EPL- INFORMATION FOR YOUR BUILDING SOUL
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Jewish views on slavery are varied both religiously and historically. Judaism's religious texts contain numerous laws governing the ownership and treatment of slaves. Texts that contain such regulations include the Tanakh (Hebrew Bible), the Talmud, the 12th century Mishneh Torah by rabbi Maimonides, and the 16th century Shulchan Aruch by rabbi Yosef Karo. The original Israelite slavery laws found in the Hebrew Bible bear some resemblance to the 18th century BCE slavery laws of Hammurabi. The regulations changed over time. The Hebrew Bible contained two sets of laws, one for Canaanite slaves, and a more lenient set of laws for Hebrew slaves. From the time of the Pentateuch, the laws designated for Canaanites were applied to all non-Hebrew slaves. The Talmud's slavery laws, which were established in the second through the fifth centuries CE, contain a single set of rules for all slaves, although there are a few exceptions where Hebrew slaves are treated differently from non-Hebrew slaves. The laws include punishment for slave owners that mistreat their slaves. In the modern era, when the abolitionist movement sought to outlaw slavery, supporters of slavery used the laws to provide religious justification for the practice of slavery.
Historically some Jewish people owned and traded slaves. Several scholarly works have been published to rebut the antisemitic canard of Jewish domination of the slave trade in Medieval Europe, Africa, and/or the Americas, and to show that Jews had no major or continuing impact on the history of New World slavery. They possessed far fewer slaves than non-Jews in every Spanish territory in North America and the Caribbean, and in no period did they play a leading role as financiers, shipowners, or factors in the transatlantic or Caribbean slave trades.
American mainland colonial Jews imported slaves from Africa at a rate proportionate to the general population. As slave sellers, their role was more marginal, although their involvement in the Brazilian and Caribbean trade is believed to be considerably more significant. Jason H. Silverman, a historian of slavery, describes the part of Jews in slave trading in the southern United States as "minuscule", and writes that the historical rise and fall of slavery in the United States would not have been affected at all had there been no Jews living in the American South. Jews accounted for 1.25% of all Southern slave owners, and were not significantly different from other slave owners in their treatment of slaves.