Monday, August 18, 2008

Missing a Hand

Shmuel said (Daf Yomi: Gittin 38a) : A master who declares his slave ownerless, the slave goes out to freedom and it is not necessary to write a document of emancipation.

The Ketzos Hachoshen (200:5) asks: If, according to Shmuel, an emancipation deed is not necessary, even to permit him to marry a Jewish woman, why then, in an ordinary case of emancipating a slave through a document, would it be necessary for the deed to written for the sake of this particular slave? It should be regarded as if he was granting his slave to another owner through a document, where definitely, the halachah would not require that it should be written lishmah, for it is merely an acquisition document!?

He answers that if the document would only be regarded as an acquisition document, the slave would not have the ability to acquire it, for his hand if like his master’s hand. It is only when the master hands over to the slave a deed of emancipation, then he is granting him “his hand” to acquire the document at the same time.