Hi… It’s me. Benny.
A slave could be treated so well that sometimes he wouldn’t want to leave his master when his 6 years were up. He might say, “I really love working for my master – I don’t want to go free!”
Well, that’s not what HaShem had in mind when He made the rules about keeping slaves. Slaves are supposed to go free after 6 years, so that they could go back serving their true Master, HaShem, with 100% of their energy.
If a slave still insists on continuing to work for his master even after the 6 years are up, the Torah gives him a very interesting “punishment” in order for him to remain a slave. The Beis Din has the slave stand against a door, and pierces his right ear with an awl, an iron instrument.
Even after “awl” that, the slave must go out free when the special Yovel year, the Jubilee year, comes around, which happens once every 50 years.
What sort of a slave loves his master, to such an extent that he doesn’t want FREEDOM?
His master treated him so well, with so much love and care, that he wants to stay.
The master has to agree to keep his slave as well. Now who would want to keep a Ganav (a robber) or a dead-beat (someone who doesn’t pay his debts) in his home?
After living in an atmosphere of respect and honesty, the one-time thief changed his ways and became a reliable and trusted friend. That’s called “real rehabilitation”… and it’s a lot cheaper than prison.
Of all parts of the body, HaShem wanted the servant to have his ear pierced. Why the ear?
Even with all of that good treatment, it’s not a good thing to be a servant. First of all, at Mount Sinai, Bnei Yisrael heard HaShem’s words with their very own ears, “You will be a servant to me,” only to HaShem, and not to another human being. They also heard with their very own ears, “Do not steal,” yet this person went ahead and stole. Now, if after finishing paying off of their debt they still want to remain slaves to human beings, then their “ears” need to be “punished.”
BTW: Piercing an ear really doesn’t hurt much. People get their ears pierced all the time in order to wear earrings. It’s a reminder rather than a punishment: we should listen to every word of HaShem very carefully. We should listen with our ears.