To whom "ha'Elohim" refer?
Moshav Zekenim (Al Derech Derush): Refer to 21:3:1:3.
Why does the Torah call judges "Elohim"?
Ramban #1 (citing Ibn Ezra): Because they carry out the Dinim of Hashem. 1
Ramban #2: Here and also later (22:8), it hints that Hashem is with the judges when they adjudicate. 2
Bearing in mind the Pasuk in Re'ei, 15:17, which only mentions "Deles", why does the current Pasuk add "O el ha'Mezuzah"?
Moshav Zekenim: The Mezuzah is a witness, along with the door. Refer to 21:6:151:1.
Targum Yonasan: The Pasuk means 'the door that is sytandin beside the doorpost'.
Hadar Zekenim, Moshav Zekenim - it must be standing, for it is like a witness. Refer to 21:6:151:1.
Moshav Zekenim: It is called a doorpost only if it is standing. Riva, citing Chizkuni - here, "Oh El" is like "Asher Kavu'a Etzel." Hadar Zekenim - Oh it is like Im - the door is valid only if it like a doorpost (standing).
Which ear does his master pierce?
Rashi and Targum Yonasan: The right ear. 1
Rashi: Which we learn from a Gezeirah-Shavah "Ozen" "Ozen" from Metzora (Vayikra, 14:14). Refer to 21:6:6:3. Moshav Zekenim - the opinion [in the Mechilta and Sifri] that we pierce the Milas (the lobe - the fleshy part at the bottom of the ear) does not learn from the Gezeirah Shavah, for regarding a Metzora, it is the Tenuch (cartilage - in the middle of the ear).
Why does the Torah add the word "Adonav"?
Yerushalmi Kidushin, 2:1: To extrapolate "Adonav", 've'Lo Shelucho'.
Why specifically the Eved's ear?
Rashi (citing Kidushin, 22b): The ear that heard on Har Sinai "Lo Signov" 1 , yet it went and stole; and as for an Eved who sold himself - the ear that heard on Har Sinai "Ki Li B'nei Yisrael Avadim", yet he went and acquired a master for himself, let it be pierced. 2
Rashbam: He pierces his ear as a sign that he is an Eved. 3
Kidushin, 22b: This is the prescribed Kinyan by which the master acquires the Eved Ivri until the Yovel. 4
Yerushalmi Kidushin, 1;2: 'The ear that heard on Har Sinai "Lo Yih'yeh l'cha Elohim Acherim", yet he went and removed from upon himself the yoke of Malchus Shamayim and took upon himself the yoke of a human-being, let it be pierced!' 5
Riva, Hadar Zekenim: The text should not say Lo Signov, (do not kidnap), rather, "Lo Signovu" (Vayikra 19:11 - do not steal property). R"A - our text is fine. Since he heard "Lo Signov", he should have avoided stealing money, which can lead to kidnapping. Moshav Zekenim - all Geneivah is one; the was not meticulous about the wording.
Riva: Why is his ear not pierced when he sold himself? The text should say v'Koneh (he acquires) a master for himself, i.e. now that he should go free. Rosh - initially he had no choice, for he had no money. Now, surely he saved some money during his service, and he did not trust in Hashem, who feeds all, his ear is pierced. Moshav Zekenim - one who goes free gets gifts (Devarim 15:14). He wants to be a sLa'ave, therefore his ear is pierced.
Presumably, because a. it is in a location that is visible to all, and b. it is the only limb which can be pierced without much pain.
See Torah Temimah, note 52, as to why the Rambam does not cite the Mishnah exactly as it is written.
See Torah Temimah, note 57 & 58.
What are the implications of "Ozno"?
Kidushin, 14b: To preclude the ear of a Mocher Atzmo.
Kidushin, 16b: "Ozno", 've'Lo Oznah' - the ear of an Amah ha'Ivriyah is not pierced, and she is therefore obligated to leave the domain of her master immediately.
Why is a Nimkar be'Beis-Din permitted to serve until the Yovel, but not a Mocher Atzmo or an Amah Ivriyah?
Torah Temimah: The Torah permits a Nimkar be'Beis-Din to remian out of pity
Why does the Torah mention "Martze'a" (an awl) - despite the fact that other implements may be used?
Rosh, Da'as Zekenim, Ba'al ha'Turim: There was a decree of 400 years of servitude (Hadar Zekenim - and amidst love for Yisrael, Hashem decreased it to 210!), and he wants to extend his servitude! His ear is pierced with a Martze'a, whose Gematriya is 400.
Tosfos ha'Shalem (16, citing R. Efrayim) - the letters of "Azno ba'Martze'a" spell 'b'Ozen Metzora', from which we learn a Gezeirah Shavah.
Moshav Zekenim: The Gemara did not ask why the Torah mentions Martze'a, because other implements may be used!
Kidushin, 21b: To confine the Din of Retzi'ah to a metal implement
See Torah Temimah, note 59.
What are the implications of"Va'avado le'Olam"?
Rashi, Ramban (citing the Mechilta) and Targum Yonasan: It implies until the Yovel. 1
Rashbam: It implies that he serves his master for as long as he (the Eved Ivri) lives. 2
Kidushin, 21b: "Va'avado" - implying that he serves his master but not the master's son or daughter in the event that he dies
Since the Pasuk in Vayikra (25:10) writes that all Avadim return to their families when the Yovel arrives (Rashi). And we learn from here that fifty years are called Olam - Rashi. See also Sifsei Chachamim. Citing the Ibn Ezra, the Ramban translates "le'Olam" as 'time' (as in Koheles, 1:10), and it is because Yovel is the longest time-period that there is in our calendar, that the Torah uses the term "le'Olam" - as if to say that the Eved will begin a new period, to revert to the time when he was free.
See Rashbam's introduction to the Parshah, where he writes that he will explain the Pesukim in Mishpatim according to the simple P'shat - notwithstanding the Halachic interpretation, as indeed he does here.
Why did the Torah specify the door and doorpost?
Rashi: 'The door and doorpost were witnesses in Egypt when I (Hashem) passed over them (and did not kill the firstborn of Yisraelinside) and I declared "Yisrael are My sLa'aves"; yet he acquired a [human] master for himself - Let his ear be pierced in front of these witnesses.
Rashbam: Because even on a house that is made of stone, the door and the doorpost are made of wood, in which case it is possible to pierce the Eved's ear together with them. 1
Hadar Zekenim #1: Retzi'a is in the door itself, for he broke a door in order to steal. (and it mentions doorpost to teach us that the door must be standing.)
Hadar Zekenim #2: The door is clear testimony that it is his sLa'ave, for the hole in the door is at the height of the hole in the sLa'ave's ear. 2 (It says doorpost to teach that the door must be standing.)
See also Ba'al ha'Turim.
A Nirtza must be above 19 years old; usually people stop growing around then. However, if an older person is bent and shorter than he used to be, it is not testimony. Surely he holds that Retzi'a is on the inside of the door. If the hole faces outside, anyone can measure its height and make a similar hole in his door! In any case, the sLa'ave could scheme with someone else to claim 'he is my master', and pose for the latter to make a hole in the door at this height! (PF)
QUESTIONS ON RASHI
Rashi writes that he serves until the Yovel, be it soon or after a long time. What is the source that Yovel frees even one who did two Aveiros, i.e. theft, and choosing to become Nirtza?