1) THE SALE OF AN "AMAH IVRIYAH" TO A MAMZER OR TO A RELATIVE
QUESTION: The Gemara (19b) explains that Rebbi Eliezer derives from "Im Ra'ah" (literally, "if bad"; Shemos 21:8) that a father may sell his daughter to a man who is Pasul (i.e. a Mamzer) who cannot marry an ordinary Jewess. He derives from "l'Amah" -- "for a maidservant" (21:7) that the father may sell her to "Kerovim" -- "relatives." Both Pesulim and Kerovim cannot perform "Yi'ud" with the Amah Ivriyah since the Torah forbids their marriage.
The Gemara asks that if a father may sell his daughter to a Mamzer, certainly he should be able to sell her to a relative. Why is an additional verse necessary to teach that he may sell her to a relative?
What is the logic behind the Gemara's question? Why does the Gemara assume that if the father can sell his daughter to Pesulim, he certainly should be able to sell her to Kerovim? On the contrary, there is more reason to validate her sale to Pesulim than to Kerovim. In the case of a marriage prohibited by a Lo Ta'aseh (such as the marriage of a Jewess to a Mamzer), Kidushin takes effect but the parties involved are punished with Malkus. In contrast, in the case of a marriage prohibited with the punishment of Kares, Kidushin does not take effect at all (see Yevamos 20b)! Accordingly, it is possible for a girl to have a valid Kidushin with a Mamzer, but it is not possible to have a valid Kidushin with her relatives who are forbidden to marry her. Why does the Gemara present the opposite assumption, that there is more reason to permit the sale of an Amah Ivriyah to her relative than to a Mamzer?
ANSWER: The RITVA answers that the ability for the Kidushin to take effect b'Di'eved in the case of a Lo Ta'aseh is more of a reason why her sale to a Mamzer should not be valid. It is logical that the Torah would forbid her father from selling her to a Mamzer, in order to ensure that they do not perform a forbidden act of Kidushin (which then would take effect). Moreover, it would be especially disgraceful for a girl to serve as a Mamzer's Amah Ivriyah. The Gemara therefore asks that if Rebbi Eliezer derives that the Torah permits such a sale, certainly it also permits her sale to a relative, in which case no Kidushin can take effect, and she experiences no disgrace as a result of having to serve her relative. (Mordechai Zvi Dicker)
2) THE PARTIAL REDEMPTION OF AN "EVED IVRI"
QUESTION: The Gemara discusses whether an Eved Ivri may redeem himself when he has only part of the sum necessary for his redemption. The Gemara explains that if a partial redemption is permitted, it will result in some rulings which are more stringent than they would have been had a partial redemption not been possible, and other rulings which are more lenient. A partial redemption causes a more lenient ruling in the case of an Eved whose value appreciates after he redeems part of his value. If an Eved worth 100 Zuz redeems himself for 50 Zuz (half of his value) and his value later rises to 200 Zuz, he needs to give the master only half of his value, or 100 Zuz (and he does not have to give the master 150 Zuz), since the master owns only half of him.
A partial redemption causes a more stringent ruling in the case of an Eved whose value depreciates after he redeems part of his value. If an Eved worth 200 Zuz redeems himself for 100 Zuz (half of his value) and his value later decreases to 100 Zuz, even though he already paid 100 Zuz for his redemption he must pay an additional 50 Zuz for the half of his value which he did not redeem previously.
The Gemara explains that if a partial redemption is not valid, when the Eved gives part of his value to the master the money is considered merely a deposit in the hands of the master for safekeeping. The money may be used for his redemption at a later date when the Eved procures the entire sum.
When the Eved redeems himself in full, he may force his master to accept the redemption payment against his will. When the Gemara discusses the case of a partial redemption, does it refer to a case in which the master willingly accepts the money for the partial redemption, or to a case in which the Eved makes the master accept it against his will?
The RASHBA explains that the Gemara cannot refer to a case in which the master willingly accepts the payment for the partial redemption, because there is absolutely no reason for the partial redemption not to take effect under such circumstances. The master owns the Eved, and it is his prerogative to free him partially if he so desires. Rather, the Gemara must refer to a case in which the Eved wants to force the master to accept a partial redemption against his will. If a partial redemption is not recognized by the Torah, an Eved may not force his master to accept a partial redemption.
If, however, the Eved gives the money for his partial redemption against the master's will (that is, the master attempted to return the money to the Eved and showed that he had no interest in accepting redemption money), why does the money become a deposit if it is unable to effect a partial redemption? If the master does not want to grant the Eved his freedom, he also does not want to accept the money as a deposit for an eventual full redemption! Why does the Gemara assume that the money of an ineffective partial redemption becomes a deposit in the hands of the master until the money for the Eved's full redemption is procured? (RASHBA)
(a) The RASHBA answers that the Gemara refers to a case in which the Eved gave money to his master and did not specify whether the payment is for his immediate partial redemption or for safekeeping for when he obtains the rest of the money.
If the Eved specifies that he is giving the money for his immediate partial redemption and the master willingly accepts the money, the Eved becomes partially redeemed (because the master is able to free the Eved if he so desires). If the Eved specifies that he is giving the money for safekeeping until he procures the rest of the money, the Eved does not become partially redeemed. If, however, the Eved gives the money to the master without specifying what it is for and the master accepts the money, the master's willingness to accept a partial redemption is not clear. Perhaps the master assumes that the Eved is giving him the money for safekeeping. This is the case to which the Gemara here refers.
The Halachah in such a case depends on whether a partial redemption may take effect against the master's will. If a partial redemption may take effect against the master's will, the partial redemption in this case will take effect regardless of whether the master is willing to accept it. If, however, a partial redemption cannot be effected against the master's will, it is assumed that the master is not willing to accept the money as a partial redemption. However, since the master did accept the money, it may be assumed that the master is willing to hold onto the money for safekeeping until the Eved procures the rest of the redemption money.
(b) The SEFER HA'MIKNAH explains that even if the master willingly accepts the money, if a partial redemption is not recognized by the Torah the Eved cannot become partially redeemed. The reason for this is that "Eved Ivri Gufo Kanuy" (Kidushin 16a) -- the master owns more than just the monetary value of the Eved. The Eved is Halachically bound to the master until he is released as required by the Torah. If the Torah does not recognize a partial redemption, it is not in the master's power to allow the Eved to become partially redeemed.