Daily Mitzvah

Positive Commandment 197; Negative Commandment 234

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Positive Commandment 197 (Digest)
Lending Money

"If you lend money to My people, the poor among you"Exodus 22:24.

We are commanded to lend money to the impoverished, in order to help relieve them and ease their burden. This mitzvah is even greater than that of giving charity; for one who has already reached the point where he has to openly ask people for money is less bothered and pained by [having to ask for assistance] than one who has not yet reached this level. He therefore needs assistance to keep his situation from being known and reaching such a level.

Negative Commandment 234 (Digest)
Demanding Payment of a Loan from a Destitute Borrower

"You shall not be to him as a creditor"Exodus 22:24.

It is forbidden to demand payment of a debt from a borrower if the lender is aware that the borrower has not the means to repay. It is even forbidden for the lender to pass before the borrower [lest his presence, and therefore the acute awareness that he owes him money, shame him].

Demanding repayment of a debt that includes interest is also included in this prohibition.


Translation of (the unabridged text of) Sefer Hamitzvot by Rabbi Berel Bell, member of the Rabbinical Court of Montreal and director of Teacher Training for the Jewish Learning Institute.

From "Sefer Hamitzvot in English," published by Sichos in English.
Daily Quote

I learned the meaning of love from a drunk. I once passed two drunks drinking in a gutter and overheard the following conversation between them:
Drunk #1: "I love you!"
Drunk #2: "No you don't."
Drunk #1: "Yes, yes, I do. I love you with all my heart."
Drunk #2: "No you don't. If you love me, why don't you know what hurts me?"

  –Rabbi Levi Yitzchak of Barditchov
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