1

It is forbidden to increase the price offered for merchandise in return for delayed payment. What is implied? A person sold landed property or movable property to his colleague and told him: "If you pay me now, the price is 100 zuzim. If you delay payment until this and this time, the price is 120." This is considered "the shade of interest," for it is as if he takes 20 zuz in return for giving him 100 to use until the time specified.

If the seller calls the purchaser to court, he is liable to pay only the 100 that it was worth at the time of the sale. Alternatively, if the article he purchased is intact, he may return it. Similarly, it is forbidden to sell movable property for 100 zuz with the stipulation that payment need not be made until a certain time, when it is worth 90 zuz in the marketplace, if payment is to be given immediately.

א

אָסוּר לְהַרְבּוֹת עַל הַמֶּכֶר. כֵּיצַד. הַמּוֹכֵר לַחֲבֵרוֹ קַרְקַע אוֹ מִטַּלְטְלִין וְאָמַר לוֹ אִם מֵעַכְשָׁו תִּתֵּן לִי הַדָּמִים הֲרֵי הֵן שֶׁלְּךָ בְּמֵאָה וְאִם עַד זְמַן פְּלוֹנִי הֲרֵי הֵם שֶׁלְּךָ בְּעֶשְׂרִים וּמֵאָה. הֲרֵי זֶה אֲבַק רִבִּית שֶׁזֶּה דּוֹמֶה כְּמִי שֶׁנּוֹטֵל עֶשְׂרִים בִּשְׁבִיל שֶׁנָּתַן לוֹ מֵאָה לְהִשְׁתַּמֵּשׁ בָּהּ עַד זְמַן פְּלוֹנִי וּכְשֶׁיִּתְבָּעֶנּוּ בַּדִּין אֵינוֹ חַיָּב לִתֵּן אֶלָּא מַה שֶּׁהָיָה שָׁוֶה בִּשְׁעַת הַמֶּכֶר אוֹ יַחְזִיר מִמְכָּרוֹ מִיָּדוֹ אִם הָיָה קַיָּם. וְכֵן אִם מָכַר לוֹ מִטַּלְטְלִין עַד זְמַן פְּלוֹנִי בְּמֵאָה וְהָיוּ שָׁוִין בַּשּׁוּק לְמִי שֶׁקּוֹנֶה בִּמְעוֹתָיו מִיָּד תִּשְׁעִים הֲרֵי זֶה אָסוּר. וְאֵינוֹ נוֹתֵן לוֹ אֶלָּא תִּשְׁעִים אוֹ מַחְזִיר מִיָּדוֹ סְחוֹרָתוֹ אִם הָיְתָה קַיֶּמֶת:

2

When, however, a person purchased an article for its fair market value on the condition that he may delay payment for twelve months, the seller may tell him: "Pay me a lesser amount now." There is no question of interest involved.

ב

הַלּוֹקֵחַ מֵחֲבֵרוֹ חֵפֶץ בְּשָׁוֵהוּ עַל מְנָת שֶׁיִּתֵּן לוֹ מִכָּאן וְעַד שְׁנֵים עָשָׂר חֹדֶשׁ. הֲרֵי זֶה רַשַּׁאי לוֹמַר לוֹ תֵּן [לִי] מִיָּד בְּפָחוֹת וְאֵינוֹ חוֹשֵׁשׁ מִשּׁוּם רִבִּית:

3

It is permissible to sell a colleague a jug of wine that is worth a dinar for two dinarim on the condition that he does not pay until the summer," provided that he accepts the stipulation that if an accident occurs to it, the jug is the seller's responsibility until the purchaser sells it - i.e., if it is lost or broken, the purchaser does not have to pay anything. Moreover, if he cannot find anyone to purchase it at a profit, he may return it to the owner.

Similarly, it is permissible for a person to sell a colleague wine for two dinarim and tell him: "Anything more than two dinarim can be your profit, since you are involving yourself in its sale. And if you do not succeed in selling it at the price you desire, you can return it to me." In this situation, even if it is lost, stolen or becomes vinegar, it is the purchaser's responsibility.

ג

חָבִית שֶׁל יַיִן שֶׁהִיא שָׁוָה עַתָּה דִּינָר וּמְכָרָהּ לוֹ בִּשְׁנַיִם עַד הַקַּיִץ עַל מְנָת שֶׁאִם תֶּאֱרַע בָּהּ תַּקָּלָה הֲרֵי הִיא בִּרְשׁוּת הַמּוֹכֵר עַד שֶׁיִּמְכְּרֶנָּה הַלּוֹקֵחַ הֲרֵי זֶה מֻתָּר. שֶׁאִם אָבְדָה אוֹ נִשְׁבְּרָה אֵינוֹ מְשַׁלֵּם כְּלוּם. וְאִם לֹא מָצָא לְמָכְרָהּ וּלְהַרְוִיחַ בָּהּ הָיָה לוֹ לְהַחְזִירָהּ לַבְּעָלִים. וְכֵן אִם מְכָרָהּ לוֹ בִּשְׁנַיִם וְאָמַר לוֹ הַיָּתֵר עַל שְׁנַיִם יִהְיֶה שְׂכָרְךָ בִּשְׁבִיל שֶׁאַתָּה מְטַפֵּל לְמָכְרָהּ וְאִם לֹא תִּמְצָא לְמָכְרָהּ כְּמוֹ שֶׁתִּרְצֶה הַחֲזִירָהּ לִי הֲרֵי זֶה מֻתָּר. אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאִם אָבְדָה אוֹ נִגְנְבָה אוֹ הֶחְמִיצָה תִּהְיֶה בִּרְשׁוּת הַלּוֹקֵחַ:

4

The following rules apply when a person possesses produce that has a selling price of ten dinarim in the marketplace, but if the purchaser sought to purchase it, he would have to purchase it for twelve. It is permissible to sell the produce for twelve dinarim to be paid after a twelve-month period. The rationale is that even if the purchaser brought his money immediately, he would pay twelve dinarim for it. Similar principles apply in all analogous situations.

ד

הָיוּ לוֹ פֵּרוֹת שֶׁאִם יִרְצֶה לְמָכְרָן בַּשּׁוּק וְלִקַּח דְּמֵיהֶן מִיָּד מוֹכְרָן בַּעֲשָׂרָה. וְאִם תָּבַע אוֹתָן הַלּוֹקֵחַ לִקְנוֹתָן וְיִתֵּן הַמָּעוֹת מִיָּד יִקְנֶה אוֹתָן בִּשְׁנֵים עָשָׂר. הֲרֵי זֶה מֻתָּר לְמָכְרָן בִּשְׁנֵים עָשָׂר עַד שְׁנֵים עָשָׂר חֹדֶשׁ. שֶׁאֲפִלּוּ הֵבִיא זֶה מְעוֹתָיו עַתָּה בִּשְׁנֵים עָשָׂר הָיָה קוֹנֶה אוֹתָן. וְכֵן כָּל כַּיּוֹצֵא בָּזֶה:

5

It is forbidden to purchase fruit from an orchard before its growth is completed and it becomes ripe. The rationale is that the seller will sell it for less - e.g., he will sell produce for ten now, even though it will be worth twenty when its growth is completed. Thus, the increase is being given for the delayed delivery.

It is permissible, however, if he purchases a calf for a low price on the condition that it remain in the previous owner's possession until it grows older. For if the calf dies or becomes weakened, it is in the owner's possession. And it is common and frequent that an animal will become weak or die.

ה

אָסוּר לִקְנוֹת פְּרִי הַפַּרְדֵּס קֹדֶם שֶׁיִּגָּמֵר וְיִתְבַּשֵּׁל. מִפְּנֵי שֶׁזֶּה שֶׁמּוֹכֵר בְּזוֹל עַתָּה בְּעֶשֶׂר הוּא פְּרִי שֶׁשָּׁוֶה עֶשְׂרִים כְּשֶׁיִּגָּמֵר. נִמְצֵאת הַתּוֹסֶפֶת בִּשְׁבִיל הַהַקָּפָה. אֲבָל אִם קָנָה עֵגֶל בְּזוֹל וְהָיָה אֵצֶל הַבְּעָלִים עַד שֶׁיַּגְדִּיל הֲרֵי זֶה מֻתָּר שֶׁהֲרֵי אִם מֵת אוֹ כָּחַשׁ בִּרְשׁוּת הַלּוֹקֵחַ הוּא וְהַכַּחַשׁ וְהַמִּיתָה דָּבָר מָצוּי תָּמִיד:

6

The following rules apply when a person gives money to the owner of a vineyard for the twigs and branches that will eventually be cut off. When they are cut off, they will be expensive. At present, however, he purchases them at a low price because he must wait until they dry out and are cut off. He must till the land under the vines while they are still attached to the ground. Thus, he is buying a tree for its offshoots. If he does not till the land, the money he pays is like a loan. Since the branches are being purchased for a lower price because of the delayed delivery, it is forbidden.

ו

הַנּוֹתֵן מָעוֹת לְבַעַל הַכֶּרֶם עַל הַשָּׂרִיגִים וְעַל הַזְּמוֹרוֹת לִכְשֶׁיִּכָּרְתוּ שֶׁהֵם בְּיֹקֶר וְהוּא קוֹנֶה אוֹתָן בְּזוֹל עַד שֶׁיִּבְשׁוּ וְיִכָּרְתוּ הֲרֵי זֶה צָרִיךְ לְהַפֵּךְ בָּהֶן כְּשֶׁהֵם מְחֻבָּרִים שֶׁנִּמְצָא כְּקוֹנֶה אִילָן לִזְמוֹרוֹתָיו. וְאִם לֹא הָפַךְ נִמְצְאוּ הַמָּעוֹת הַלְוָאָה וְהֵן לוֹקְחִין בְּזוֹל מִפְּנֵי הַהַקָּפָה וְאָסוּר:

7

The following rules apply when watchmen in a field are given wheat from the grain heap as their wages at a price lower than its market value. When they go to the grain heap to collect their wages, they must perform work at the grainheap, so that they will be receiving the wheat at the conclusion of the time for which they were hired. If they do not do so, their wages will be considered as a loan extended to the employers, and the fact that they were given the wheat at a low price will be considered to be interest paid to them in return for the delay in paying their wages until the harvest reached the grain heap.

ז

שׁוֹמְרֵי הַשָּׂדוֹת שֶׁנּוֹתְנִין לָהֶם חִטִּים בִּשְׂכָרָן בְּזוֹל מִן הַגֹּרֶן. כְּשֶׁיָּבוֹאוּ לַגֹּרֶן צְרִיכִין לְהִתְעַסֵּק עִמָּהֶן בִּמְלָאכָה בַּגֹּרֶן כְּדֵי שֶׁיִּהְיוּ הַחִטִּים הָאֵלּוּ שֶׁנָּטְלוּ בְּסוֹף זְמַן הַשְּׂכִירוּת. וְאִם לֹא עָשׂוּ כָּךְ נִמְצֵאת הַשְּׂכִירוּת אֵצֶל הַבְּעָלִים כְּמִלְוֶה וְזֶה שֶׁלָּקְחוּ בְּזוֹל מִפְּנֵי שֶׁאִחֲרוּ שְׂכָרָן עַד הַגֹּרֶן:

8

Generally, the owners of fields would require sharecroppers to leave a field in Nissan. The sharecroppers would give the owners four se'ah for every portion of the field large enough to sow a kor as rent. It is permissible for an owner to allow his sharecroppers to remain in his field until lyyar, but to take from them six se'ah. This does not involve interest.

ח

אֲרִיסִין שֶׁהָיוּ בַּעֲלֵי הַשָּׂדוֹת מְסַלְּקִין אוֹתָן מִן הַשָּׂדֶה בְּנִיסָן וְנוֹתְנִין לָהֶם הָאֲרִיסִין בְּכָל זֶרַע חֹמֶר אַרְבַּע סְאִין וְהִנִּיחַ זֶה אֲרִיסִין בְּתוֹךְ שָׂדֵהוּ עַד אִיָּר וְנָטַל מֵהֶן שֵׁשׁ סְאִין הֲרֵי זֶה מֻתָּר וְאֵין שָׁם רִבִּית:

9

It is permissible for the seller to give a purchaser more than the measure originally stipulated when the purchaser does not collect payment until afterwards. For example, a person purchased four se'ah of wheat at a sela; this was the market price. He paid the money at that time, but did not come to collect the wheat until later. When he came, the seller increased the measure and gave him more. This is permitted, because he willingly gave him more. Had he not desired, he would not have given him more, because there was no stipulation to that effect.

ט

הַלּוֹקֵחַ חִטִּים אַרְבַּע סְאִין בְּסֶלַע וְכֵן הַשַּׁעַר וְנָתַן לוֹ אֶת הַמָּעוֹת וּכְשֶׁבָּא לִגְבּוֹת אֶת הַחִטִּים לְאַחַר זְמַן הוֹסִיף לוֹ בַּמִּדָּה וְנָתַן לוֹ יֶתֶר. הֲרֵי זֶה מֻתָּר שֶׁהֲרֵי בִּרְצוֹנוֹ הוֹסִיף לוֹ וְאִלּוּ רָצָה לֹא הוֹסִיף שֶׁהֲרֵי לֹא הָיָה שָׁם תְּנַאי:

10

When a person purchases a barrel of wine, it is permissible for him to pay the money to the seller and stipulate: "If it becomes vinegar from now until such and such a date, you are responsible. If, however, it increases or decreases in value, the barrel is mine." Since the purchaser also accepted the possibility of a depreciation in value, the transaction is considered as having the possibility of both gain and loss. Similar principles apply in all analogous situations.

Similarly, it is permissible for a person to buy 100 jugs of wine in Tishrei for a dinar each, but not to collect them until Tevet. And when he collects them, he may check each one, returning those that have become vinegar and taking those that are good wine. For he purchased only good wine from him. Those jugs whose contents became vinegar were fit to sour at the outset; it is just that the matter did not become known until later.

י

מֻתָּר לְאָדָם לִתֵּן דְּמֵי חָבִית שֶׁל יַיִן לַחֲבֵרוֹ וְלוֹמַר לוֹ אִם הֶחְמִיצָה מִכָּאן עַד יוֹם פְּלוֹנִי בִּרְשׁוּתְךָ אֲבָל אִם הוֹזִילָה אוֹ הוֹקִירָה הֲרֵי הִיא שֶׁלִּי. שֶׁכֵּיוָן שֶׁקִּבֵּל עָלָיו הַזּוֹל הֲרֵי זֶה קָרוֹב לְשָׂכָר וּלְהֶפְסֵד. וְכֵן כָּל כַּיּוֹצֵא בָּזֶה. וְכֵן מֻתָּר לְאָדָם לִקְנוֹת מֵחֲבֵרוֹ בְּתִשְׁרֵי מֵאָה כַּדִּין שֶׁל יַיִן בְּדִינָר וְאֵינוֹ נוֹטְלָן עַד טֵבֵת. וּכְשֶׁנּוֹטְלָן בּוֹדֵק וּמַחֲזִיר הַחֹמֶץ וְלוֹקֵחַ הַיַּיִן הַטּוֹב. שֶׁלֹּא קָנָה מִמֶּנּוּ אֶלָּא יַיִן טוֹב וְאֵלּוּ שֶׁהֶחְמִיצוּ מִתְּחִלָּה הָיוּ רְאוּיִין לְהַחְמִיץ אֲבָל לֹא נוֹדַע הַדָּבָר עַד אַחַר הַזְּמַן:

11

In a place where it is customary to rent out ships and receive payment for them, it is permissible to include a stipulation that if the ship is damaged, those damages will be assessed and reimbursement made over and above the fee charged. Similarly, it is permissible to hire out a pot of brass and the like and receive payment for it, and also to receive compensation if its weight decreased. Similar laws apply in all analogous situations.

יא

מָקוֹם שֶׁנָּהֲגוּ לִשְׂכֹּר הַסְּפִינָה וְלִטּל שְׂכָרָהּ וְאִם נִשְׁבְּרָה שָׁמִין לוֹ מַה שֶּׁפָּחֲתָה וּמְשַׁלֵּם יֶתֶר עַל שְׂכָרָהּ הֲרֵי זֶה מֻתָּר. וְכֵן מֻתָּר לְהַשְׂכִּיר סִיר שֶׁל נְחשֶׁת וְכַיּוֹצֵא בּוֹ וְנוֹטֵל הַשָּׂכָר וּדְמֵי מַה שֶּׁפָּחַת מִמִּשְׁקָלוֹ. וְכֵן כָּל כַּיּוֹצֵא בָּזֶה:

12

It is forbidden to accept tzon barzel from another Jew, because this is considered "the shade of interest"?

What is meant by the term tzon barzel? A person owned 100 sheep. A shepherd accepted the responsibility of caring for them on the condition that the shearing, the offspring and the milk would be split, either evenly, or one getting a third or a fourth for a year or two, as they stipulated. Included in the agreement is the condition that if the sheep die, the shepherd must make restitution for them.

This is forbidden, because the owner of the sheep is very likely to realize a profit, and highly unlikely to suffer a loss. Therefore, such an arrangement is permissible if the owner of the sheep accepts the condition that should the value of the sheep increase or decrease or should they be seized by predators, they are considered within his domain. Similar principles apply in all analogous situations.

יב

אֵין מְקַבְּלִין צֹאן בַּרְזֶל מִיִּשְׂרָאֵל מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהוּא אֲבַק רִבִּית. וְכֵיצַד הֵן צֹאן בַּרְזֶל. הֲרֵי שֶׁהָיָה לוֹ מֵאָה צֹאן וְקִבְּלָם מִמֶּנּוּ לְהִטַּפֵּל בָּהֶן וְיִהְיוּ הַגִּזּוֹת וְהַוְּלָדוֹת וְהֶחָלָב לָאֶמְצַע לִשְׁלִישׁ אוֹ לִרְבִיעַ עַד שָׁנָה אוֹ עַד שְׁנָתַיִם כְּמוֹ שֶׁהִתְנוּ בֵּינֵיהֶם וְאִם מֵתוּ הַצֹּאן הֲרֵי הַמְקַבֵּל מְשַׁלֵּם דְּמֵיהֶם הֲרֵי זֶה אָסוּר שֶׁהֲרֵי בַּעַל הַצֹּאן קָרוֹב לְשָׂכָר וְרָחוֹק לְהֶפְסֵד. לְפִיכָךְ אִם קִבֵּל עָלָיו בַּעַל הַצֹּאן שֶׁאִם הוּקְרוּ אוֹ הוּזְלוּ אוֹ אִם נִטְרְפוּ הֲרֵי הֵן בִּרְשׁוּתוֹ הֲרֵי זֶה מֻתָּר. וְכֵן כָּל כַּיּוֹצֵא בָּזֶה:

13

The following laws apply when a person appraises an animal he receives from a colleague and tells him: "If it dies, I accept responsibility for 30 dinarim, and I will pay you a sela a month as a fee." This is permitted, because he did not establish this as the animal's value when alive, but only after its death.

יג

הַשָּׁם פָּרָה מֵחֲבֵרוֹ וְאָמַר לוֹ אִם מֵתָה הֲרֵי הִיא עַתָּה עָלַי בִּשְׁלֹשִׁים דִּינָרִים וַאֲנִי אַעֲלֶה לְךָ סֶלַע בְּכָל חֹדֶשׁ מֻתָּר לְפִי שֶׁלֹּא עֲשָׂאָהּ מֵחַיִּים דָּמִים אֶלָּא לְאַחַר מִיתָה:

14

A woman may rent out a chicken to a friend so that it can sit on eggs until they hatch for two chicks. There is no question of interest involved.

יד

מַשְׂכֶּרֶת אִשָּׁה לַחֲבֶרְתָּהּ תַּרְנְגלֶת לֵישֵׁב עַל הַבֵּיצִים בִּשְׁנֵי אֶפְרוֹחִים וְאֵין חוֹשְׁשִׁין מִשּׁוּם רִבִּית:

15

When a person owed a colleague four dinarim as interest and gave him an article worth five dinarim instead, when the interest is expropriated from him, five dinarim are taken. The rationale is that he received it as interest. Similarly, if the borrower gave the lender a garment or a utensil, that garment or that utensil itself should be returned to him. If, in lieu of the four dinarim he owed him, he rented him a property that was normally rented for three dinarim, four dinarim are expropriated from him, because he accepted the rental as being worth that price.

טו

מִי שֶׁהָיָה נוֹשֶׁה בַּחֲבֵרוֹ אַרְבָּעָה דִּינָרִים שֶׁל רִבִּית וְנָתַן לוֹ בָּהֶן חֵפֶץ שֶׁשָּׁוֶה חֲמִשָּׁה כְּשֶׁמּוֹצִיאִין מִמֶּנּוּ מוֹצִיאִין מִמֶּנּוּ חֲמִשָּׁה הוֹאִיל וּבְתוֹרַת רִבִּית בָּא לְיָדוֹ. וְכֵן אִם נָתַן לוֹ בָּהֶן כְּסוּת אוֹ כְּלִי מוֹצִיאִין מִמֶּנּוּ אֶת הַכְּלִי עַצְמוֹ וְאוֹתוֹ הַכְּסוּת עַצְמוֹ. הִשְׂכִּיר לוֹ בָּהֶן מָקוֹם שֶׁשָּׁוֶה שְׂכָרוֹ שְׁלֹשָׁה דִּינָרִין כְּשֶׁמּוֹצִיאִין מִמֶּנּוּ מוֹצִיאִין מִמֶּנּוּ אַרְבָּעָה שֶׁהֲרֵי בְּאַרְבָּעָה שָׂכַר מִמֶּנּוּ מָקוֹם זֶה שֶׁקִּבֵּל עָלָיו: