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    I would like to stay – Mishpatim

    The Torah reading deals with the factors that could cause a Jew to become slave.

    This was not interminable slavery but a six-year period of servitude. At the end of the term the person went free.

    You would think no-one would want to keep going as a slave, but some actually did. During the time of bondage the master had to provide for the slave and his family, and losing this facility might not be enough reason to opt for independence.

    The Torah says that the slave who wants to keep going should have his ear pinned to the door for twenty-four hours. The punishment involved his ear, because the ear had heard the Divine call for freedom and had ignored it.

    According to the Kli Yakar the ear was pinned to the door because doors indicate a way out. The slave was given the opportunity of going out into society and was reluctant to take it.

    When a way forward becomes available one should not try to stay back in the past or even the present.

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