1

Whenever a person gives a loan to a colleague of a sela for five dinarim, two se'ah of wheat for three, a selah for a selah and a se'ah? or three se'ah for three se'ah and a dinar, it is forbidden. The general principle is whenever there is a stipulation that any increase be made to a loan, interest forbidden by Scriptural Law is involved, and it may be expropriated from the lender through legal process.

Similarly, when a person lends money to a colleague and makes a stipulation that he can live in the borrower's courtyard at no cost until he returns the loan, he rented the borrower's property for less than its fair value and established that this reduction would remain in force until he repaid the debt, or took as security property from which benefit can be derived at the time of the loan - e.g., the borrower gave the lender his courtyard as security with the intent that the lender dwell in it without charge - all the above are forms of interest forbidden by Scriptural Law" and it may be expropriated from the lender through legal process.

Similarly, when a person sells a field or a courtyard through an asmachta, since the purchaser does not acquire the field itself, any produce that he consumes is interest and must be returned. Similar laws apply to any person who has not completed a transaction that is not fully binding at the outset. He must return all the produce. For if he consumes the produce, he will be taking interest according to Scriptural Law.

Any other matter forbidden as interest outside the above categories is prohibited by Rabbinic decree. These decrees were enforced lest this lead to the violation of interest forbidden by Scriptural Law. Interest forbidden by the Rabbis is called "the shade of interest" and may not be expropriated from the lender through legal process.

א

הַמַּלְוֶה אֶת חֲבֵרוֹ סֶלַע בַּחֲמִשָּׁה דִּינָרִים אוֹ סָאתַיִם חִטִּים בְּשָׁלֹשׁ אוֹ סֶלַע בְּסֶלַע וּסְאָה אוֹ שָׁלֹשׁ סְאִין בְּשָׁלֹשׁ סְאִין וְדִינָר כְּלָלוֹ שֶׁל דָּבָר כָּל הַלְוָאָה בְּתוֹסֶפֶת כָּל שֶׁהוּא הֲרֵי זוֹ רִבִּית שֶׁל תּוֹרָה וְיוֹצְאָה בְּדַיָּנִין. וְכֵן הַמַּלְוֶה אֶת חֲבֵרוֹ וְהִתְנָה עִמּוֹ שֶׁיָּדוּר בַּחֲצֵרוֹ חִנָּם עַד שֶׁיַּחְזִיר לוֹ הַלְוָאָתוֹ. אוֹ שֶׁשָּׂכַר מִמֶּנּוּ בְּפָחוֹת וְקָצַב הַדָּבָר שֶׁפּוֹחֵת לוֹ מִן הַשָּׂכָר עַד שֶׁיַּחְזִיר לוֹ הַלְוָאָתוֹ. אוֹ שֶׁמִּשְׁכֵּן בְּיָדוֹ מָקוֹם שֶׁפֵּרוֹתָיו מְצוּיִין בְּעֵת הַהַלְוָאָה כְּגוֹן שֶׁמִּשְׁכֵּן חֲצֵרוֹ עַל מְנָת שֶׁיָּדוּר בּוֹ בְּחִנָּם. הֲרֵי זוֹ רִבִּית שֶׁל תּוֹרָה וְיוֹצְאָה בְּדַיָּנִין. וְכֵן הַמּוֹכֵר שָׂדֶה אוֹ חָצֵר בְּאַסְמַכְתָּא הוֹאִיל וְלֹא קָנָה הַגּוּף הֲרֵי כָּל הַפֵּרוֹת שֶׁאָכַל רִבִּית וּמַחֲזִיר אוֹתָן. וְהוּא הַדִּין לְכָל מִי [שֶׁלֹּא] קָנָה קִנְיָן גָּמוּר מִתְּחִלָּה שֶׁהוּא מַחְזִיר אֶת הַפֵּרוֹת מִפְּנֵי שֶׁאִם אָכַל אֶת הַפֵּרוֹת הֲרֵי זוֹ רִבִּית שֶׁל תּוֹרָה. וְכָל דָּבָר שֶׁהוּא אָסוּר מִשּׁוּם רִבִּית חוּץ מֵאֵלּוּ הֲרֵי הוּא אָסוּר מִדִּבְרֵיהֶם גְּזֵרָה שֶׁמָּא יָבֹא לְרִבִּית שֶׁל תּוֹרָה. וְהוּא הַנִּקְרָא אֲבַק רִבִּית וְאֵינוֹ יוֹצֵא בְּדַיָּנִין:

2

When a person lends money to a colleague, he should not take that colleague's servant to perform work for him even if the servant is sitting idly. He should not dwell in his courtyard without charge, even though this courtyard is not fit to be rented out and the owner does not ordinarily rent out his property. If the lender does dwell in it, he must pay rent to the owner/borrower. If he does not pay rent, it is considered as "the shade of interest," because at the outset, he did not stipulate that if he makes the loan, he can dwell in his courtyard.

Therefore, the following rule applies if the borrower has not paid the debt and desires to deduct the rent for the courtyard in which the lender dwelled from the debt. If the rent is equivalent to the entire debt, he may not deduct the entire amount - only the sum that the judges specify. The rationale is that if the lender were sent away without receiving anything, it would be equivalent to expropriating the interest by the court. And "the shade of interest" is not expropriated by the court.

ב

הַמַּלְוֶה אֶת חֲבֵרוֹ לֹא יִמְשֹׁךְ אֶת עַבְדּוֹ כְּדֵי שֶׁיַּעֲשֶׂה בּוֹ מְלָאכָה אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהָעֶבֶד יוֹשֵׁב וּבָטֵל. וְלֹא יָדוּר בַּחֲצֵרוֹ בְּחִנָּם אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאֵין הֶחָצֵר עֲשׂוּיָה לְשָׂכָר וְאֵין דֶּרֶךְ בַּעַל הֶחָצֵר לְהַשְׂכִּיר. וְאִם דָּר צָרִיךְ לְהַעֲלוֹת לוֹ שָׂכָר. וְאִם לֹא הֶעֱלָה לוֹ הֲרֵי זֶה אֲבַק רִבִּית לְפִי שֶׁלֹּא הִתְנָה עִמּוֹ שֶׁיַּלְוֵהוּ וְיָדוּר בַּחֲצֵרוֹ. לְפִיכָךְ אִם עֲדַיִן לֹא הֶחְזִיר לוֹ חוֹבוֹ וּבָא לְנַכּוֹת שְׂכַר הֶחָצֵר שֶׁדָּר בָּהּ מִן הַחוֹב אִם הָיָה הַשָּׂכָר כְּנֶגֶד הַחוֹב אֵינוֹ מְנַכֶּה לוֹ הַכּל אֶלָּא כְּמוֹ שֶׁיִּרְאוּ הַדַּיָּנִים. שֶׁאִם תְּסַלֵּק אוֹתוֹ בְּלֹא כְּלוּם הֲרֵי זֶה כְּמוֹ שֶׁהוֹצִיא אוֹתוֹ בְּדַיָּנִין וַאֲבַק רִבִּית אֵינָהּ יוֹצְאָה בְּדַיָּנִין:

3

My teachers issued the following ruling when a person lends money to a colleague and afterwards demands payment of the debt. If the borrower tells the lender: "Dwell in my courtyard until I repay the debt," it is considered as only "the shade of interest." The rationale is that this condition was not specified at the time the loan was given, as can be inferred from Leviticus 25:37: "Do not give him a loan with neshech."

ג

הוֹרוּ רַבּוֹתַי שֶׁהַמַּלְוֶה אֶת חֲבֵרוֹ וּלְאַחַר זְמַן תָּבַע חוֹבוֹ וְאָמַר לוֹ הַלּוֶֹה דּוּר בַּחֲצֵרִי עַד שֶׁאַחְזִיר לְךָ חוֹבְךָ הֲרֵי זֶה אֲבַק רִבִּית לְפִי שֶׁלֹּא קָצַץ בִּשְׁעַת הַלְוָאָה שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא כה לז) "לֹא תִתֵּן לוֹ בְּנֶשֶׁךְ":

4

The following rules apply when a person lends a colleague money and the borrower offers a field as security. Although the lender tells the borrower: "If you do not return the debt to me within three years, the field belongs to me," he does not acquire it. The rationale is that the agreement is an asmachta and an asmachta is not binding. Accordingly, the lender must deduct all the produce he consumed from the sum of the loan. For consuming that produce is interest forbidden by Scriptural Law.

Different rules apply, however, if the seller/borrower tells the lender/purchaser: "If I do not repay you within three years, acquire it retroactively from the present date." If the borrower brings the money to the lender within three years, the lender is not entitled to the produce. ' If he brings the money to the lender/purchaser after three years, all the produce belongs to the purchaser.

ד

הַמַּלְוֶה אֶת חֲבֵרוֹ עַל הַשָּׂדֶה וְאָמַר לוֹ אִם לֹא תַּחְזִיר לִי מִכָּאן עַד שָׁלֹשׁ שָׁנִים הֲרֵי הִיא שֶׁלִּי הֲרֵי זֶה לֹא קָנָה מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהִיא אַסְמַכְתָּא. לְפִיכָךְ מְנַכֶּה כָּל הַפֵּרוֹת שֶׁאָכַל מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהוּא רִבִּית שֶׁל תּוֹרָה. אֲבָל אִם אָמַר לוֹ הַמּוֹכֵר אִם לֹא אַחְזִיר לְךָ עַד שָׁלֹשׁ שָׁנִים קְנֵה אוֹתָהּ מֵעַכְשָׁו וְהֵבִיא לוֹ בְּתוֹךְ שָׁלֹשׁ אֵין לוֹ פֵּרוֹת. הֵבִיא לוֹ לְאַחַר שָׁלֹשׁ הֲרֵי כָּל הַפֵּרוֹת לַלּוֹקֵחַ:

5

When a person sells a house or a field and tells the purchaser: "When I obtain money, return the property to me," the purchaser does not acquire the field. All the produce that he consumes is considered as fixed interest and can be expropriated from him through legal process.

If, however, on his own initiative, the purchaser tells the seller: "When you obtain money, I will return this field to you," it is permitted for him to do so. The purchaser may consume the produce until the seller returns his money.

ה

הַמּוֹכֵר בַּיִת אוֹ שָׂדֶה וְאָמַר הַמּוֹכֵר לַלּוֹקֵחַ לִכְשֶׁיִּהְיוּ לִי מָעוֹת תַּחְזִיר לִי קַרְקָעִי לֹא קָנָה וְכָל הַפֵּרוֹת שֶׁאָכַל רִבִּית קְצוּצָה וּמוֹצִיאִין אוֹתָם בְּדַיָּנִין. אֲבָל אִם אָמַר לוֹ הַלּוֹקֵחַ מִדַּעְתּוֹ כְּשֶׁיִּהְיוּ לְךָ מָעוֹת אֲנִי אַחְזִיר לְךָ קַרְקַע זֶה מֻתָּר וְהַלּוֹקֵחַ אוֹכֵל פֵּרוֹת עַד שֶׁיַּחְזִיר לוֹ מְעוֹתָיו:

6

The following laws apply when a person sells a field to a colleague and the purchaser pays a portion of the money to the seller. If the seller tells the purchaser: "Acquire a portion of the property in proportion to the percentage of your payment," each of them is entitled to consume a share of the produce proportional to the percentage of the property he owns.

If the seller tells the purchaser: "When you bring the remainder of the money, you will acquire the field retroactively to the present date," both of them are forbidden to benefit from the produce immediately. The seller is prohibited, lest the purchaser bring the remainder of the money and thus the field will belong to him from that date. Hence if the seller were to consume the produce, he would be receiving benefit from the money that the purchaser has yet to pay him.

Similarly, the purchaser is forbidden to benefit from the produce. The rationale is that perhaps he will not bring the remainder of the money and the transaction will be nullified. Thus, he will have benefited from the produce in consideration of the money he had given the seller. Therefore, the produce should be given to a third party until it is appropriate to give it to one of them.

If the seller tells the purchaser: "When you bring the remainder of the money, you will acquire the field," the seller is entitled to benefit from the produce until the purchaser brings the money. If the purchaser consumes the produce, its value should be expropriated from him.

If the seller tells the purchaser: "Acquire the field at present and the remainder of the money is considered as a debt," the purchaser should benefit from the produce. If the seller consumes the produce, everything that he consumed should be expropriated from him.

ו

מָכַר לוֹ אֶת הַשָּׂדֶה וְנָתַן לוֹ מִקְצָת הַדָּמִים אִם אָמַר לוֹ הַמּוֹכֵר לַלּוֹקֵחַ קְנֵה כְּשִׁעוּר מְעוֹתֶיךָ כָּל אֶחָד מִשְּׁנֵיהֶם אוֹכֵל פֵּרוֹת כְּשִׁעוּר מְעוֹתָיו. אָמַר הַמּוֹכֵר לַלּוֹקֵחַ לִכְשֶׁתָּבִיא שְׁאָר הַמָּעוֹת תִּקְנֶה מֵעַכְשָׁו שְׁנֵיהֶם אֲסוּרִים לֶאֱכל הַפֵּרוֹת מִיָּד. הַמּוֹכֵר אָסוּר שֶׁמָּא יָבִיא הַלּוֹקֵחַ שְׁאָר הַמָּעוֹת וְנִמְצֵאת הַשָּׂדֶה שֶׁלּוֹ וְנִמְצָא הַמּוֹכֵר אוֹכֵל פֵּרוֹת בִּשְׁבִיל הַמָּעוֹת שֶׁנִּשְׁאֲרוּ לוֹ אֵצֶל הַלּוֹקֵחַ וְכֵן הַלּוֹקֵחַ אָסוּר שֶׁמָּא לֹא יָבִיא וְנִמְצָא שֶׁאָכַל בִּשְׁבִיל מִקְצָת הַמָּעוֹת שֶׁיֵּשׁ לוֹ אֵצֶל הַמּוֹכֵר. לְפִיכָךְ מַנִּיחִין אֶת הַפֵּרוֹת עַל יְדֵי שָׁלִישׁ עַד שֶׁיִּנָּתְנוּ לְאֶחָד מֵהֶן. אָמַר לוֹ הַמּוֹכֵר לִכְשֶׁתָּבִיא שְׁאָר הַמָּעוֹת תִּקְנֶה הֲרֵי הַמּוֹכֵר אוֹכֵל פֵּרוֹת עַד שֶׁיָּבִיא הַלּוֹקֵחַ וְאִם אָכַל הַלּוֹקֵחַ מוֹצִיאִין מִמֶּנּוּ. אָמַר לוֹ הַמּוֹכֵר קְנֵה מֵעַכְשָׁו וּשְׁאָר הַמָּעוֹת הֲרֵי הֵן חוֹב אֶצְלְךָ הֲרֵי הַלּוֹקֵחַ אוֹכֵל פֵּרוֹת וְאִם אָכַל הַמּוֹכֵר מוֹצִיאִין מִמֶּנּוּ כָּל מַה שֶּׁאָכַל:

7

My masters ruled that the following principle applies when a person lends money to a colleague and the borrower gives the lender his field as security with the intent that the lender benefit from the produce while he was holding it as security. Even though the lender does not deduct anything, this is considered merely "the shade of interest," and cannot be expropriated from the lender through legal process.

The rationale is that giving a field as security is different from giving a house as security. Because produce is not located in the field at the time the loan is given. It is possible that the lender will profit, for produce will grow, and it is possible that he will lose when sowing and working the field. Therefore, it is "the shade of interest."

Similarly, giving a field as security does not resemble selling a field under an asmachta. When a person sells under an asmachta, he does not resolve to make the sale. When he gives a field as security, by contrast, he resolves to sell the potential to benefit from the land.

Similarly, from the Talmud, it appears that a property given as security involves "the shade of interest," and that can be understood only if we say that it refers to a person who gives a field as security, as my masters ruled.

Thus, there are three ways in which property can be given as security: security where taking benefit involves fixed interest, security where taking benefit involves the shade of interest and security where taking benefit is permitted.

What is implied? If a person gave a colleague a property where benefit is continually present, e.g., a courtyard, a bathhouse, or a store, as security, it is considered as fixed interest. If he gave him a field or the like as security and it produced profit from which he benefited, it is considered as "the shade of interest."

If he gave him a courtyard or the like as security and made a deduction, it is considered as "the shade of interest." If he gave him a field as security and made a deduction, it is permitted.

What is meant by "making a deduction"? A person lent a colleague 100 dinarim. The borrower gave him his courtyard or his field as security and the lender told the borrower: "I will deduct a silver me'ah each year as rent for the property, so that I can receive all of the benefit from the courtyard," or the like, it is forbidden. If he gives a field or the like as security, it is permitted.

ז

הוֹרוּ רַבּוֹתַי שֶׁהַמַּלְוֶה אֶת חֲבֵרוֹ וּמִשְׁכֵּן לוֹ שָׂדֵהוּ עַל מְנָת שֶׁיֹּאכַל פֵּרוֹתֶיהָ כָּל יְמֵי הַמַּשְׁכּוֹנָא אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאֵינוֹ מְנַכֶּה לוֹ כְּלוּם הֲרֵי זוֹ אֲבַק רִבִּית וְאֵינָהּ יוֹצְאָה בְּדַיָּנִין שֶׁאֵין הַמְמַשְׁכֵּן אֶת הַשָּׂדֶה דּוֹמֶה לִמְמַשְׁכֵּן בַּיִת שֶׁהֲרֵי אֵין בַּשָּׂדֶה פֵּרוֹת מְצוּיִין בְּעֵת הַהַלְוָאָה וְאֶפְשָׁר שֶׁיַּרְוִיחַ וְיִהְיוּ שָׁם פֵּרוֹת וְאֶפְשָׁר שֶׁיַּפְסִיד בִּזְרִיעָתָהּ וַעֲבוֹדָתָהּ וּלְפִיכָךְ הִיא אֲבַק רִבִּית. וְכֵן אֵין הַמַּשְׁכּוֹנָא דּוֹמָה לְמִי שֶׁמָּכַר בְּאַסְמַכְתָּא שֶׁהַמּוֹכֵר בְּאַסְמַכְתָּא לֹא גָּמַר וְהִקְנָהוּ וְהַמְמַשְׁכֵּן גָּמַר וְהִקְנָהוּ גּוּף זֶה לְפֵרוֹתָיו. וְכָזֶה יֵרָאֶה מִן הַגְּמָרָא. שֶׁהַמַּשְׁכּוֹנָא אֲבַק רִבִּית וְאֵין לְךָ לְהַעֲמִידָהּ אֶלָּא בִּמְמַשְׁכֵּן שָׂדֵהוּ כְּמוֹ שֶׁהוֹרוּ רַבּוֹתַי. נִמְצֵאתָ לָמֵד שֶׁשָּׁלֹשׁ מַשְׁכּוֹנוֹת הֵן. מַשְׁכּוֹנָא שֶׁהִיא רִבִּית קְצוּצָה. וּמַשְׁכּוֹנָא שֶׁהִיא אֲבַק רִבִּית. וּמַשְׁכּוֹנָא שֶׁהִיא מֻתֶּרֶת. כֵּיצַד. מִשְׁכֵּן לוֹ מָקוֹם שֶׁפֵּרוֹתָיו מְצוּיִין תָּדִיר כְּגוֹן חָצֵר אוֹ מֶרְחָץ אוֹ חֲנוּת וְאָכַל פֵּרוֹתֵיהֶן הֲרֵי זוֹ רִבִּית קְצוּצָה. מִשְׁכֵּן לוֹ שָׂדֶה וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּהּ וּבָאוּ שָׁם פֵּרוֹת וַאֲכָלָן הֲרֵי זוֹ אֲבַק רִבִּית. וְכֵן אִם מִשְׁכֵּן חֲצֵרוֹ וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּהּ בְּנִכּוּי הֲרֵי זֶה אֲבַק רִבִּית. מִשְׁכֵּן שָׂדֵהוּ בְּנִכּוּי הֲרֵי זֶה מֻתָּר. כֵּיצַד הוּא הַנִּכּוּי. כְּגוֹן שֶׁהִלְוָהוּ מֵאָה דִּינָרִין וּמִשְׁכֵּן לוֹ בָּהֶן חֲצֵרוֹ אוֹ שָׂדֵהוּ וְאָמַר לוֹ הַמַּלְוֶה הֲרֵינִי מְנַכֶּה לְךָ מָעָה כֶּסֶף בְּכָל שָׁנָה בִּשְׂכַר קַרְקַע זוֹ כְּדֵי שֶׁיִּהְיוּ כָּל פֵּרוֹתָיו שֶׁלִּי בְּחָצֵר וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּהּ אָסוּר וּבְשָׂדֶה וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּהּ מֻתָּר:

8

Some of the Geonim have ruled that whenever property is given as security and nothing is deducted, it is considered to be fixed interest. They did not penetrate to the depth of the matter to distinguish between a field and a courtyard. Therefore, the words of the Talmud appeared problematic to them.

Similarly, they ruled that it is always forbidden to give property as security without a deduction being made, whether for a courtyard or a field, except according to the following arrangement.

What is implied? The lender loaned the borrower 100 dinarim, took a house or a field as security, and stipulated that after ten years the property would return to its owners at no charge. The lender is permitted to benefit from the produce of the property for the entire ten years, even if ordinarily its rent would be 1000 dinarim a year. For in effect, what he is doing is renting it at a lower price.

Similarly, it is permitted if the owner of the field added a stipulation that whenever he brought the renter or lender money, he would deduct a rent of ten dinarim a year from the amount and leave the property. Similarly, it is permitted if the borrower added a stipulation that whenever he desired, he could calculate the time that the lender or renter dwelled in the property and pay him the remainder and then he would leave the property. The rationale is that it is a rental that is involved, and any stipulation involving a rental is binding and permitted, as explained previously.

ח

הוֹרוּ מִקְצָת גְּאוֹנִים שֶׁכָּל מַשְׁכּוֹנָא שֶׁאֵין בָּהּ נִכּוּי כְּלָל הֲרֵי הִיא רִבִּית קְצוּצָה. וְלֹא יָרְדוּ לְעֹמֶק הַדָּבָר לְהַפְרִישׁ בֵּין שָׂדֶה לְחָצֵר וּלְפִיכָךְ נִתְקַשּׁוּ לָהֶן דִּבְרֵי חַכְמֵי הַגְּמָרָא. וְכֵן הוֹרוּ שֶׁכָּל מַשְׁכּוֹנָא אֲפִלּוּ בְּנִכּוּי אָסוּר בֵּין בְּחָצֵר בֵּין בְּשָׂדֶה וְאֵין לָהֶם מַשְׁכּוֹנָא מֻתֶּרֶת אֶלָּא בַּדֶּרֶךְ הַזֹּאת. כֵּיצַד. כְּגוֹן שֶׁהִלְוָהוּ מֵאָה דִּינָרִין וּמִשְׁכֵּן לוֹ בָּהֶן בַּיִת אוֹ שָׂדֶה וְהִתְנָה עִמּוֹ שֶׁאַחַר עֶשֶׂר שָׁנִים תַּחְזֹר קַרְקַע זוֹ לִבְעָלֶיהָ חִנָּם הֲרֵי זֶה מֻתָּר לֶאֱכל פֵּרוֹתֶיהָ כָּל עֶשֶׂר שָׁנִים אֲפִלּוּ הָיָה שְׂכָרָהּ שָׁוֶה אֶלֶף דִּינָרִים בְּכָל שָׁנָה שֶׁאֵין זֶה אֶלָּא כְּמִי שֶׁשָּׂכַר בְּפָחוֹת. וְכֵן אִם הִתְנָה בַּעַל הַשָּׂדֶה עִמּוֹ כָּל זְמַן שֶׁיָּבִיא לוֹ מָעוֹת יֵחָשֵׁב לוֹ עֶשֶׂר בְּכָל שָׁנָה וִיסַלְּקוֹ מִמֶּנָּה הֲרֵי זֶה מֻתָּר. וְכֵן אִם הִתְנָה הַלּוֶֹה שֶׁכָּל זְמַן שֶׁיִּרְצֶה מְחַשֵּׁב לוֹ מַה שֶּׁדָּר בּוֹ וְיַחְזִיר לוֹ שְׁאָר הַדָּמִים וְיִסְתַּלֵּק הֲרֵי זֶה מֻתָּר שֶׁאֵין זֶה אֶלָּא כִּשְׂכִירוּת וְכָל תְּנַאי שֶׁבִּשְׂכִירוּת מֻתָּר כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ: