Lamentations: First Kinah – Line 15 Part Two
“Slaves rule over us…For we have neglected the release of (Hebrew) slaves.” Tomer Devorah : The very strength we have to sin comes from God. He gives us the physical ability to eat the prohibited food that
we eat. God does not deprive us even when we misuse His gifts to us.
This is a similar concept. Just as God assisted those in destroying His Temple, he assists us even as we rebel against him.
Jeremiah : “The word which came to Jeremiah from the Lord after King Zedekiah had made a covenant with all the people in Jerusalem to proclaim a release among them-that everyone should set free his Hebrew slaves, both male and female, and that no one should keep his fellow Judean enslaved. Everyone, officials and people, who had entered into the covenant, agreed to set their male and female slaves free and not keep them enslaved any longer; they complied and let them ago. But afterward they turned about and brought back the men and women they had set free, and forced them into slavery again. Then it was that the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah from the Lord: Thus said the Lord, the God of Israel: I made a covenant with your fathers when I brought them out of the land of Egypt, the house of bondage, saying: “In the seventh year each of you must let go any fellow Hebrew who may be sold to you; when he has served you six years, you must set him free. But your fathers would not obey Me or give ear. ..But now you have turned back and have profaned My name; each of you has brought back the men and women whom you had given their freedom and forced them to be your slaves again. Assuredly, thus said the Lord: You would not obey Me or give ear. Lo! I proclaim your release-declares the Lord-to the sword, to pestilence, and to famine; and I will make you a horror to all the kingdoms of the earth.
TJ: For Rav Shmuel the son of Rav Yitzchak said, “And God spoke to Moshe and Aharon and commanded them on the Children of Israel ” On what did He command them? On the laws of releasing Jewish slaves. This is as Rav Hila said, ‘The Jews were punished only because of the laws of releasing Jewish slaves.’
Eicha : “Judah has gone into exile because of misery and harsh oppression.” Midrash Eicha : Rabbi Acha said, “harsh oppression,” because they did not observe the laws of releasing their Hebrew slaves.