The Love Triangle by Prof Gerald August

Jan 28th, 2011 by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in 613 Concepts, Portion of the Week, Relationships
This week’s parsha tells us that a servant goes out after six years of work, and takes only what he brought. If his master gives him a wife and they have children, he still goes out by himself. But the next verse introduces the love triangle. Verse five says,” If the servant shall say,’ I love my master, my wife and my children, I will not go out free.’ he does not go free.

Think about it. This man is about to get his freedom but he loves the people around him. He wants to stay with his master. He wants to be a responsible father and help raise his children. He wants to be a loving husband.

When he goes to the judges and they are witnesses to the fact he is not being held against his will, there needs to be a sign. After all, people will notice he has been with his master longer than six years. They may think he is being held against his will. So a hole is drilled in his ear to give witness to the fact that the judges heard him say he wants to stay with his master.

But I also think the hole in his ear is a badge of honor. Unfortunately, there are husbands who abandon their wives and children. And the loss of a father and husband can have grave negative consequences. This servant is actually a role model for fathers and husbands. If you love your spouse and children your first duty is to take care of and nurture them.

3300 years ago a provision was made for a love triangle. It allowed a man to stay with his family.

Sometimes familial servitude trumps the freedom to roam.

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