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בס"ד

 

David Einhorn's Response to
"A Biblical View of Slavery"

(Translated from the German, in "Sinai," Vol. VI, p. 2-22,
Baltimore, 1861, by Mrs. Kaufmann Kohler)

We have before this had occasion to admire Dr. Raphall's originality, but never would we have credited him with such originality as is displayed in the carefully prepared address delivered on the 4th of January (1861) and published in the New York, "Herald," in which he positively claims that slavery is sanctioned in the Bible. The sermons we read that were delivered by Christian clergymen, even in the Southern states on this Day of Penitence and Prayer, disapproved of and apologized for slavery. In his address* the venerable chaplain of Congress had the pious courage to say: "What do they, the Southern States, want? Slavery in their states? Let them have it, not because we approve of it, but because it is there through the providential sanction of the Divine Being, and they alone are responsible for it." No matter what we may think of the above allusion to the free will of man in its relation to moral evils, sanctioned by God, there is much to be said in favor of the North not being called upon to meddle in matters of conscience concerning the South. Rev. Dr. Cummin of our city (the chief city of a slave-state) confines himself to excusing the deplorable inheritance because of its being an inheritance. In such statements we perceive the ethical sense to be lord and master, even though the master must in deep sorrow submit to the force of conditions. The question around which everything revolves is not whether the South ought or may possibly have its slaves taken away, as every truly moral being would consider such an exercise of force a crime in view of its horrible consequences. Nor is it a question whether the slave-holder as such, is or is not a moral monster with whom all association must be avoided. No thoughtful person would dare to doubt that men of highly honorable character can be slaveholders, having been raised under the influence of such an institution, and finding relief in the humane treatment of their slaves. In spite of its absolute force, the moral sense is doubtless subject to all sorts of modifications in accordance with locality, customs, youthful impressions and the times. Abraham was a slave-owner and possessed Hagar, his bondswoman; though even today we deem him a model of morality because we look upon him from the standpoint of his time. We do not call the Turk who today practises the immoral custom of polygamy, an immoral being, as this immorality has become a traditional custom to him; whereas, if not traditional, only a degenerate would be addicted to this immoral practice. The question simply is: Is Slavery a moral evil or not? And it took Dr. Raphall, a Jewish preacher, to concoct the deplorable farce in the name of divine authority, to proclaim the justification, the moral blamelessness of servitude, and to lay down the law to Christian preachers of opposite convictions. The Jew, a descendant of the race that offers daily praises to God for deliverance out of the house of bondage in Egypt, and even today suffers under the yoke of slavery in most places of the old world, crying out to God, undertook to designate slavery as a perfectly sinless institution, sanctioned by God I And the impudent persons who will not believe this, are met with fanatical zeal, with a sort of moral indignation (!!!). It is difficult to picture a phenomenon more worthy of admiration! In this lecture, he was himself astonished at his glorious endeavor, and in the mildness of his heart, exclaimed: "I grieve to find myself saying a good word for slavery, but God and the truth must prevail!" How the crown of martyrdom would have glittered on his head if the black cap (cowl) had not already been placed there!

*The words referred to in the address are the following: "Even on that most solemn and most holy occasion slaveholding is not only recognized-and sanctioned as an integral part of the social structure when it is commanded that the Sabbath of the Lord is to bring rest to Negabdscba vearnathecha, 'thy male slave and thy female slave'. (Exod. XX, 17, V. 14). But the property in slaves is put under the same protection as any other species of lawful property when it is said "thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's house or his field, or his male servant or his female servant, or his ox or his ass or aught that belongs to thy neighbor" (Id. XX 17, V. 21). Should say:-Ex. 20, 15. Deut. 5, 18.

But to come to the point; let us consider his arguments. To allow his beloved slavery to appear in the full glory of holiness, the revered speaker surrounds it with the prestige of remotest antiquity to prove that it existed already before the deluge; and it must be confessed that this evidence as given is presented in a very ingenious manner and in its skill exceeds the capacity already admired by our ancients to drive a camel through a needle's eye. In his (own) impulse to create, the pious speaker does not take the least notice of the story of the creation. Although it tells us: "and God created man in His image, man and woman He created them, and God blessed them and said to them: be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that creepeth upon the earth" (Genesis 1, 28). Here no mention is made of dominion over the negro, who perhaps, according to the Raphall theory, was included with the animals that crawl and creep upon the earth,—though the antediluvian existence of slaves is clearly recognized in the words of Noah: "cursed be Canaan, a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren." (Genesis IX 25.)

How happened Noah to know anything about slavery, our clear-sighted theologian asks? How could such a thought strike him, being alone on earth with his family, without a single slave? Whence his acquaintance with the word "slave" (Ebed) and the nature of slavery? Evidently, owing to his remembrance of conditions prior to the deluge—ergo, negro slavery must have been dominant before the great catastrophe! We are vividly reminded of Jewish clowns who delighted wedding guests with all sorts of leaps in the domain of the Deraschah. Great masters were among the guests, capable of doing astounding things along these lines, but no one was able to climb such dizzy heights. Dr. Raphall will concede, though, that God did not accord a creature under the title of slave to Adam and Eve in the very beginning, as the Bible relates nothing about it, and the Mischnah does not count such a miracle among the ten things created in the dusk of the sixth day. Some one must therefore necessarily of his own volition—whether before or after the deluge—have started to use someone else as his slave.

Whence then, we inquire with Dr. Raphall, does this gigantic thought emanate? Recollection of it could not have aided him any more than it did the fratricide Cain who without having a precedent, committed something even more heinous. The answer to this question we will leave for our intellectual speaker and will merely state that his argument is no better nor worse than the well-known query: "Why are geese bare-footed? Because their ancestors were"! The question asked by our ancients; how the first pair of tongs were made, is more difficult to solve than how the first slave could be made, and that Noah had been the first winegrower required greater power of invention than the notion, independent of any reminiscence, that Canaan should become the Ebed (servant) of his brethren. Moreover, Dr. Raphall made an awkward blunder, at least in the estimation of the intelligent portion of his auditors, in his attempt to carry slavery back to the deluge, thereby proving the very contrary of what he aimed at. Does it not appear as a very doubtful compliment to the God-sanctioned institution of slavery to attribute it—as related in Holy Scriptures—to a world filled with robbery, and which owing to its viciousness was swallowed up by the deluge?

But with this demonstration Dr. Raphall committed an even worse blunder. With it he has involuntarily betrayed that he does not believe that Noah with the fatal utterance that Canaan was to be the slave of his brethren, had been inspired by divine revelation, although he points to this utterance most positively, calling it a prophecy, and attacking the unbelieving rationalists who do not attribute such gift of prophecy to Noah. For if Noah, as a prophet, had foretold the slavery of Canaan—would it not be ridiculous, even blasphemous, to inquire: what gave Noah the idea of slavery, unless he knew of it through his own perception of it? Who is it that speaks through the prophet? God! And should God not be able to proclaim something—whether good or evil—that had not existed before? Yes, the speaker forgets himself to the extent of expressing his regret that Noah in his anger allowed himself to inflict this curse of slavery. Dr. Raphall deplores a prophecy which originated in anger! Can the worst rationalist deal worse with an instance of prophecy? And immediately after such terribly rationalistic effusions, presumptuous rationalism is reproved in the most comical fashion for not believing in the possibility of prophecy. A queer prophet who gives way to his formidable predictions in anger, and at whose utterances one is tempted to ask: whose school did you attend, to have acquired such words and conceptions!

It is most interesting, though, that the great theologian Raphall seriously believed that in Noah's utterance about Canaan, the lot of the negroes has been announced, without having a foreboding even of the confusion of ideas involved in such acceptance of this theory, and it gives evidence of his great deficiency in the knowledge of the Bible. Let us herewith merely quote Bunsen in his famous work on the Bible in connection with this passage: "What appears in this and the following verse as a preliminary, short account of the generation of Noah is the preface to an old family—tradition about the lack of reverence and the exorbitant want of it on the part of the descendants of Ham with reference to Canaan. Those who on the strength of this extenuate the traffic of slavery betray gross ignorance as well as an unbiblical conception. For if we consider the inhabitants of Canaan according to their descent, nationally they would be classed as Semites closely related to the other Semites, especially to the immigrant Hebrews from Aram. Canaan signifies son of Ham i.e., Egypt: for he is looked upon as having emigrated from lower Egypt to Palestine. The negroes however are descended neither from Canaan nor Ham, but in accordance with the language in the torrid zone are scattered, original Semites or Turanians (East-Japhetites). Ham (Hebrew Cham) signifies the Egyptians, their country in 'Egyptian language is called Chami, the black (dark, black, sod) land." In the utterance of Noah, concerning Canaan, Phillipson sees no announcement of slavery, but reference to material interests of Canaan and all the nations belonging to Cham.

No matter how this may be—the negroes must decline the honor of having been destined by Noah, who planted a vine-yard but no cotton, to be slaves! In the courtyard of his wisdom Dr. Raphall has been decidedly unfortunate, we perceive. What will he offer us in the palace itself? After having convinced us in so eminent a way of the pre-deluge existence of slavery in the first part of his address, how will he answer the question brought up in the second part of it, whether holding slaves is a sin according to Biblical law? He begins by assuring his hearers "That the origin of a question like this in the soul of a human being who has the benefit of religious instruction and is familiar with Biblical history, must be an inexplicable phenomenon, of which no one would have dreamt fifty years ago." After these words one ought to expect an opinion against slavery, the more so as Dr. Raphall, if we are not mistaken, has written a book on the history of the Jews, and should therefore know that not fifty, but already thousands of years ago, many Jews, the Essenes, rejected slavery as being contrary to the natural equality of human beings. (compare Phil. opp. II, 458a). But we are sadly disappointed in this expectation. Dr. Raphall cannot comprehend that a person who had the privilege of a religious education, could but for a moment consider slavery, an injustice.

Such words as these have perhaps never before been heard from a Jewish pulpit. Already here our good humor ceases. But if we must listen furthermore: Even on that most solemn and most sacred occasion of the revelation on Sinai, the holding of slaves is not only recognized and sanctioned as an integral part of the social structure when it is commanded  עבדך ואמתך that both male and female servants should rest on the Sabbath (Exod. XX, 10, Deuter. V 14;)—the possession of slaves is even put under the same protection as any other sort of lawful property, as it says: thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's house, his field, nor his man-servant, nor his maid-servant, his ox nor his ass nor anything that is thy neighbor's (Ibid. XX, 14, V, 18, p. 8).

If a Jewish theologian distorts truth in such a way, and drags slavery into our innermost sanctuary and seals this with the eternal world—enlightening "ten flaming Commandments of Sinai," then the pen threatens to drop from our hands, as we exclaim: !אוי לאזנים שכך שומעות Above all, let us notice the wretched foolery enacted with the expression "property" in regard to the manservant and maid-servant of the Bible—or more correctly with the Bible itself! In order not to lessen this conception of property, only one half of the Biblical verse, Ex. 20, 14, and Deut. 5, 18, is given and the preceding sentence: "thou shalt not covet the wife of thy neighbor" is omitted; for by no means is the wife considered the mere property of the husband, like the ox and the ass, and thus the man-servant and maid-servant would in spite of the companionship with asses still have been able to pass as a tolerable person. The noble, sweet wife "would then have protected the Ebed" against the ox and ass! Yes, though Dr. Raphall in parenthesis refers to both these places, he merely cites the succeeding verse from Deut. 5, 18, omitting the preceding verse, Ex. 20, 14, which reads: "Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's wife, nor his man-servant, his maid-servant, nor his ox nor his ass, nor anything which is thy neighbor's." For in this citation, unless the verse is falsified, the wife must be mentioned and in the immediate proximity of the man-servant and the maid-servant, whereas the citation from Deuteronomy allows a division of the verse and even places house and field to the right, ox and ass to the left of the man-servant and maid-servant, and the latter could not have been found in more desirable company by those gentlemen, who clasped the speaker's hands as warmly as Balak would have liked to press those of the less obstinate Balaam.

On the same day and perhaps at the same hour that the words honoring Judaism were pronounced from Christian pulpits: "Hebrew slavery perceives even in the slave the human-being, whereas the Roman institution—merely an object, property!," a Jewish preacher speaks with a voice that was to resound through the whole land for the glorification of God's precepts, and in the name of the Ten Commandments about slave-property, that like all other lawful property is put under the protection of the most holy God! And how does Dr. Raphall prove that such property in human-beings or even slavery is sanctioned by God's law? Above all, because God commands us to grant Sabbath rest to the manservant or the maid-servant! Were it not that we are exclusively concerned about the truth, we would reply: it deals with the manservant and maid-servant of Hebraic race who, as conceded, were not in the actual sense of the word considered as persons employed merely for a certain period to do work. At least the objection in the third part of the address that the "Hebrew slave like every other Israelite, in avoidance of the death-penalty, is obliged to observe the Sabbath rest," it is self-understood, may neither be forced by his master to labor nor of his own volition to work, and that, as specially enjoined, the rest on the Sabbath necessarily applies only to the heathen slave, must not intimidate us. For Dr. Raphall, the adherent to tradition, has merely forgotten the trifle here, that the heathen slave also had to be circumcised, was according to traditional law and his own responsibility as well, obliged to observe the Sabbath, and in the Ten Words this rest of the slave is therefore commanded on the part of the master in order to hold him also responsible for this transgression of the law on the part of his subordinates.*

*Nachmanides' Commentary states with reference to this passage in the Torah:

העבדים שמלו שחייבין בכל דיני שבת ישראל כמו שאמר במשנה תורה למען ינוח עבדך כמותך ואלו חייבין בכל המצות כנשים כמו שמפורש בדברי רבותינו וראוי היה שיזהיר להם בעצמם כי הם עצמם מצווים בשבת אבל דבר הכתוב עמנו מפני שהעבדים ברשותינו לומר ששביתתם עלינו ואם לא עלינו ואם לא נמנעו אנחנו נענשים עליהם

Could therefore the Ebed and the Amah not have been of the Hebraic race as well? But no! In fact Scripture here speaks preferably of the heathen slave. But if Mr. Raphall wants to persuade us that even a trace of evidence in favor of slavery is herein seen, it is merely a nonsensical attempt to forcibly remove the actual point of view concerning the question, and to make a farce of it, as of the pre-deluge existence of slavery, to be maintained as an outlet of heavenly wisdom. Whom would it ever strike to assert that the Bible does not consider slavery in the judicial sense legal, and is thus referred to in the legislation? The question exclusively to be decided, is whether Scripture merely tolerates this institution as an evil not to be disregarded, and therefore infuses in its legislation a mild spirit gradually to lead to its dissolution, or whether it favors, approves of and justifies and sanctions it in its moral aspect? Hah!—we hear Mr. Raphall exclaim—there you have the rationalists! Not our own ideas but the word of God must rule, and I am too pious to attempt to interpret these words. Whatever the Bible concedes, is morally good, and I dare not consider it a sin with my sophistry!—Very well! Then we beg Mr. Raphall to instruct us about the following: According to Deuter. 21, 15-17, it is directed: A man possessing two wives, and loving the one and hating the other, both bearing him sons, the first-born belonging to the hated wife, dares not transfer the right of the first-born in regard to double inheritance to the son of the beloved one.

Can we conceive of a more decided recognition of polygamy or at least of bigamy? Does it make any difference whether the hated one, whose son was granted the rights of the first-born, had been wedded before or after the loved one? Is the justification of an institution, the immorality of which Dr. Raphall will scarcely deny, and whose propagation Rabbenu Gershom sought to check through a ban, not here affirmed in the most positive manner? With all the hollow clamor about the rationalism of our day, it must be conceded that the Mosaic law, as in the case of blood-vengeance and the marriage of a war-prisoner* here merely tolerated the institution in view of once existing deeply-rooted social conditions, or—more correctly—evils, and recognized it in reference to civil rights even (compare Exod. 21, 10, Levit, 18, 18), but never approved of or considered it pleasing in the sight of God, as polygamy is in direct contradiction to the Mosaic principleוהיו לבשר אחד  concerning marriage.

Nevertheless does Rev. Raphall dare in the name of the Decalogue to declare slavery holy in spite of all the irrefutable evidence, because it is commanded that the slave also shall rest on the Sabbath, and one is not to covet the neighbor's man-servant and maidservant? The humanity which demands that a human being working during the whole week and living under the yoke of servitude should rest and have recreation on the Sabbath is viewed by our speaker as a moral authorization of servitude, and out of the divine flame of love our pious Rabbi merely forges chains! And besides this, even to imprint a holy seal upon the stigma of being a slave by the prohibition of coveting the neighbor's slave! What would Dr. Raphall's reply be to an assertion of ours that in case some one in Africa marries 20 women in succession, even to this day the prohibition to covet the neighbor's wife, would find full application in regard to the twentieth as well as to the first one wedded? Yes, we have the courage to dare make the following assertion, that according to the religious viewpoint, this would even hold good if a European or American Jew would according to Jewish rite be wedded to 20 women! Does this perhaps involve the moral approval of this kind of a twenty-fold marriage?

*Even the Rabbis teach: the law permits the marriage of prisoners only of necessity! Divorce is also a striking proof how the law of Moses recognized certain institutions, though at the same time positively disapproving of them. No matter what interpretation עדות דבר (Deuter. 24, 1.) is given here, that of the School of Shammai or Hillel it must be conceded that though opposed to Jewish practice the law considers a woman's divorce binding, when the husband has sent her forth without having found her to have done anything morally wrong, and a remarriage on her part is then not considered adultery. Still the prophet (Malachi 11, 16) explicitly states: "God hateth the putting away of the wife!"-Thus also in regard to establishing monarchy. Samuel calls this institution a grievous sin, as God alone is to be Israel's King; but as the people insist on having a king, he received God's command: "Hearken unto their voice and make them a king." (1. Sam. VIII, 22.), The distortion in the conception of this is therefore evident enough. (Deuter. XVII, 15.)  שים תשים עליך מלך  as  מצות עשה  Hence monarchy and slavery are looked upon and treated alike according to the law of Moses, the latter being naturally considered the more immoral. But clear and convincing as the latter example is to us, we will not bring it to bear against Dr. Raphall as, according to his perception, human monarchy forms a constituent part of the messiahship, and so may slavery not be found wanting as the second pearl in the crown of the Messiah! (Comp. Abarbanel ibid.)

Oh, you infidels!—our Rabbi exclaims in his pious fervor—were Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Job not slaveholders?—This is certainly true, but it is just as true that among these pious and enlightened men there were some who had more than one wife, and it is difficult to perceive why they should serve as models to us as slaveholders more so than in this respect. It appears remarkable and very comical to have this wretched polygamy frustrate Dr. Raphall's plans. Moreover, Abraham, to judge from his attitude towards Eleazer, the head of his slaves, whom he thought of making his heir, scarcely considered him property. Neither did Job, who said: If I did despise the cause of my man-servant, or of my maid-servant when they contended with me, what then shall I do when God riseth up? and when He remembereth, what shall I answer Him? Did not He that made me in the womb make him? And did not One fashion us in the womb? (Job 31, 13-15.)

We have now reached the third part of the address, in which the position of the Biblical slave is gone into more closely, and here our attention is above all captivated by the following sentence. After the difference between the Hebrew and the heathen slave is mentioned, it proceeds: the commandment, "thou shalt not covet the property of thy neighbor" does not pertain to the Hebrew slave; for he was not the property "of his employer"! Our readers already known from the foregoing why Dr. Raphall accentuates his point so strongly. This commandment forms the foundation of his gigantic structure; in it he sees slavery placed under the protection of the divine law. With the circumstance, though, that coveting the Hebrew slave, who is to be considered a hireling only, could be exclusively alluded to, the whole structure, otherwise unassailable, would collapse. Therefore Dr. Raphall seeks to put aside this objection with great anxiety, and in a most cautious manner. And how? Through a falsification. The Biblical citation "thou shalt not covet the property of thy neighbor" is an interpolation and the more unpardonable as Dr. Raphall possesses the audacity to say that this law cannot refer to the Hebrew slave, in order to give the impression to a person not versed in Biblical lore that Holy Scriptures does refer to the heathen slave in this kind of an expression. Even if the placing together of the slave with the ox and the ass would lead one to conceive the predominance of the idea of property to be in favor of the former, this procedure would be reprehensible. This objection is greatly augmented when we consider that in the same verse coveting of the neighbor's wife is also forbidden. Could therefore the Hebrew slave not as well have been mentioned as well as the wife? The most peculiar part is still to follow. After attributing this evident untruth to the Bible, Dr. Raphall does not refrain from resorting to all sorts of artifices to have the heathen slave considered property in the name of God. And in conclusion we see him, so as not to offend the other party too deeply, suddenly swing about and have the South swallow a few bitter pills in addition to the many compliments already paid. According to the Bible—the speaker remarks to our great astonishment—"the slave is a person in whom human dignity must be respected; he has rights, whereas the predominating heathen conception of slavery in Rome, which, alas, the South also adopted, merely considers the slave a thing, and a thing has no rights." How beautiful, how admirable would these words be, were it not that everything, everything we have thus far heard Dr. Raphall say, is in gross contradiction to it!

What? A person who is more than a thing and in whom the dignity of human nature must be respected, is the property*, the possession of some one else, like a field, an ox, an ass? This is glorious dignity of human nature. We cannot even conceive that God, whilst granting human rights to the slave, would approve of depriving him against his will and with inflexible force of the most sacred of human rights, that of disposing of himself.

*Let us remember that the German expression "ownership" and the Hebrew word  אחזה (possession, i.e. of inseparable seizure) do not convey the idea of the merely objective and impersonal even in the usual application, as does the word "property" (proprietas) which corresponds to the German "ownership" and the Hebrew  רכיש the slaves being excluded I B M, 12, 15 and even more decidedly ibid 14, 21 (compare Raschi as to the latter and Herxheimer as to the former passage). These may in oratorical flight, even in prosaic style, describe the fervor of the relation of man to man, even to the godly person in a manner naming the personality of higher rank the possession, the Achussah of the subordinate personality. Thus in Ezekiel 44, 28 God is called  אחזה the priest, as also—according to the prototype of the Mosaic Books—their נחלה). Accordingly, it is easily perceived how very different the expression applied to slaves in Levit 25, 46  אחזה is to that of "property". In fact, the English Bible translates it in the latter place as in Ezekiel ibid "possession". On the other hand a person can never be called "property," and if Dr. Raphall in the name of the Bible desires the slave to be recognized in both ways, he merely displays a logic here on equal footing with his theology.

For the loss of such a human right, the mandate to treat a slave humanely, and not even to knock out a tooth of his, is indeed a poor equivalent. It is poor humanity to rob one of one's most cherished treasure, and to replace this by forbidding only mildly boxing one's ears or omitting to do so. We consider it an offense against the law of God to proclaim this kind of humanity in His Name,—as Dr. Raphall does. Had Dr. Raphall searched for the spirit of the law of God, he would have given due honor to it; instead of going back to the deluge merely in order to produce a slave, he would have preferred to trace his way as far back as the history of creation, where the golden words shine: God created man in His image. This blessing of God ranks higher than the curse of Noah. A book which sets up this principle and at the same time says that all human beings are descended from the same human parents, can never approve of slavery and have it find favor in the sight of God. A law, which recognizes slavery, in its presentday meaning, neither according to the conception of the institution of it, nor in its literal sense, and prescribes that the Hebrew, who after six years will not cease from serving as a slave, must as a sign of shame, submit to having his ear pierced, considers no human being to be property. A religion which spares the feeling of the animal mother as the order regarding the bird's nest proves, certainly objects to having the human mother forcibly deprived of her child. The ten commandments, the first of which is: "I am the Lord, thy God, who brought thee out of the land of Egypt,—out of the house of bondage" can by no means want to place slavery of any human-being under divine sanction, it being furthermore true, what all our prophets have proclaimed and around which Israel's fondest hopes center, that all human beings on the wide globe are entitled to admittance to the service of God,  וישתחוו לפניך כל הברואים ויעשו כולם אגודה אחת that in time to come all created in the image of God will form one congregation of God. Dr. Raphall tells his hearers: cotton is not king nor is human thought the ruler, but  !ה' מלך ומלכותו בכל משלה

We fully agree with him in this, but regret that here also only half of the quotation is given and the preceding words are forgotten:  ויאמר כל אשר נשמה באפו*

*Compare Isaiah 58 and 56, 3-8. The famous theologian Ewald (Alterth. des Volkes Israel, p. 243) remarks, after previous discussion about the origin of slavery as follows: "In this way slavery had long ago taken deep root in every household in the ancient world when Jahve-ism. appeared in it. It could not at once think of abolishing slavery; but no religion in its own origin, as also in its ineffaceable impulse was so decidedly opposed to it or at least to everything inhuman in it, and prepared for its abolition, so surely as this one." Michaelis (Mosaisches, Recht 1, p. 275) declares: Moses concedes bondage; but he limits it, particularly for the benefit of the native citizen, and moderates it. This is noticeably the soul of his law. Apparently he considered it severe: and how could this be otherwise, when the people he liberated and gave laws to, were bondsmen themselves in Egypt and experienced the severity of this unnatural state? Saalschutz (Archaologie der Hebraier p. 237) says: The Hebrew does not consider those in servitude to be creatures without rights, he does not degrade them by applying insulting names to them. The general name was Ebed. i.e. laborer, servant; the heathen in the employment of the Hebrew was thus called, and so was the Hebrew in the service of the heathen, the foreigner dwelling in the land; thus he designated himself in conventional intercourse with those to whom respect was to be shown—finally, it was an honorary title concerning God, in relation to Moses, Kings, Prophets. (Compare also Phillippson as to Exod. 21, Sec. 423.)

The absurdity in Dr. Raphall's remarks about  לא תסגיר עבד אל אדוניו which it is true refer to the foreign slave, we will let pass, because on the whole they do not touch the main point of the present discussion to any extent. But attention is to be called to the fact that here also the word "property" is again smuggled in without embarrassment. Dr. Raphall proves the obligation to extradite native heathen slaves with reference to Deut. 22, 3, and on looking up the passage—what do we find? The decision that an ox or an ass gone astray, or a lost garment must be returned to the owner by the finder! This precious witticism surely did not emanate in Dr. Raphall's brain, and it appears peculiar that he forgot to mention its source, and thus appropriates the property of others, no matter how wretched, to himself, whilst quoting the law that even required that objects should be returned. It seems Dr. Raphall committed this sin of omission, because the source carries obvious signs of interpolation in it, is provided with proofs of insertion, and according to another version is altogether missing, and besides, this gives evidence that in olden times there were very many who wanted the law of non-extradition applied under all circumstances, even in regard to Jewish slave-owners. For the present, we will not mention this source and will leave the fulfillment of this sacred duty to the pious Rabbi. We would be eager to hear whether Dr. Raphall would tolerate the man-servant and the maid-servant, who according to Deuter. 16, 11 are participants in the rejoicing of the feast, and appear in the same row with the son, the daughter, the Levite, the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, to appear as heathens in such noble company, from which the ox and the ass are very aristocratically excluded. The Israelite Scheshan, whom Dr. Raphall no doubt considers a terrible rationalist, even had the hardihood to give his daughter in marriage to a heathen slave (I Chron. 11, 35), instead of merely accommodating the property with a seat next to her at table. In conclusion, there is just one thing to take into account: that even if Dr. Raphall's arguments concerning the Biblical law about slavery did not vanish in mist and vapor, he certainly thwarted the purpose of his address by his own presentation of it, and he would prove the worst kind of an advocate for the South. Dr. Raphall concedes that the Hebrew slave is not an actual slave and was not allowed to be looked upon as property, but by being the spokesman for American slavery, he thinks he has clearly proven that the divine Word sanctions slavery in reference to a heathen, and that the heathen slave is classed as the property of his master.

We ask though, does not the Christian slave rank equally for his Christian master with עבד עברי the Israelitish slave for the Israelitish master*

*Dr. Raphall has entangled himself in his own net to such an extent that according to his presentation of the Biblical system, not only the free states but also the slave states are released of the obligation to deliver up the escaped slave, because in the Bible an obligation of this kind is mentioned only in reference to the heathen slave of the interior, evidently considering that the Hebrew slave, though in the same category as the Christian negro, is not to be extradited, whether coming from the interior or from one of the neighboring districts. This is of course merely a new immorality which the moral sense of Dr. Raphall imputes to the Mosaic constitution, because the Hebrew slave is held in servitude, either on account of judicial punishment or voluntary decision, and in case of escape defies either the criminal code or an obligation assumed of his own free will, and thus appears much more culpable than the heathen slave, the runaway property. But, not thought is ruler—but thoughtlessness is master. According to Dr. Raphall, the requirement would have to be erased from our constitution that the States are bound to extradite to each other fugitive persons who escape from servitude, whereas even our Rabbis consider the Hebrew slave, according to above conditions, in duty bound to make amends for the time of his absence by prolonging the duration of his service (Kiddushim, 16 B). And according to Eliah Misrachi the law of non-extradition refers exclusively to a Hebrew slave in the service of a heathen, when the same, as self -understood, must be delivered up to an Israelite, an interpretation which we do not approve of, but which sufficiently proves that rabbinical Judaism appreciates the culpability of a person escaping from judicial punishment or self-decision to serve, more so than our glorious speaker, who displays exaggerated mildness towards the neglect of duty of the Hebrew slave, and casts the whole burden of the law upon the two-legged heathen property. Thus Dr. Raphall has involuntarily, instead of being an apologist for slavery, become a dreadful abolitionist. Only on one point has Dr. Raphall shown a friendly disposition towards the negro; at the expense of his holiest duty, he has failed to call to the attention of the Jewish slave-holders that they must have their slaves circumcised. Oh, ye pious gentlemen!!

True, according to tradition, the heathen slave also, who had to submit to circumcision, is to be considered as an Israelite in regard to certain obligations, but not an Israelite in the full sense of the word, for the most important laws regarding incest do not apply to him, according to the rabbinical code  יצא מכלל עכו"ם ולא בא לכלל ישראל i.e., he is half a Heathen, half an Israelite (comp. Sanhedrin 58B and Maim, Issare Biah 14, 16-19). But the Christian negro, even when in servitude, is no less a Christian than his Christian master*.

*At least it must be thus regarded, if it may be assumed that the apostle Saul understood something of the Christian religion: for he proclaims in the Epistle to the Corinth 13, 11, "there is not Greek, Jew, circumcision, foreskin, Non-Greek, servant, free person, but all in all Christ." Of course, Dr. Raphall, in his sharp-sighted manner of arguing, perceives in these very words a sanction of slavery from a Christian viewpoint but he must surely concede that with these words the relation between the Christian master and the Christian servant is established in the same manner as that between the Israelitish master and the Israelitish servant. Far from presuming to throw light upon the subject from a Christian point of view as Dr. Raphall attempted to do in an unheard-of way from the pulpit and in contrast to Christian teachers of religion, we will confine ourselves solely to drawing the sequences of the law of the old covenant according to the presentation of the speaker himself in the present case. But we cannot refrain from remarking that if Dr. Raphall, in returning the fugitive slave Onesimus to Philemon on the part of the above mentioned apostle, sees the obligation of delivering up the slave, this obligation is much less strong than the one calling for the extradition of the slaves of Shimei on the part of his Majesty, King Ashisch of Gath whom we for the first time hear of as a legal authority for all future generations.

Did Saul perchance have the police send back, extradite, Onesimus? Evidently he returned the convert with his full consent to his master, with the following admonition: "I admonish thee, for the sake of my son, Onesimus, whom I have begotten in my bonds, who formerly was useless to thee, but is now of use to thee and to me, I have sent him to thee .... not as a servant now, but as more than a servant, a dear brother, especially to me, how much the more though to thee, both of the flesh and in the Lord." After all this, Dr. Raphall's demonstrations from the New Testament appear about as sound as those from the Mosaic Books. But in this sphere we will not compete with the orthodox Rabbi. It may be that Dr. Raphall possesses greater erudition in the Christian Scripture than he does in the Jewish יציבה בארעה וניורא בשמי שמיא!

And thus Dr. Raphall's structure of falsehood crumbles into a thousand pieces, according to his own presentation verifying the saying:  הרה עמל וילד שקר!

Dr. Raphall has sown the wind and we do not wish him to reap the whirlwind; in regard to him the word of the Preacher 1, 6:  הולך אל דרום סובב אל צפון סובב סבב הולך הרוח

"Going South and turning North, always blows the wind." On the other hand, the Rabbinical motto (Baba, Bathra 25 B.)  הרוצה שיחכים ידרים "Turn to the South, if you want to grow 'wise' proved a disgrace in his case, and this appears the worse for him, as we are furthermore taught here:  לעולם ידרים שמתוך שמתחכם מתעשר 'such wisdom leads to wealth!'"

And now, a word to you, dear co-religionists, and particularly to you, members of my Congregation! At the moment that I am writing this down, January 9th, the thunder-cloud still hangs heavily over our head, and hides the future of our beloved land in dense mist. Perhaps some of you in our midst may consider it unjustifiable that at such a time I have thus unequivocally expressed my conviction in the foregoing regarding the law of Moses about slavery. The Jew has special cause to be conservative, and he is doubly and triply so in a country which grants him all the spiritual and material privileges he can wish for, he wants peace at every price and trembles for the preservation of the Union like a true son for the life of a dangerously sick mother. From the depth of my soul, I share your patriotic sentiments, and cherish no more fervent wish than that God may soon grant us the deeply yearned-for peace. Still—no matter which political party we may belong to—the sanctity of our Law must never be drawn into political controversy, nor disgraced in the interest of this or that political opinion, as it is in this instance, and with such publicity besides, and in the holy place! The spotless morality of the Mosaic principles is our pride and our fame, and our weapon since thousands of years. This weapon we cannot forfeit without pressing a mighty sword into the hands of our foes. This pride and renown, the only one which we possess, we will not and dare not allow ourselves to be robbed of. This would be unscrupulous, prove the greatest triumph of our adversaries and our own destruction, and would be paying too dearly for the fleeting, wavering favor of the moment. Would it not then be justly said, as in fact it has already been done, in consequence of the incident referred to: Such are the Jews! Where they are oppressed, they boast of the humanity of their religion; but where they are free, their Rabbis declare slavery to have been sanctioned by God, even mentioning the holy act of the Revelation on Sinai in defense of it. Whereas Christian clergymen even in the Southern States, and in presence of the nation's Representatives in part, though admonishing to toleration—openly disapprove of it and in part apologize for it, owing to existing conditions!

I am no politician and do not meddle in politics. But to proclaim slavery in the name of Judaism to be a God-sanctioned institution—the Jewish-religious press must raise objections to this, if it does not want itself and Judaism branded forever. Had a Christian clergyman in Europe delivered the Raphall address—the Jewish-orthodox as well as Jewish-reform press would have been set going to call the wrath of heaven and earth upon such falsehoods, to denounce such disgrace, and  חלול השם And are we in America to ignore this mischief done by a Jewish preacher? Only such Jews, who prize the dollar more highly than their God and their religion, can demand or even approve of this!

EINHORN