֵם:
from one of your brothers: Your brother on your father’s side has priority over your brother on your mother’s side. — [Sifrei]   מֵֽאַחַד אַחֶיךָ: אָחִיךָ מֵאָבִיךָ קוֹדֵם לְאָחִיךָ מֵאִמְּךָ:
[in one of] your cities: The poor of your city have priority over the poor of another city. - [Sifrei]   שְׁעָרֶיךָ: עֲנִיֵּי עִירְךָ קוֹדְמִים לַעֲנִיֵּי עִיר אַחֶרֶת:
you shall not harden [your heart]: Some people suffer [as they deliberate] whether they should give [to the needy] or they should not give; therefore it says: “you shall not harden [your heart].” Some people stretch out their hand [to give], but then close it; therefore it says: “nor close your hand.” - [Sifrei]   לֹא תְאַמֵּץ: יֵשׁ לְךָ אָדָם שֶׁמִּצְטַעֵר אִם יִתֵּן אִם לֹא יִתֵּן, לְכָךְ נֶאֱמַר "לֹא תְאַמֵּץ". יֵשׁ לְךָ שֶׁפּוֹשֵׁט אֶת יָדוֹ וְקוֹפְצָהּ, לְכָךְ נֶאֱמַר "לֹא תִקְפֹּץ" (שם):
[nor close your hand] from your needy brother: If you do not give him, you will ultimately become a “brother of the needy” [i.e., becoming needy yourself]. — [Sifrei]   מֵֽאָחִיךָ הָֽאֶבְיֽוֹן: אִם לֹא תִתֵּן לוֹ, סוֹפְךָ לִהְיוֹת אָחִיו שֶׁל אֶבְיוֹן (שם):
8Rather, you shall open your hand to him, and you shall lend him sufficient for his needs, which he is lacking.   חכִּֽי־פָתֹ֧חַ תִּפְתַּ֛ח אֶת־יָֽדְךָ֖ ל֑וֹ וְהַֽעֲבֵט֙ תַּֽעֲבִיטֶ֔נּוּ דֵּ֚י מַחְסֹר֔וֹ אֲשֶׁ֥ר יֶחְסַ֖ר לֽוֹ:
[Rather] you shall open [your hand]: Even many times.   פָתֹחַ תִּפְתַּח: אֲפִלּוּ כַמָּה פְעָמִים (שם):
[Rather] you shall open [your hand]: Heb. כִּי-פָתֹחַ תִּפְתַּח. Here, the word כִּי has the meaning of “rather” [whereas in verse 7 it means “if,” and in verse 10, “because”].   כִּֽי־פָתֹחַ תִּפְתַּח: הֲרֵי כִי מְשַׁמֵּשׁ בִּלְשׁוֹן אֶלָּא:
and you shall lend: If he does not want [your money] as a [charitable] gift, give it to him as a loan. — [Sifrei ; Keth. 67b]   וְהַֽעֲבֵט תַּֽעֲבִיטֶנּוּ: אִם לֹא רָצָה בְמַתָּנָה תֵּן לוֹ בְּהַלְוָאָה (עי' שם; כתובות ס"ז):
[lend him] sufficient for his needs: However, you are not commanded to make him wealthy. — [Sifrei]   דֵּי מַחְסֹרוֹ: וְאִי אַתָּה מְצֻוֶּה לְהַעֲשִׁירוֹ:
[sufficient for his needs,] what he is lacking: Even a horse to ride on and a servant to run before him [if he is accustomed to this type of lifestyle]. - [Sifrei; Keth. 67b]   אֲשֶׁר יֶחְסַר לוֹ: אֲפִלּוּ סוּס לִרְכֹּב עָלָיו וְעֶבֶד לָרוּץ לְפָנָיו (שם):
he [is lacking]: Heb. יֶחְסַר לוֹ, lit. what is lacking for him. This refers to a wife [i.e., you should help him marry a wife]. Similarly, it is stated: “I shall make for him (לוֹ) a helpmate opposite him” (Gen. 2:18). - [Keth. 66b]   לוֹ: זוֹ אִשָּׁה וְכֵן הוּא אוֹמֵר (בראשית ב') אֶעֱשֶׂה לּוֹ עֵזֶר כְּנֶגְדּוֹ (ספרי):
9Beware, lest there be in your heart an unfaithful thought, saying, "The seventh year, the year of release has approached," and you will begrudge your needy brother and not give him, and he will cry out to the Lord against you, and it will be a sin to you.   טהִשָּׁ֣מֶר לְךָ֡ פֶּן־יִֽהְיֶ֣ה דָבָר֩ עִם־לְבָבְךָ֨ בְלִיַּ֜עַל לֵאמֹ֗ר קָֽרְבָ֣ה שְׁנַת־הַשֶּׁ֘בַע֘ שְׁנַ֣ת הַשְּׁמִטָּה֒ וְרָעָ֣ה עֵֽינְךָ֗ בְּאָחִ֨יךָ֙ הָֽאֶבְי֔וֹן וְלֹ֥א תִתֵּ֖ן ל֑וֹ וְקָרָ֤א עָלֶ֨יךָ֙ אֶל־יְהֹוָ֔ה וְהָיָ֥ה בְךָ֖ חֵֽטְא:
and he will cry out [to the Lord] against you: One might think this is a requirement [namely, that this poor man is obliged to “cry out… against you”]. Therefore, Scripture says, “[On his day you shall give him his payment…] so that he will not cry against you [to the Lord]” (Deut. 24:15). - [Sifrei 15:138]   וְקָרָא עָלֶיךָ: יָכוֹל מִצְוָה, תַּלְמוּד לוֹמָר וְלֹא יִקְרָא:
and it will be a sin to you: in any case, even if he does not cry [against you]. If so, why does it say, “and he will cry out… against you?” [It means that God says:] I hasten to punish in response to the one who cries out more than to the one who does not cry out. — [Sifrei]   וְהָיָה בְךָ חֵֽטְא: מִכָּל מָקוֹם, אֲפִלּוּ לֹא יִקְרָא. אִם כֵּן לָמָּה נֶאֱמַר "וְקָרָא עָלֶיךָ"? מְמַהֵר אֲנִי לִפָּרַע עַל יְדֵי הַקּוֹרֵא יוֹתֵר מִמִּי שֶׁאֵינוֹ קוֹרֵא (שם):
10You shall surely give him, and your heart shall not be grieved when you give to him; for because of this thing the Lord, your God, will bless you in all your work and in all your endeavors.   ינָת֤וֹן תִּתֵּן֙ ל֔וֹ וְלֹֽא־יֵרַ֥ע לְבָֽבְךָ֖ בְּתִתְּךָ֣ ל֑וֹ כִּ֞י בִּגְלַ֣ל | הַדָּבָ֣ר הַזֶּ֗ה יְבָֽרֶכְךָ֙ יְהֹוָ֣ה אֱלֹהֶ֔יךָ בְּכָל־מַֽעֲשֶׂ֔ךָ וּבְכֹ֖ל מִשְׁלַ֥ח יָדֶֽךָ:
You shall surely give him: Even a hundred times. — [Sifrei]   נָתוֹן תִּתֵּן לוֹ: אֲפִלּוּ מֵאָה פְעָמִים:
him: [meaning] between him and you [i.e., privately]. - [Sifrei]   לוֹ: בֵּינוֹ וּבֵינְךָ:
for because of this thing: Heb. דָּבָר, lit. word. Even if you said [i.e., gave him your “word”] that you would give, you will receive a reward for the saying along with the reward for the deed. — [Sifrei]   כִּי בִּגְלַל הַדָּבָר: אֲפִלּוּ אָמַרְתָּ לִתֵּן, אַתָּה נוֹטֵל שְׂכַר הָאֲמִירָה עִם שְׂכַר הַמַּעֲשֶׂה (שם):
11For there will never cease to be needy within the land. Therefore, I command you, saying, you shall surely open your hand to your brother, to your poor one, and to your needy one in your land.   יאכִּ֛י לֹֽא־יֶחְדַּ֥ל אֶבְי֖וֹן מִקֶּ֣רֶב הָאָ֑רֶץ עַל־כֵּ֞ן אָֽנֹכִ֤י מְצַוְּךָ֙ לֵאמֹ֔ר פָּ֠תֹ֠חַ תִּפְתַּ֨ח אֶת־יָֽדְךָ֜ לְאָחִ֧יךָ לַּֽעֲנִיֶּ֛ךָ וּלְאֶבְיֹֽנְךָ֖ בְּאַרְצֶֽךָ:
Therefore: Heb. עַל-כֵּן, here meaning מִפְּנֵי כֵן, [i.e.,] “because of this,” or “therefore.”   עַל־כֵּן: מִפְּנֵי כֵן:
saying: I offer you advice for your own good. — [Sifrei]   לֵאמֹר: עֵצָה לְטוֹבָתְךָ אֲנִי מַשִּׂיאֲךָ:
[You shall surely open your hand] to your brother, to your poor one: To which brother? To your poor one.   לְאָחִיךָ לַּֽעֲנִיֶּךָ: לְאֵיזֶה אָח? לֶעָנִי:
to your poor one: Heb. לַעֲנִיֶּךָ, [spelled] with one “yud,” [singular form,] means one poor person, but עֲנִיֶּיךָ‏ with two “yud”s [the second “yud” denoting the plural form,] means two poor people. [Here, since it is written with one “yud,” meaning one poor person, thus modifying אָחִיךָ‏, your brother, which is in the singular]. See Yosef Hallel, Leket Bahir, Chavel.   לַּֽעֲנִיֶּךָ: בְּיוֹ"ד אֶחָד — לְשׁוֹן עָנִי אֶחָד הוּא, אֲבָל עֲנִיֶּיךָ בִשְׁנֵי יוֹדִי"ן — שְׁנֵי עֲנִיִּים:
12If your brother, a Hebrew man or a Hebrew woman, is sold to you, he shall serve you for six years, and in the seventh year you shall send him forth free from you.   יבכִּֽי־יִמָּכֵ֨ר לְךָ֜ אָחִ֣יךָ הָֽעִבְרִ֗י א֚וֹ הָֽעִבְרִיָּ֔ה וַֽעֲבָֽדְךָ֖ שֵׁ֣שׁ שָׁנִ֑ים וּבַשָּׁנָה֙ הַשְּׁבִיעִ֔ת תְּשַׁלְּחֶ֥נּוּ חָפְשִׁ֖י מֵֽעִמָּֽךְ:
If [your brother…] is sold to you: By others [but not one who sells himself because of poverty]. Scripture is speaking here of one whom the court sold [for a theft that he had committed]. But has it not already been stated, “If you buy a Hebrew servant” (Exod. 21:2) and there, too, Scripture is referring to one whom the court sold (Mechilta)? Nevertheless, [it is repeated here] because of two points which are new here: The first is that it is written [here] “or a Hebrew woman,” that she, too, [like a manservant,] goes free at the end of six [years]. This does not mean a woman whom the court has sold, for a woman is not sold [by the court] on account of a theft, since it is stated [that the thief will be sold] “for his theft” (Exod. 22:2), not for her theft. Thus, [we are referring here to] a minor whom her father sold [as a handmaid], and it teaches you here that if six years terminate before she shows signs [of puberty], she goes free (Exod. 21:7-11). The second new point here is: “You shall surely provide him.”   כִּֽי־יִמָּכֵר לְךָ: עַל יְדֵי אֲחֵרִים, בִּמְכָרוּהוּ בֵּית דִּין בִּגְנֵבָתוֹ הַכָּתוּב מְדַבֵּר; וַהֲרֵי כְבָר נֶאֱמַר "כִּי תִקְנֶה עֶבֶד עִבְרִי" וּבִמְכָרוּהוּ בֵית דִּין הַכָּתוּב מְדַבֵּר? אֶלָּא מִפְּנֵי שְׁנֵי דְבָרִים שֶׁנִּתְחַדְּשׁוּ כָּאן, אֶחָד שֶׁכָּתוּב או העבריה אַף הִיא תֵצֵא בְּשֵׁשׁ. וְלֹא שֶׁמְּכָרוּהָ בֵית דִּין, שֶׁאֵין הָאִשָּׁה נִמְכֶּרֶת בִּגְנֵבָתָהּ, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר "בִּגְנֵבָתוֹ" וְלֹא "בִגְנֵבָתָהּ" – אֶלָּא בִקְטַנָּה שֶׁמְּכָרָהּ אָבִיהָ, וְלִמֵּד כָּאן שֶׁאִם יָצְאוּ שֵׁשׁ שָׁנִים קֹדֶם שֶׁתָּבִיא סִימָנִין תֵּצֵא, וְעוֹד חִדֵּשׁ כָּאן העניק תעניק:
13And when you send him forth free from you, you shall not send him forth empty-handed.   יגוְכִֽי־תְשַׁלְּחֶ֥נּוּ חָפְשִׁ֖י מֵֽעִמָּ֑ךְ לֹ֥א תְשַׁלְּחֶ֖נּוּ רֵיקָֽם:
14You shall surely provide him from your flock, from your threshing floor, and from your vat, you shall give him from what the Lord, your God, has blessed you   ידהַֽעֲנֵ֤יק תַּֽעֲנִיק֙ ל֔וֹ מִצֹּ֣אנְךָ֔ וּמִגָּרְנְךָ֖ וּמִיִּקְבֶ֑ךָ אֲשֶׁ֧ר בֵּֽרַכְךָ֛ יְהֹוָ֥ה אֱלֹהֶ֖יךָ תִּתֶּן־לֽוֹ:
You shall surely provide him: Heb. הַעֲנֵיק תַּעֲנִיק. [The root ענק] denotes an ornament worn high [on the upper portion of the body] within view of the eye. [Thus, this verse means that you should give him] something through which it will be recognized that you have benefited him. Others explain [the word הַעֲנֵיק] as an expression of loading on his neck [meaning that you should load him with gifts].   הַֽעֲנֵיק תַּֽעֲנִיק: לְשׁוֹן עֲדִי בַּגֹּבַהּ וּבְמַרְאִית הָעַיִן, דָּבָר שֶׁיְּהֵא נִכָּר שֶׁהֱטִיבוֹתָ לוֹ; וְיֵשׁ מְפָרְשִׁים לְשׁוֹן הַטְעָנָה עַל צַוָּארוֹ:
[You shall surely provide him] from your flock, from your threshing floor, and from your vat: One might think that I must [give him] only these things [listed in the verse here]. Therefore, Scripture states, “from what the Lord, your God, has blessed you,” meaning, from everything with which your Creator has blessed you. Then why are these mentioned? Just as these particular things are within the realm of blessing, so too, you should provide him only with what falls within the realm of blessing. This [therefore] excludes mules, [which are sterile, and are thus not considered within the realm of blessing] (Kid. 17a). In tractate Kiddushin (17a) our Rabbis derived by means of a gezerah shavah how much one must give the servant of each kind.   מִצֹּאנְךָ וּמִגָּרְנְךָ וּמִיִּקְבֶךָ: יָכוֹל אֵין לִי אֶלָּא אֵלּוּ בִּלְבַד, תַּלְמוּד לוֹמָר אשר ברכך – מִכָּל מַה שֶּׁבֵּרַכְךָ בּוֹרַאֲךָ. וְלָמָּה נֶאֶמְרוּ אֵלּוּ? מָה אֵלּוּ מְיֻחָדִים שֶׁהֵם בִּכְלַל בְּרָכָה אַף כָּל שֶׁהוּא בִּכְלַל בְּרָכָה, יָצְאוּ פְּרָדוֹת; וְלָמְדוּ רַבּוֹתֵינוּ בְמַסֶּכֶת קִדּוּשִׁין (דף י"ז) בִּגְזֵרָה שָׁוָה כַּמָּה נוֹתֵן לוֹ מִכָּל מִין וָמִין:
15And you shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the Lord, your God, redeemed you; therefore, I am commanding you this thing today.   טווְזָֽכַרְתָּ֗ כִּ֣י עֶ֤בֶד הָיִ֨יתָ֙ בְּאֶ֣רֶץ מִצְרַ֔יִם וַיִּפְדְּךָ֖ יְהֹוָ֣ה אֱלֹהֶ֑יךָ עַל־כֵּ֞ן אָֽנֹכִ֧י מְצַוְּךָ֛ אֶת־הַדָּבָ֥ר הַזֶּ֖ה הַיּֽוֹם:
And you shall remember that you were a slave [in the land of Egypt]: And I loaded you up [with booty], and then did so a second time, from the spoil of Egypt and from the spoil at the Sea [of Reeds]; so too should you load him up, and then do so a second time. — [Sifrei]   וְזָֽכַרְתָּ כִּי עֶבֶד הָיִיתָ: וְהֶעֱנַקְתִּי וְשָׁנִיתִי לְךָ מִבִּזַּת מִצְרַיִם וּבִזַּת הַיָּם, אַף אַתָּה הַעֲנֵק וּשְׁנֵה לוֹ (ספרי):
16And it will be, if he says to you, "I will not leave you," because he loves you and your household, for it is good for him with you,   טזוְהָיָה֙ כִּֽי־יֹאמַ֣ר אֵלֶ֔יךָ לֹ֥א אֵצֵ֖א מֵֽעִמָּ֑ךְ כִּ֤י אֲהֵֽבְךָ֙ וְאֶת־בֵּיתֶ֔ךָ כִּי־ט֥וֹב ל֖וֹ עִמָּֽךְ:
17Then you shall take an awl and put it through his ear and into the door, and he shall be a servant to you forever; and also to your maidservant you shall do likewise.   יזוְלָֽקַחְתָּ֣ אֶת־הַמַּרְצֵ֗עַ וְנָֽתַתָּ֤ה בְאָזְנוֹ֙ וּבַדֶּ֔לֶת וְהָיָ֥ה לְךָ֖ עֶ֣בֶד עוֹלָ֑ם וְאַ֥ף לַֽאֲמָֽתְךָ֖ תַּֽעֲשֶׂה־כֵּֽן:
[And he shall be] a servant [to you] forever: Heb. לְעוֹלָם. One might think that [לְעוֹלָם, “forever”] is to be interpreted literally. Therefore, Scripture states: “[And you shall sanctify the fiftieth year and proclaim liberty throughout the land to all its inhabitants. It will be a Jubilee for you;] and you shall return, every man to his property, and you shall return, every man to his family” (Lev. 25:10). Consequently, you learn that the term לְעוֹלָם here can mean only the period until the Jubilee. [This period is also called לְעוֹלָם.]- [Mechilta 21:6]   עֶבֶד עוֹלָם: יָכוֹל כְּמַשְׁמָעוֹ, תַּלְמוּד לוֹמָר "וְשַׁבְתֶּם אִישׁ אֶל אֲחֻזָּתוֹ וְאִישׁ אֶל מִשְׁפַּחְתּוֹ תָּשֻׁבוּ" (ויקרא כ"ה), הָא לָמַדְתָּ שֶׁאֵין זֶה אֶלָּא עוֹלָמוֹ שֶׁל יוֹבֵל (מכילתא שמות כ"א):
and also to your maidservant you will do likewise: to provide her. One might think that Scripture includes her concerning the piercing [of the ear] as well. Therefore, it states, “And if the manservant (הָעֶבֶד) will clearly say, [I love my master…then…his master shall bore his ear with an awl]” (Exod. 21:5-6); [i.e.,] a manservant (עֶבֶד) must have his ear pierced, but not a maidservant. — [Sifrei]   וְאַף לַֽאֲמָֽתְךָ תַּֽעֲשֶׂה־כֵּֽן: הַעֲנֵק לָהּ; יָכוֹל אַף לִרְצִיעָה הִשְׁוָה הַכָּתוּב אוֹתָהּ, תַּלְמוּד לוֹמָר (שמות כ"א) "וְאִם אָמֹר יֹאמַר הָעֶבֶד" – עֶבֶד נִרְצָע וְאֵין אָמָה נִרְצַעַת (ספרי):
18You shall not be troubled when you send him free from you, for twice as much as a hired servant, he has served you six years, and the Lord, your God, will bless you in all that you shall do.   יחלֹֽא־יִקְשֶׁ֣ה בְעֵינֶ֗ךָ בְּשַׁלֵּֽחֲךָ֙ אֹת֤וֹ חָפְשִׁי֙ מֵֽעִמָּ֔ךְ כִּ֗י מִשְׁנֶה֙ שְׂכַ֣ר שָׂכִ֔יר עֲבָֽדְךָ֖ שֵׁ֣שׁ שָׁנִ֑ים וּבֵֽרַכְךָ֙ יְהֹוָ֣ה אֱלֹהֶ֔יךָ בְּכֹ֖ל אֲשֶׁ֥ר תַּֽעֲשֶֽׂה:
for twice as much as a hired servant: From here our Rabbis said: A Hebrew slave serves both by day and by night, and that is double the amount of labor of a man hired only for day work. And what is his service during the night? That his master gives him a Canaanite maidservant [as a wife], and the [resultant] children [belong] to the master. — [Sifrei , Kid. 15a]   כִּי מִשְׁנֶה שְׂכַר שָׂכִיר: מִכָּאן אָמְרוּ עֶבֶד עִבְרִי עוֹבֵד בֵּין בַּיּוֹם וּבֵין בַּלַּיְלָה, וְזֶהוּ כִפְלַיִם שֶׁבַּעֲבוֹדַת שְׂכִירֵי יוֹם. וּמַהוּ עֲבוֹדָתוֹ בַלַּיְלָה? רַבּוֹ מוֹסֵר לוֹ שִׁפְחָה כְנַעֲנִית וְהַוְּלָדוֹת לָאָדוֹן (ספרי):
19Every firstborn male that is born of your cattle or of your flock you shall sanctify to the Lord, your God. You shall neither work with the firstborn of your ox, nor shear the firstborn of your flock.   יטכָּל־הַבְּכ֡וֹר אֲשֶׁר֩ יִוָּלֵ֨ד בִּבְקָֽרְךָ֤ וּבְצֹֽאנְךָ֙ הַזָּכָ֔ר תַּקְדִּ֖ישׁ לַֽיהֹוָ֣ה אֱלֹהֶ֑יךָ לֹ֤א תַֽעֲבֹד֙ בִּבְכֹ֣ר שׁוֹרֶ֔ךָ וְלֹ֥א תָגֹ֖ז בְּכ֥וֹר צֹאנֶֽךָ:
Every firstborn male… you shall sanctify [to the Lord]: But elsewhere (Lev. 27:26) it says, “[But the firstborn which will be a firstborn for the Lord of the livestock,] no man shall sanctify it.” How is this [reconciled]? [The verse in Leviticus means that] one may not sanctify [the firstborn] to be another sacrifice [but only as a firstborn sacrifice]. And our verse here teaches us that it is a duty to proclaim [over the firstborn animal], “You are hereby sanctified as a firstborn.” Another explanation: It is impossible to say “sanctify [this firstborn animal],” because [Scripture] already says, “no man shall sanctify it” (Lev. 27:26). And yet it is impossible to say that we shall not sanctify it, for [here] it already says, “you shall sanctify.” So how [can these two verses be reconciled]? [The answer is that we are dealing with an indirect sanctification, namely:] One may sanctify the value of the privilege [i.e., the owner of the firstborn animal has the privilege of choosing to which kohen he will give it. This privilege has a market value, namely how much an Israelite will pay so that the owner of the firstborn will give it to his grandson who is a kohen . The verse, therefore, means:] one may dedicate the value of this privilege according to its benefit and give it to the Temple [treasury]. — [Ar . 29a]   כָּל־הַבְּכוֹר תַּקְדִּישׁ: וּבְמָקוֹם אַחֵר (ויקרא כ"ז) הוּא אוֹמֵר "לֹא יַקְדִּישׁ אִישׁ אֹתוֹ", הָא כֵיצַד? אֵינוֹ מַקְדִּישׁוֹ לְקָרְבָּן אַחֵר; וְכָאן לִמֵּד שֶׁמִּצְוָה לוֹמַר הֲרֵי אַתָּה קָדוֹשׁ לִבְכוֹרָה. דָּבָר אַחֵר — אִי אֶפְשָׁר לוֹמַר "תַּקְדִּישׁ", שֶׁכְּבָר נֶאֱמַר "לֹא יַקְדִּישׁ", וְאִי אֶפְשָׁר לוֹמַר "לֹא יַקְדִּישׁ", שֶׁהֲרֵי כְבָר נֶאֱמַר "תַּקְדִּישׁ", הָא כֵיצַד? מַקְדִּישׁוֹ אַתָּה הֶקְדֵּשׁ עִלּוּי וְנוֹתֵן לַהֶקְדֵּשׁ כְּפִי טוֹבַת הֲנָאָה שֶׁבּוֹ (ערכין כ"ט):
You shall neither work with the firstborn of your ox, nor shear [the firstborn of your flock]: The Rabbis derived that also the converse [i.e., shearing your ox and working the flock] is prohibited. Scripture is merely speaking [here] of the usual manner [in which these animals are used]. — [Bech. 25a]   לֹא תַֽעֲבֹד בבכור שׁוֹרֶךָ וְלֹא תָגֹז וגו': אַף הַחִלּוּף לָמְדוּ רַבּוֹתֵינוּ שֶׁאָסוּר, אֶלָּא שֶׁדִּבֵּר הַכָּתוּב בַּהוֹוֶה (בכורות כ"ה):
20You shall eat it before the Lord, your God, year by year, in the place the Lord chooses-you and your household.   כלִפְנֵי֩ יְהֹוָ֨ה אֱלֹהֶ֤יךָ תֹֽאכְלֶ֨נּוּ֙ שָׁנָ֣ה בְשָׁנָ֔ה בַּמָּק֖וֹם אֲשֶׁר־יִבְחַ֣ר יְהֹוָ֑ה אַתָּ֖ה וּבֵיתֶֽךָ:
You shall eat it before the Lord, your God: [Scripture] is addressing the kohen, for we have already found [a statement to the effect] that it [the firstborn] is part of the dues given to kohanim, whether the animal is unblemished or whether it is blemished. For it is stated, “and their flesh [i.e., of the firstborn animals] shall be yours [i.e., the kohen 's]” (Num. 18:18). - [Bech. 28a] [In both cases, the kohen is entitled to eat the entire animal. The difference between the blemished and the unblemished animals is that the blemished animal is slaughtered outside the Temple, and its flesh may be eaten anywhere by anyone invited by the kohen. The unblemished animal, however, must be slaughtered in the Temple courtyard, its blood dashed on the altar, and its fat burned on the altar. The flesh must be eaten by the kohen and his household within the time allotted for eating it.]   לִפְנֵי ה' אֱלֹהֶיךָ תֹֽאכְלֶנּוּ: לַכֹּהֵן הוּא אוֹמֵר, שֶׁכְּבָר מָצִינוּ שֶׁהוּא מִמַּתְּנוֹת כְּהֻנָּה אֶחָד תָּם וְאֶחָד בַּעַל מוּם, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (במדבר י"ח) וּבְשָׂרָם יִהְיֶה לָּךְ וְגוֹ' (בכ' כ"ח):
[You shall eat it before the Lord…] year by year: From here we derive the law that one should not delay it [i.e., from sacrificing it] beyond its first year (Bech. 28a). [If so, however,] one might think that it becomes unfit [as a sacrifice] when the first year has elapsed. [Therefore, the Torah tells us that] it [the firstborn animal] has already been compared to ma’aser [sheini], as it is said, “And you shall eat before the Lord, your God… the tithes of your grain, your wine, and your oil, and the firstborn of your cattle and of your sheep” (Deut. 14:23). Just as ma’aser sheini does not become unfit [when it is left over] from one year to the next, neither does the firstborn animal become unfit. However, [this verse means] that the proper way to fulfill this commandment [of the firstborn animal] is during its first year.   שָׁנָה בְשָׁנָה: מִכָּאן שֶׁאֵין מַשְׁהִין אוֹתוֹ יוֹתֵר עַל שְׁנָתוֹ; יָכוֹל יְהֵא פָּסוּל מִשֶּׁעָבְרָה שְׁנָתוֹ, כְּבָר הֻקַּשׁ לְמַעֲשֵׂר, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (דברים י"ד) וְאָכַלְתָּ לִפְנֵי ה' אֱלֹהֶיךָ מַעְשַׂר דְּגָנְךָ תִּירֹשְׁךָ וְיִצְהָרֶךָ וּבְכֹרֹת בְּקָרְךָ וְצֹאנֶךָ, מַה מַּעֲשֵׂר שֵׁנִי אֵינוֹ נִפְסָל מִשָּׁנָה לַחֲבֶרְתָּהּ אַף בְּכוֹר אֵינוֹ נִפְסָל, אֶלָּא שֶׁמִּצְוָה תּוֹךְ שְׁנָתוֹ (בכ' כ"ז):
year by year: If one slaughtered it at the end of its first year [on the last day], he may eat it on that day and one day of the next year. This teaches [us] that it [a firstborn animal] may be eaten for two days and one [intervening] night. — [Bech. 27b]   שָׁנָה בְשָׁנָה: אִם שְׁחָטוֹ בְּסוֹף שְׁנָתוֹ אוֹכְלוֹ אוֹתוֹ הַיּוֹם וְיוֹם אֶחָד מִשָּׁנָה אַחֶרֶת, לִמֵּד שֶׁנֶּאֱכָל לִשְׁנֵי יָמִים וְלַיְלָה אֶחָד (שם):
21And if there be any blemish in it, whether it be lame, or blind, or any ill blemish, you shall not sacrifice it to the Lord, your God.   כאוְכִי־יִֽהְיֶ֨ה ב֜וֹ מ֗וּם פִּסֵּ֨חַ֙ א֣וֹ עִוֵּ֔ר כֹּ֖ל מ֣וּם רָ֑ע לֹ֣א תִזְבָּחֶ֔נּוּ לַֽיהֹוָ֖ה אֱלֹהֶֽיךָ:
[And if there be any] blemish [in it]: [This is] a כְּלָל, a general statement [not limiting itself to anything in particular].   מוּם: כְּלָל:
lame, or blind: [This is] a פְּרָט, particular things, [limiting the matter to these things].   פִּסֵּחַ אוֹ עִוֵּר: פְּרָט:
any ill blemish: [Once again the verse] reverts to כְּלָל, a general statement. [Now we have learned that when a verse expresses a כְּלָל, then a פְּרָט, and then a כְּלָל again, just as in this case, we apply the characteristics of the פְּרָט to the whole matter.] Just as the blemishes detailed [lame or blind] are externally visible blemishes that do not heal, so too, any externally visible blemish that does not heal [renders a firstborn animal unfit for sacrifice and may be eaten as ordinary flesh]. — [Bech. 37a]   כֹּל מוּם רָע: חָזַר וְכָלַל — מַה הַפְּרָט מְפֹרָשׁ מוּם הַגָּלוּי וְאֵינוֹ חוֹזֵר, אַף כָּל מוּם שֶׁבַּגָּלוּי וְאֵינוֹ חוֹזֵר (שם ל"ז):
22You shall eat it within your cities, the unclean and the clean together, as the deer, and as the gazelle.   כבבִּשְׁעָרֶ֖יךָ תֹּֽאכְלֶ֑נּוּ הַטָּמֵ֤א וְהַטָּהוֹר֙ יַחְדָּ֔ו כַּצְּבִ֖י וְכָֽאַיָּֽל:
23However, you shall not eat its blood; you shall pour it on the ground, as water.   כגרַ֥ק אֶת־דָּמ֖וֹ לֹ֣א תֹאכֵ֑ל עַל־הָאָ֥רֶץ תִּשְׁפְּכֶ֖נּוּ כַּמָּֽיִם:
However, you shall not eat its blood: [Although eating the blood of any animal is prohibited, this prohibition is mentioned here] so that you should not say: “Since this [blemished firstborn animal] is entirely permitted [to be eaten now after its blemish, even though] it started out from a forbidden status, since it was sanctified, [and now it is permitted] for it is slaughtered outside [the Temple] without having to be redeemed, and [it may be] eaten. I might [therefore] think that its blood is permitted as well!” Therefore, Scripture states, “However, you shall not eat its blood.”   רַק אֶת־דָּמוֹ לֹא תֹאכֵל: שֶׁלֹּא תֹאמַר הוֹאִיל וְכֻלּוֹ הֶתֵּר הַבָּא מִכְּלַל אִסּוּר הוּא, שֶׁהֲרֵי קָדוֹשׁ וְנִשְׁחָט בַּחוּץ בְּלֹא פִדְיוֹן וְנֶאֱכָל, יָכוֹל יְהֵא אַף הַדָּם מֻתָּר, תַּלְמוּד לוֹמַר רק את דמו לא תאכל: