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Rambam - 1 Chapter a Day

Malveh veLoveh - Chapter 10

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Malveh veLoveh - Chapter 10


Just as it is permitted for a seller to take an order based on the market price; so, too, it is permitted to give a loan of produce without any conditions, to be returned without any conditions, without establishing a time when it must be returned once the market price has been established.

What is implied? If there was a fixed market price for wheat that was known by both the borrower and the lender, when the borrower borrows ten se'ah of wheat from a colleague, he is obligated to return ten se'ah, even though the price of wheat increased. The rationale is that when he borrowed the wheat from him, the market price was known. If he had wanted to, he could have purchased wheat and returned it, since a minimum term of the loan was not established.


כְּשֵׁם שֶׁמֻּתָּר לַמּוֹכֵר לִפְסֹק עַל שַׁעַר שֶׁבַּשּׁוּק כָּךְ מֻתָּר לִלְווֹת הַפֵּרוֹת סְתָם וּפוֹרְעִין סְתָם בְּלֹא קְבִיעַת זְמַן עַל הַשַּׁעַר שֶׁבַּשּׁוּק. כֵּיצַד. הָיָה הַשַּׁעַר קָבוּעַ וְיָדוּעַ לִשְׁנֵיהֶם וְלָוָה מֵחֲבֵרוֹ עֶשֶׂר סְאִין חַיָּב לְהַחְזִיר לוֹ עֶשֶׂר סְאִין אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהוּקְרוּ הַחִטִּים שֶׁהֲרֵי כְּשֶׁלָּוָה מִמֶּנּוּ הָיָה הַשַּׁעַר יָדוּעַ וְאִלּוּ רָצָה הָיָה קוֹנֶה וּמַחֲזִיר לוֹ שֶׁהֲרֵי לֹא קָבַע לוֹ זְמַן:


If the borrower possesses some of the type of produce that he seeks to borrow, it is permissible for him to borrow this produce without any conditions, to be returned without any conditions, without establishing a time when it is due. Even if he possesses only a se'ah, he may borrow many se'ah because of it. Even if he possesses only a drop of oil or wine, he may borrow several jugs of wine and oil because of it.

If he did not possess any of that type of produce and the market price was not established yet, or the borrower and the lender did not know the market price, it is forbidden to lend a se'ah of produce for a se'ah to be returned at a later date. Similarly, with regard to other types of produce, a person should not lend them out until he establishes a financial equivalent. The following rules apply when a person makes a loan of produce without establishing a financial equivalent, and it decreases in value. The borrower must return the measure or the weight of the fruit he borrowed. If they increased in value, the lender may take only the amount they were worth at the time of the loan.

Even if a person possesses that type of produce, or the market price had already been established, it is forbidden to make a loan of produce that must be repaid on a specific date. Instead, the loan must be made without any stipulation, and it can be repaid whenever the borrower desires to repay it.


הָיָה לוֹ מֵאוֹתוֹ הַמִּין שֶׁלָּוָה הֲרֵי זֶה מֻתָּר לִלְווֹת סְתָם בְּלֹא קְבִיעַת זְמַן וּפוֹרֵעַ סְתָם אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁעֲדַיִן לֹא יָצָא הַשַּׁעַר. וַאֲפִלּוּ הָיְתָה לוֹ סְאָה בִּלְבַד לוֶֹה עָלֶיהָ כַּמָּה סְאִין. הָיְתָה לוֹ טִפָּה אַחַת שֶׁל שֶׁמֶן אוֹ שֶׁל יַיִן לוֶֹה עָלֶיהָ כַּמָּה גַרְבֵּי יַיִן וְשֶׁמֶן. לֹא הָיְתָה לוֹ מֵאוֹתוֹ הַמִּין כְּלוּם וְלֹא נִקְבַּע שַׁעַר הַשּׁוּק עֲדַיִן אוֹ שֶׁלֹּא יָדְעוּ שַׁעַר הַשּׁוּק הֲרֵי זֶה אָסוּר לִלְווֹת סְאָה בִּסְאָה. וְכֵן בִּשְׁאָר הַפֵּרוֹת לֹא יַלְוֶה אוֹתָן עַד שֶׁיַּעֲשֶׂה אוֹתָן דָּמִים. וְאִם לָוָה וְלֹא עָשָׂה אוֹתָן [דָּמִים] וְהוּזְלוּ מַחְזִיר לוֹ פֵּרוֹת כַּמִּדָּה שֶׁלָּוָה אוֹ כַּמִּשְׁקָל. וְאִם הוּקַר נוֹטֵל דָּמִים שֶׁהָיוּ שָׁוִין בִּשְׁעַת הַלְוָאָה. אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁיֵּשׁ לוֹ מֵאוֹתוֹ הַמִּין אוֹ שֶׁהָיָה הַשַּׁעַר קָבוּעַ בַּשּׁוּק הֲרֵי זֶה אָסוּר לִלְווֹת פֵּרוֹת בְּפֵרוֹת עַד זְמַן קָבוּעַ אֶלָּא לוֶֹה סְתָם וּפוֹרֵעַ בְּאֵיזֶה זְמַן שֶׁיִּפְרַע:


A person should not tell a colleague: "Lend me a kor of wheat and I will return a kor to you at the time when wheat is brought to the granaries." He may, however, tell him: "Lend me wheat until my son comes, or until I find the key to my storehouse."


לֹא יֹאמַר אָדָם לַחֲבֵרוֹ הַלְוֵינִי כּוֹר חִטִּים וַאֲנִי אַחְזִיר לְךָ כּוֹר לַגֹּרֶן אֶלָּא אוֹמֵר לוֹ הַלְוֵינִי עַד שֶׁיָּבוֹא בְּנִי אוֹ עַד שֶׁאֶמְצָא הַמַּפְתֵּחַ:


The following rules apply if a person lent out produce until a fixed date: If the produce diminished in value, the borrower should return the produce at the time set. If the produce increased in value, the borrower should pay him the money that it was worth at the time of the loan.


לָוָה פֵּרוֹת עַד זְמַן קָבוּעַ אִם הוּזְלוּ מַחְזִיר לוֹ פֵּרוֹת בַּזְּמַן שֶׁקָּבַע וְאִם הוּקְרוּ נוֹתֵן לוֹ דָּמִים שֶׁהָיוּ שָׁוִין בִּשְׁעַת הַהַלְוָאָה:


A person may lend wheat to his sharecroppers to be used as seed, in return for wheat to be paid back after the harvest. This applies both before the sharecropper enters the field and after he entered the field.

When does this apply? In a place where it is customary that the sharecropper supplies the seed for the crops. For the owner of the field has the right to remove the sharecropper from the field whenever he does not supply it.

Different laws apply in places where it is customary for the owner of the field to provide the seed. If the sharecropper did not enter the field yet, it is permitted for the owner to lend wheat for wheat to be returned in the future, for he still has the prerogative of removing the sharecropper from the field. Thus, when the sharecropper entered the field, he entered with the intent of returning the wheat the owner lent him.

If, however, the loan was made after the sharecropper entered the field, since the owner can no longer have him removed, he is like any other person. It is forbidden to lend him wheat for seed in return for wheat to be paid back at a later date. He may, however, lend him wheat according to its market value if he does not make any stipulations.


מַלְוֶה אָדָם אֶת אֲרִיסָיו חִטִּים בְּחִטִּים לְזֶרַע בֵּין קֹדֶם שֶׁיָּרַד הָאָרִיס לַשָּׂדֶה בֵּין אַחַר שֶׁיָּרַד. בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים בְּמָקוֹם שֶׁנָּהֲגוּ שֶׁיִּתֵּן הָאָרִיס אֶת הַזֶּרַע שֶׁהֲרֵי בְּיַד בַּעַל הַקַּרְקַע לְסַלְּקוֹ כָּל זְמַן שֶׁלֹּא נָתַן. אֲבָל בְּמָקוֹם שֶׁדֶּרֶךְ בַּעַל הַקַּרְקַע לִתֵּן אֶת הַזֶּרַע אִם עֲדַיִן לֹא יָרַד הָאָרִיס הֲרֵי זֶה מֻתָּר לְהַלְווֹת חִטִּים בְּחִטִּים שֶׁעֲדַיִן יֵשׁ לוֹ לְסַלְּקוֹ נִמְצָא בְּעֵת שֶׁיָּרַד לַשָּׂדֶה יָרַד עַל דַּעַת שֶׁיַּחְזִיר לוֹ חִטִּים שֶׁהִלְוָהוּ. אֲבָל אַחַר שֶׁיָּרַד לַשָּׂדֶה הוֹאִיל וְאֵינוֹ יָכוֹל לְסַלְּקוֹ הֲרֵי הוּא כְּכָל אָדָם וְאָסוּר לְהַלְווֹתוֹ חִטִּים בַּחִטִּים לְזֶרַע אֲבָל מַלְוֵהוּ סְתָם עַל שַׁעַר שֶׁבַּשּׁוּק:


A loan may not be repaid with a loan of produce. To explain: A person owed a colleague money. The lender told the borrower: "Give me my money, because I want to purchase wheat with it."

The borrower responded: "Go out and establish the money I owe you as a debt of wheat according to the present market price."

If the borrower possesses an equivalent quantity of wheat, this is permitted. If, however, he does not have that type of produce, this is forbidden. For our Sages said that it is permitted to place an order based on a commodity's market price, even though the seller does not possess any of that commodity, only when the purchaser is paying money for the acquisition. It is, however, forbidden to transfer a debt of money into a debt of produce unless the borrower possesses the produce.

The concept can be extended when, in the above situation, the borrower did possess wheat and the debt was transferred into a debt of wheat. Similar rules apply if afterwards the lender comes and tells him: "Give me the wheat, because I want to sell it and use the money to purchase wine," and in response, the borrower tells him: "Go out and consider the debt as a debt of wine, according to the present market price of wine." If he possesses wine, it is permitted and it is considered as if he owes him wine. If he does not possess wine, it is forbidden.

If the borrower did not possess the commodity desired, but nevertheless, transgressed and transferred the debt into a debt of that commodity, he is not required to pay the debt in the commodity. Even though he did purchase the commodity afterwards, he should pay the lender the money he lent him.


מִי שֶׁהָיָה נוֹשֶׁה בַּחֲבֵרוֹ מָעוֹת וְאָמַר לוֹ תֵּן לִי מְעוֹתַי שֶׁאֲנִי רוֹצֶה לִקַּח בָּהֶן חִטִּים. אָמַר לוֹ צֵא וַעֲשֵׂה אוֹתָן עָלַי כְּשַׁעַר שֶׁל עַכְשָׁו וְיִהְיֶה לְךָ אֶצְלִי חִטִּים בְּהַלְוָאָה. אִם יֵשׁ לוֹ חִטִּים כְּשִׁעוּר מְעוֹתָיו מֻתָּר וְאִם אֵין [לוֹ] אוֹתוֹ הַמִּין הֲרֵי זֶה אָסוּר. שֶׁלֹּא אָמְרוּ חֲכָמִים שֶׁמֻּתָּר לִפְסֹק עַל שַׁעַר שֶׁבַּשּׁוּק אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאֵין לוֹ כְּלוּם מֵאוֹתוֹ הַמִּין אֶלָּא בְּנוֹתֵן מְעוֹתָיו לִקְנוֹת בָּהֶן פֵּרוֹת. אֲבָל הָרוֹצֶה לְהַעֲמִיד הַלְוָאָתוֹ עַל גַּב הַפֵּרוֹת אָסוּר עַד שֶׁיִּהְיוּ לוֹ פֵּרוֹת. הָיָה לַלּוֶֹה חִטִּים וְעָשָׂה הַלְוָאָתוֹ עָלָיו חִטִּים וּבָא אַחַר זְמַן וְאָמַר לוֹ תֵּן לִי חִטִּים שֶׁאֲנִי רוֹצֶה לְמָכְרָן וְלִקַּח בִּדְמֵיהֶן יַיִן. אָמַר לוֹ צֵא וַעֲשֵׂה אוֹתָן עָלַי יַיִן כַּשַּׁעַר שֶׁבַּשּׁוּק עַתָּה. אִם יֵשׁ לוֹ יַיִן הֲרֵי זֶה מֻתָּר וְנַעֲשֵׂית הַלְוָאָתוֹ אֶצְלוֹ יַיִן וְאִם אֵין לוֹ יַיִן אָסוּר. הֲרֵי שֶׁלֹּא הָיָה לוֹ וְעָבַר וְהֶחְזִיר הַהַלְוָאָה פֵּרוֹת אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁקָּנָה פֵּרוֹת אַחַר כָּךְ אֵינוֹ חַיָּב לִתֵּן לוֹ פֵּרוֹת אֶלָּא נוֹתֵן לוֹ מָעוֹת שֶׁהִלְוָהוּ:

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The Mishneh Torah was the Rambam's (Rabbi Moses ben Maimon) magnum opus, a work spanning hundreds of chapters and describing all of the laws mentioned in the Torah. To this day it is the only work that details all of Jewish observance, including those laws which are only applicable when the Holy Temple is in place. Participating in one of the annual study cycles of these laws (3 chapters/day, 1 chapter/day, or Sefer Hamitzvot) is a way we can play a small but essential part in rebuilding the final Temple.
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