Torah Portion: Mishpatim
…if she is not pleasing to [her master], he must assist in her redemption (Shemos 21:8).
It is a positive commandment to redeem a Hebrew maidservant—as is stated, he must assist in her redemption (Shemos 21:8)—that is, the master who purchased her should assist in her redemption and give her a chance to return to her father’s home. For example, if he acquired her for sixty dinars for a period of six years, and she worked for three years and saved thirty dinars, the master is to take them and send her free; he should not demand of her to complete her years of servitude no matter what; nor should he say, “The money I invested in buying her remained idle with her; let her add something to my profit if she wishes to go free.” For this is nothing but heartlessness, and since the Israelites are compassionate, royal princes, it is fitting for them to deal kindly with all people—all the more so should they do kindness towards those who have been their servants, even if it was for but one day.
The root of this mitzvah includes what we have written about designation for betrothal.