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Latest Question & Answer

how old do you have to be to be a slave?

Well that depends. For a person to sell themselves into "slavery" they have to be a consenting adult whether they are Jewish or not. However, children of non-Jewish slaves are automatically the property of the mother's owner. In addition the Halacha of Omah Ivriya is only applicable to a minor Jewess until she reaches majority. [ED. Note: As we prepare to launch our new site, BJL will be partnering with the Star-K on Ask the Rabbi and Kashrus Questions. Rabbi Ari Storch is no longer answering these. This question has been answered by a Star-K Rabbi]

Ask The Rabbi Your Question

Stand Up!

It is written:1  ''You shall rise up before the hoary head and honor the face of the old man''  This ''old man'' is explained as being the Torah Sage as it is said:2  ''Gather to Me seventy men of the elders of Israel''  and concludes that certainly this depends on (them) being wise,  as it is written:3  ''whom you know to be the elders of the people and officers over them''  It is therefore a positive commandment to stand up before a Torah Sage  who is distinguished in his (Torah) learning  even if he is not old in years and not a Rabbi.  It's also a mitzvah to stand up before an old person4  that is, a seventy year old, even if he is not learned  provided he is not wicked. Even with a gentile old person one should speak politely to him  and give him a hand for support. (KSA 144:2)
1) Lev. 19:32.
2) Numbers 11:16.
3) ibid.
4) lit., ''hoary (or white) haired''.