Sunday, May 06, 2012

Who was the Shifcha Charufa?

Summary: Is she only not fully redeemed? Or is she actually completely a maidservant? What is bothering Ibn Caspi? We can look to Shadal, I think.

Post: Consider this pasuk and Rashi in Kedoshim. There is a lot to read:

20. If a man lies carnally with a woman, and she is a handmaid designated for a man, and she had not been [fully] redeemed nor had her document of emancipation been granted her, there shall be an investigation; they shall not be put to death, because she had not been [completely] freed.כ. וְאִישׁ כִּי יִשְׁכַּב אֶת אִשָּׁה שִׁכְבַת זֶרַע וְהִוא שִׁפְחָה נֶחֱרֶפֶת לְאִישׁ וְהָפְדֵּה לֹא נִפְדָּתָה אוֹ חֻפְשָׁה לֹא נִתַּן לָהּ בִּקֹּרֶת תִּהְיֶה לֹא יוּמְתוּ כִּי לֹא חֻפָּשָׁה:
designated for a man: נֶחֱרֶפֶת, designated and specified for a [particular] man. And [regarding this term נֶחֱרֶפֶת,] I do not know of [a term] resembling it anywhere in Scripture, but the Scripture is speaking of a Canaanite handmaid, partly a handmaid and partly a free woman [i.e., she belonged to two partners and one freed his part of her], who is betrothed to a Hebrew slave, who is permitted to [marry] a handmaid. — [Torath Kohanim 19:52; Kereithoth 11a]נחרפת לאיש: מיועדת ומיוחדת לאיש, ואיני יודע לו דמיון במקרא. ובשפחה כנענית שחציה שפחה וחציה בת חורין המאורסת לעבד עברי שמותר בשפחה, הכתוב מדבר:
and she had not been [fully] redeemed: Heb. וְהָפְדֵּה לֹא נִפְדְּתָה, she is redeemed, but not redeemed. And when the unqualified term פִּדְיוֹן, “redemption” is employed, it means [redeeming with money. — [Torath Kohanim 19:53]והפדה לא נפדתה: פדויה ואינה פדויה וסתם פדיון בכסף:
nor had her document of emancipation been granted her:[the unqualified term חפשׁ, “freeing,” refers to doing so] with a document [of release]. — [Torath Kohanim 19:53]או חפשה: בשטר:
there shall be an investigation: Heb. בִּקֹרֶת תִּהְיֶה [which will result in] the woman being given lashes but not the man (Torath Kohanim 19:54) The court is obligated to investigate the matter in order not to sentence him [her] to death, since “she had not been [completely] freed” [and therefore,] her marriage is not completely binding. Our Rabbis, however, learned from [this verse], that whoever is sentenced to lashes [as this woman, those lashes] shall be accompanied by a “recitation” [בִּקֹרֶת בִּקְרִיאָה, derived from the בִּקֹרֶת, so that the phrase בִּקֹרֶת תִּהְיֶה is expounded to mean “she is to be given lashes with a קֹּרֶת, a recitation.” And what is the recitation referred to here? It is] that the judges who mete out the lashes, shall recite to the one receiving them (Deut. 28:58-59),“If you will not observe to fulfill [all the words of this Torah]…the Lord will bring upon you…uniquely [horrible] plagues!”- [Kereithoth 11a]בקרת תהיה: היא לוקה ולא הוא, יש על בית דין לבקר את הדבר שלא לחייבו מיתה, כי לא חפשה, ואין קידושיה קידושין גמורין. ורבותינו למדו מכאן שמי שהוא במלקות יהא בקריאה, שהדיינים המלקין קורין על הלוקה (דברים כח נח - נט) אם לא תשמור לעשות וגו' והפלא ה' את מכותך וגו':
because she had not been [completely] freed: And therefore, the man is not liable to the death penalty because of [his intimacy with] her, since her marriage is not binding. It follows then, that if she had been freed, her marriage would be binding, and he would be liable to the death penalty. — [Torath Kohanim 19:55; Gittin 43b]כי לא חפשה: לפיכך אין חייב עליה מיתה, שאין קידושיה קידושין, הא אם חופשה, קידושיה קידושין וחייב מיתה:

Ibn Caspi respectfully declines the opportunity to discuss the Shifcha Charufa. He writes:

"See in the commentary of Rabbenu Shelomo {=Rashi} the tradition of the Talmud, for I am not able to contradict its say-so."

This might be a ringing endorsement. At the same time, one can read in the tension and temptation, that he saw the potential, at least, for interpreting the pasuk in another way, which might strike someone as more along the lines of peshat.

How might we interpret this pasuk otherwise? Let us examine what Shadal says:
כ בקרת תהיה : כפירוש רמב"ן הפקר , כלומר אין לה דין נשואה מאחר שלא חופשה ותהיה נחשבת כהפקר לענין שלא יומתו כנואפים . ולדעתי ולדעת ראב"ע ישראלית היא ולא כנענית ; ולדעת רז"ל ( כריתות י"א ע"א ) אף הכנענית אם נשתחררה , קדושיה קדושין ככל בת ישראל . וטעם המצווה שלא יחשוב האדון להשתמש בה כשפחה , וגם למשכב , אלא או ישחררנה וייקחנה כמשפט הבנות , או תהיה הפקר לו ולאחרים בשווה . והנה גם האשם הזה הוא שגגה 
ignorantia juris, 
 כמו למעלה סימן ה', כי השוכב עמה חושב שהיא הפקר ממש , והרי היא מותרת לכל אדם , ואין הדבר כן , אך בקורת תהיה בדיעבד לענין שלא יומתו , אך לא בקורת היא שיבוא עליה מי שירצה לכתחילה  .
"As in the commentary of the Ramban, hefker, ownerless. That is to say that she does not have the law of a fully-married woman since he did not free her, and so she is considered like hefker in the matter that they shall not die as adulterers.

And in my opinion, and in the opinion of Ibn Ezra, she was an Israelite woman and not a Canaanite. And in the opinion of Chazal (Krisus 11a), even the Canaanite, if she were freed, her kiddushin would be kiddushin like any daughter of an Israelite.

And the reason for the commandment is in order that the owner does not think to make use of her as a maidservant, as well as for intercourse. Rather, he should either free her and take {=marry} her in the proper law of daughters {of Israel}, or else she shall be hefker to him and to others equally. 

And behold, this transgression as well is a shegaga {accident} of ignorantia juris {ignorance of the law, which apparently is so an excuse}, just as above in perek 5, for the one who sleeps with her believes that she is literally hefker, and that she is permitted to every man, while the matter is not so -- rather, she is bikores {=hefker} after the fact, bedieved, in terms of that they shall not die, but she is not bikores such that anyone can sleep with he lichatchila."

As well as in Mishtadel:
 ב " המשתדל לשד"ל לסויקרא בא עוד האדון משתמש בשפחתו כשפחה וגם למשכב ואין כן רצון בעל התורה ית', אלא ישחררנה וייקחנה כמשפט הבנות ואם לא ישחררנה הרי היא " בקורת כלומר הפקר ( כפירוש רמב"ן ), ואם ישכב איש אותה אין עליו משפט נואף הואיל ולא חפשה כי אין אשת איש אלא בת חורין וכמו שמצאנו באשת יפת תואר לא תתעמר בשפחה אשר עניתה ( דברים כ"א י"ד). והנה האשה הזאת מצד אחד היא מיוחדת לאדוניה אשר קנה אותה ומזונותיה עליו ואין ראוי לה שתפקיר עצמה לאחרים ואין ראוי לאחרים שינהגו בה מנהג הפקר לפיכך השוכב עמה חוטא ומצד אחר היא הפקר כי התורה ענשה את האדון שלא תהיה לו כאשת איש כל זמן שלא הוציאה לחרות לפיכך השוכב עמה יש לו צד היתר ומתכפר בקרבן .

The Mishtadel, from Shadal, on sefer Vaakra further comes to say: "The mater makes use of his maidservant as a maidservant as well as for intercourse, and such is not the desire of the Giver of the Torah, yisbarach. Rather, he should either free her and marry her as the law is for {Israelite} daughters, or, if he does not free her, behold she is bikores, that is to say, hefker (as in the commentary of the Ramban). And if a man sleeps with her, there is not upon him the law of an adulterer, since he {=the master} did not free her, for a married woman is only a free woman, just as we find by an eshes yefas toar, that you shall not betray her as a maidservant with whom you had intercourse. (See Devarim 21:14.) And behold, this woman, by one aspect, is reserved for her master who bought her, and who has her sustenance upon him, and it is not appropriate that she make herself hefker to others, nor is it appropriate for others to conduct themselves with her in a custom of hefker. Therefore, one who sleeps with her sins. And from another aspect, she is hefker, since the Torah punished the master that she is not to him like a married woman, so long as he does not send her out to freedom. Therefore, one who sleeps with her has to himself a side of permission, and is atoned for by a korban."

The Karaites, as well, consider this to be a simple amah ivriyah as discussed in parashat Mishpatim, rather than someone who is half slave and half-free.

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