Well Placed Trust

February 26, 2009

englishIn anticipation and following last week’s parsha, a number of people remarked to me how the Torah puts tremendous trust in people, even in rather questionable situations. Two examples were particularly mentioned, first of all, the trust put in the hands of the master who has purchased a Hebrew maidservant and has decided to either marry her himself, or marry her off to his son. Either way, the Torah remarks:

אִם־אַחֶ֖רֶת יִֽקַּֽח־לֹ֑ו שְׁאֵרָ֛הּ כְּסוּתָ֥הּ וְעֹנָתָ֖הּ לֹ֥א יִגְרָֽע׃

If he take him another wife, her food, her raiment, and her conjugal rights, shall he not diminish. (Shemot 21)

Even though not all three things due to her are equally private, they are all part of the private relationship between a husband and wife. How is she to prove that she is mistreated? How is she to avoid being mistreated? It seems that the Torah put its trust in the slave owner. Read the rest of this entry »