1

The following laws apply when a lender comes to expropriate property on the basis of a promissory note in his possession and the borrower is not present: If it is possible to send a messenger to the borrower and notify him so that he can confront the lender in judgment, we send a messenger and notify him.

If it is impossible to notify the borrower speedily, we instruct the lender to take an oath, and then to expropriate property belonging to the borrower, either landed property or movable property. We do not consider the possibility that the borrower repaid the debt and the lender gave him a receipt.

This law is an ordinance of the Sages, enacted so that people at large would not take money belonging to a colleague and go to dwell in another city. For this would hinder the possibilities of loans being granted in the future

א

מַלְוְה שֶׁבָּא לְהִפָּרַע בַּשְּׁטָר שֶׁבְּיָדוֹ שֶׁלֹּא בִּפְנֵי לוֶֹה אִם יְכוֹלִין בֵּית דִּין לִשְׁלֹחַ אֵלָיו וּלְהוֹדִיעוֹ עַד שֶׁיַּעֲמֹד עִמּוֹ בַּדִּין שׁוֹלְחִין וּמוֹדִיעִין לוֹ. וְאִם אִי אֶפְשָׁר לְהוֹדִיעוֹ בִּמְהֵרָה אוֹמְרִים לַמַּלְוֶה שֶׁיִּשָּׁבַע וְיִטּל מִנְּכָסָיו בֵּין מִן הַקַּרְקַע בֵּין מִן הַמִּטַּלְטְלִים. וְאֵין חוֹשְׁשִׁין לְשׁוֹבֵר. וְדִין זֶה תַּקָּנַת חֲכָמִים הוּא כְּדֵי שֶׁלֹּא יִהְיֶה כָּל אֶחָד וְאֶחָד נוֹטֵל מְעוֹתָיו שֶׁל חֲבֵרוֹ וְהוֹלֵךְ וְיוֹשֵׁב לוֹ בִּמְדִינָה אַחֶרֶת וְנִמְצָא נוֹעֵל דֶּלֶת בִּפְנֵי לוִֹין:

2

The lender must bring proof of three matters to the court before he can expropriate property from the borrower outside his presence:

a) he must verify the authenticity of the promissory note in his possession; b) he must prove that the debtor is in another city and is not present to defend himself in court;

c) he must prove that the property that he wishes to expropriate belongs to so-and-so, the borrower.

ב

שָׁלֹשׁ רְאָיוֹת צָרִיךְ לְהָבִיא לְבֵית דִּין וְאַחַר כָּךְ יִפָּרַע שֶׁלֹּא בְּפָנָיו. רְאָיָה רִאשׁוֹנָה לְקַיֵּם הַשְּׁטָר שֶׁבְּיָדוֹ. רְאָיָה שְׁנִיָּה שֶׁבַּעַל חוֹבוֹ בִּמְדִינָה אַחֶרֶת וְאֵינוֹ מָצוּי בְּכָאן לַעֲמֹד עִמּוֹ בַּדִּין. רְאָיָה שְׁלִישִׁית שֶׁאֵלּוּ נְכָסִים שֶׁל פְּלוֹנִי הַלּוֶֹה הֵם:

3

The following rules apply when a lender comes to the court, bringing security that is in his possession" and says: "This security belongs to so-and-so, and I desire to sell it to receive payment of the debt he owes me." The court does not take action and does not tell him: "Wait until the borrower comes and lodges his claim." The rationale is that had the lender desired to say that the security had been purchased his word would be accepted. The court advises him to sell the security in the presence of witnesses, so that the borrower will know for how much the security was sold.

Similarly, when a person gives a loan to a colleague and receives security in return, and then both the borrower and the lender die - regardless of whether the borrower or the lender dies first the lender's heirs may take an oath and collect the debt.

The lender's heir must take an oath holding a sacred object, before he takes payment from the security, as is done by all those who take an oath and collect their due. His word is accepted, because he is taking payment from property that is in his physical possession. Had he desired, he could have said that he had purchased the property.

Why is the creditor not required only to take a sh'vuat hesset? Because he is not taking an oath that the security is his, but rather that the money is owed him. If he lodged a claim concerning the article itself, saying "You sold it to us," or "You gave it to us," he would be able to take a sh 'vuat hesset and be freed of responsibility. If, by contrast, there were witnesses who would testify that this article was given to the lender as security, but they did not know for what amount, he would be able to collect the money only after taking an oath. Since there are no witnesses, the lender would be able to claim: "It is mine." Therefore, we accept his word when he says: "So-and-so much money is owed to me and this is security for that debt," provided that he takes the same oath he would take if there were witnesses who would testify that the article was given as security.

We do not free him of the responsibility of the oath, because we do not employ the principle of miggo to free a person of the responsibility to take an oath, but only to free him of financial responsibility - i.e., he is not required to return the security before he takes what he claim.

ג

מַלְוֶה שֶׁבָּא לְבֵית דִּין וְהֵבִיא מַשְׁכּוֹן בְּיָדוֹ וְאָמַר זֶה מַשְׁכּוֹנוֹ שֶׁל פְּלוֹנִי הוּא וַאֲנִי רוֹצֶה לְמָכְרוֹ וּלְהִפָּרַע חוֹבִי. אֵין בֵּית דִּין נִזְקָקִין לוֹמַר לוֹ הַמְתֵּן עַד שֶׁיָּבוֹא לוֶֹה וְיִטְעֹן שֶׁאִם רוֹצֶה לוֹמַר לָקוּחַ הוּא בְּיָדִי אוֹמֵר וּמַשִּׂיאִין לוֹ עֵצָה לְמָכְרוֹ בִּפְנֵי עֵדִים כְּדֵי שֶׁיֵּדַע לוֶֹה בְּכַמָּה נִמְכַּר. וְכֵן הַמַּלְוֶה אֶת חֲבֵרוֹ עַל הַמַּשְׁכּוֹן וּמֵת הַלּוֶֹה וְהַמַּלְוֶה בֵּין שֶׁמֵּת הַלּוֶֹה תְּחִלָּה בֵּין שֶׁמֵּת מַלְוֶה תְּחִלָּה הוֹאִיל וְהוּא נִפְרָע מִמַּה שֶּׁתַּחַת יָדוֹ וְאִלּוּ רָצָה לוֹמַר לָקוּחַ הוּא בְּיָדִי אוֹמֵר הֲרֵי זֶה נִשְׁבָּע בִּנְקִיטַת חֵפֶץ וְנוֹטֵל כְּדֶרֶךְ כָּל הַנִּשְׁבָּעִין וְנוֹטְלִין. וּמִפְּנֵי מָה אֵינוֹ נִשְׁבָּע הֶסֵּת לְפִי שֶׁאֵינוֹ נִשְׁבָּע עַל עַצְמוֹ שֶׁל מַשְׁכּוֹן אֶלָּא עַל הַמָּמוֹן שֶׁלּוֹקֵחַ. שֶׁאִלּוּ אָמַר עַל עַצְמוֹ שֶׁל חֵפֶץ זֶה אַתָּה מְכַרְתּוֹ לִי אַתָּה נְתַתּוֹ לִי הָיָה נִשְׁבָּע הֶסֵּת וְנִפְטָר. אֲבָל אִם הָיוּ שָׁם עֵדִים שֶׁחֵפֶץ זֶה מַשְׁכּוֹן בְּיָדוֹ וְלֹא יָדְעוּ עַל כַּמָּה וְכַמָּה אֵינוֹ יָכוֹל לִטּל אֶלָּא בִּשְׁבוּעָה וְהוֹאִיל וְאֵין שָׁם עֵדִים וְיָכוֹל לוֹמַר שֶׁלִּי הוּא נֶאֱמָן לוֹמַר יֵשׁ לִי עָלָיו כָּךְ וְכָךְ בַּשְּׁבוּעָה עַצְמָהּ שֶׁהָיָה נִשְׁבָּע אִם הָיוּ שָׁם עֵדִים שֶׁהוּא מַשְׁכּוֹן. שֶׁאֵין אוֹמְרִין מִגּוֹ לְפָטְרוֹ מִשְּׁבוּעָה אֶלָּא לְפָטְרוֹ מִמָּמוֹן שֶׁלֹּא יַחְזִיר הַמַּשְׁכּוֹן עַד שֶׁיִּטּל מַה שֶּׁטָּעַן:

4

The following rules apply when a person lends money to a colleague and receives security for the loan. Should the security be lost or stolen in a manner that is not beyond the lender's control, the lender is liable for the value of the security, as explained. If the lender says: "I lent you a sela for that security, but it was worth only two dinarim" and the borrower says: "You lent me a sela for that security, and it was worth a sela" the lender must first take the oath taken by watchmen that the article is not in his possession. The borrower then must take a sh'vuat hesset that the security was worth the amount of the debt, and he is freed of responsibility.

If the lender says: "I lent you a sela for that security, but it was worth only two dinarim" and the borrower says: "You lent me a sela for that security, and it was worth three dinarim" the lender must first take an oath that the article is not in his possession. Afterwards, the borrower must take a Scriptural oath how much the article was worth; this is required because he acknowledged a portion of the plaintiff's claim.33 He then pays the dinar that he admits to owing.

If the borrower says: "You lent me a sela for that security, and it was worth two sela'im" and the lender says: "I lent you a sela for that security, and it was worth a sela" the lender must take an oath that the article is not in his possessions and include in that oath that the security was worth only the amount of the debt.

If the borrower says: "You lent me a sela for that security, and it was worth two sela'im," and lender says: "I lent you a sela for that security, and it was worth only five dinarim, the lender must take an oath that the article is not in his possession and include in that oath that the security was not worth more than five dinarim. He must then pay the dinar.

If the lender says: "I lent you a sela for that security, but it was worth only two dinarim" and the borrower says: "I do not know how much it was worth," the lender must take an oath that the article is not in his possession and include in that oath that the security was worth only two dinarim. The borrower must then pay the remainder of the debt. The rationale is that he definitely knows that he is liable for the two dinarim and does not know whether or not he repaid the debt.

If the borrower says: "You lent me a sela for that security, and it was worth two sela'im" and lender says: "I lent you a sela for that security, and I do not know how much it was worth," the lender must take an oath that the article is not in his possession and include in that oath that he does not know that the security was worth even a p'rutah more than the debt. He is then freed of responsibility, because he did not obligate himself at all. If, however, the lender said; "I know that the security was worth more than the loan, but I do not know how much more," he must pay everything that the borrower demands; the borrower is not even required to take an oath. This resembles an instance when a plaintiff lodges a claim for a 100 zuz, and the defendant responds: "I owe you 50, but I do not know whether or not I owe you the other 50." Such a person is obligated to take an oath, but cannot take the oath. Therefore, he must pay, as will be explained. He may, however, have a ban of ostracism issued against anyone who makes a false claim.

ד

הַמַּלְוֶה אֶת חֲבֵרוֹ עַל הַמַּשְׁכּוֹן וְאָבַד אוֹ נִגְנַב בְּלֹא אֹנֶס שֶׁהֲרֵי הַמַּלְוֶה חַיָּב בִּדְמֵי הַמַּשְׁכּוֹן כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ. וְאָמַר הַמַּלְוֶה סֶלַע הִלְוֵיתִיךָ עָלָיו וּשְׁנֵי דִּינָרִין הָיָה שָׁוֶה. וְלוֶֹה אוֹמֵר סֶלַע הִלְוֵיתַנִי עָלָיו וְשֶׁקֶל הָיָה שָׁוֶה. הֲרֵי הַמַּלְוֶה נִשְׁבָּע תְּחִלָּה שְׁבוּעַת הַשּׁוֹמְרִין שֶׁאֵינוֹ בִּרְשׁוּתוֹ וְהַלּוֶֹה נִשְׁבָּע הֶסֵּת שֶׁהָיָה שָׁוֶה כְּנֶגֶד הַחוֹב וְנִפְטָר. אָמַר הַמַּלְוֶה סֶלַע הִלְוֵיתִיךָ עָלָיו וְשֶׁקֶל הָיָה שָׁוֶה וְהַלּוֶֹה אוֹמֵר סֶלַע הִלְוֵיתַנִי עָלָיו וּשְׁלֹשָׁה דִּינָרִין הָיָה שָׁוֶה יִשָּׁבַע הַמַּלְוֶה תְּחִלָּה שֶׁאֵינוֹ בִּרְשׁוּתוֹ וְאַחַר כָּךְ יִשָּׁבַע הַלּוֶֹה כַּמָּה הָיָה שָׁוֶה שֶׁהֲרֵי הוֹדָה בְּמִקְצָת וִישַׁלֵּם הַדִּינָר. אָמַר הַלּוֶֹה סֶלַע הִלְוֵיתַנִי עָלָיו וּשְׁתַּיִם הָיָה שָׁוֶה וְהַמַּלְוֶה אוֹמֵר סֶלַע הִלְוֵיתִיךָ עָלָיו וְסֶלַע הָיָה שָׁוֶה יִשָּׁבַע הַמַּלְוֶה שֶׁאֵינוֹ בִּרְשׁוּתוֹ וְכוֹלֵל בִּשְׁבוּעָתוֹ שֶׁהָיָה הַמַּשְׁכּוֹן כְּנֶגֶד הַחוֹב. אָמַר הַלּוֶֹה סֶלַע הִלְוֵיתַנִי עָלָיו וּשְׁתַּיִם הָיָה שָׁוֶה וְהַמַּלְוֶה אוֹמֵר סֶלַע הִלְוֵיתִיךָ עָלָיו וַחֲמִשָּׁה דִּינָרִין הָיָה שָׁוֶה יִשָּׁבַע הַמַּלְוֶה שֶׁאֵינוֹ בִּרְשׁוּתוֹ וְיִכְלל שֶׁלֹּא הָיָה שָׁוֶה יֶתֶר עַל חֲמִשָּׁה דִּינָרִים וִישַׁלֵּם הַדִּינָר. סֶלַע הִלְוֵיתִיךָ עָלָיו וּשְׁנֵי דִּינָרִין הָיָה שָׁוֶה וְהַלּוֶֹה אוֹמֵר אֵינִי יוֹדֵעַ דָּמָיו יִשָּׁבַע מַלְוֶה שֶׁאֵינוֹ בִּרְשׁוּתוֹ וְכוֹלֵל בִּשְׁבוּעָתוֹ שֶׁשְּׁנֵי דִּינָרִין הָיָה שָׁוֶה וִישַׁלֵּם הַלּוֶֹה שְׁאָר הַחוֹב שֶׁהֲרֵי הוּא יוֹדֵעַ בְּוַדַּאי שֶׁהוּא חַיָּב לוֹ וְאֵינוֹ יוֹדֵעַ אִם פְּרָעוֹ אִם לֹא פְּרָעוֹ. סֶלַע הִלְוֵיתַנִי עָלָיו וּשְׁתַּיִם הָיָה שָׁוֶה וְהַמַּלְוֶה אוֹמֵר אֵינִי יוֹדֵעַ דָּמָיו יִשָּׁבַע הַמַּלְוֶה שֶׁאֵינוֹ בִּרְשׁוּתוֹ וְיִכְלל שֶׁאֵינוֹ יוֹדֵעַ שֶׁדָּמָיו יֶתֶר עַל הַחוֹב אֲפִלּוּ פְּרוּטָה אַחַת וְיִפָּטֵר שֶׁהֲרֵי לֹא חִיֵּב עַצְמוֹ בִּכְלוּם. אֲבָל אִם אָמַר הַמַּלְוֶה אֲנִי יוֹדֵעַ שֶׁהָיָה שָׁוֶה יֶתֶר עַל הַחוֹב אֲבָל אֵינִי יוֹדֵעַ כַּמָּה הֲרֵי זֶה מְשַׁלֵּם כָּל מַה שֶּׁטָּעַן הַלּוֶֹה בְּלֹא שְׁבוּעָה כְּמִי שֶׁאָמַר חֲמִשִּׁים יֵשׁ לְךָ בְּיָדִי וַחֲמִשִּׁים אֵינִי יוֹדֵעַ שֶׁהוּא מְחֻיָּב שְׁבוּעָה וְאֵינוֹ יָכוֹל לְהִשָּׁבַע כְּמוֹ שֶׁיִּתְבָּאֵר. וְיֵשׁ לוֹ לְהַחֲרִים עַל מִי שֶׁטּוֹעֵן שֶׁקֶר:

5

When a person lends money to a colleague and establishes a date when the loan must be repaid, even though he does not affirm the matter with a kinyan, he may not demand payment until the conclusion of that period of time. This applies regardless of whether the loan is supported merely by an oral commitment, by a promissory note, or by security, or whether the borrower or the lender dies.

When no other term is mentioned, the term of a loan is 30 days. This applies regardless of whether the loan is supported merely by an oral commitment, by a promissory note or by security. If the lender stipulated that he could demand payment whenever he desires, he has the right to demand payment even on the day the loan was given. The rationale is that this is a stipulation involving monetary issues.

ה

הַמַּלְוֶה אֶת חֲבֵרוֹ וְקָבַע לוֹ זְמַן לְפָרְעוֹ אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁלֹּא קָנוּ מִיָּדוֹ אֵינוֹ יָכוֹל לְתָבְעוֹ עַד סוֹף הַזְּמַן בֵּין בְּמִלְוֶה עַל פֶּה בֵּין בְּמִלְוֶה בִּשְׁטָר בֵּין שֶׁהִלְוָהוּ עַל הַמַּשְׁכּוֹן בֵּין שֶׁמֵּת לוֶֹה בֵּין שֶׁמֵּת מַלְוֶה. וּסְתָם מִלְוֶה שְׁלֹשִׁים יוֹם בֵּין בִּשְׁטָר בֵּין עַל פֶּה בֵּין עַל הַמַּשְׁכּוֹן. וְאִם הִתְנָה שֶׁיִּתְבַּע בְּכָל זְמַן שֶׁיִּרְצֶה יֵשׁ לוֹ לְתָבְעוֹ בְּיוֹמוֹ שֶׁתְּנַאי מָמוֹן הוּא:

6

If the lender claims: "Today is the conclusion of the term I established for the loan," and the borrower responds: "You granted me another ten days," the borrower must take a sh'vuat hesset to support his claim. If there is one witness who testifies that the loan was due that day, the borrower must take a Scriptural oath, as is the law with regard to other claims.

If the lender claims: "There are only five days left before the loan is due," and the borrower responds: "There are ten days left," we tell the lender: "Wait until the end of the five days and then have the borrower take an oath that five days remain."

ו

טָעַן הַמַּלְוֶה וְאָמַר הַיּוֹם סוֹף הַזְּמַן שֶׁקָּבַעְתִּי וְהַלּוֶֹה אוֹמֵר עַד עֲשָׂרָה יָמִים קָבַעְתָּ הַלּוֶֹה נִשְׁבָּע הֶסֵּת. וְאִם הָיָה שָׁם עֵד אֶחָד שֶׁהַיּוֹם סוֹף זְמַנּוֹ הֲרֵי זֶה נִשְׁבָּע שְׁבוּעַת הַתּוֹרָה כִּשְׁאָר הַטְּעָנוֹת. זֶה אוֹמֵר חֲמִשָּׁה יָמִים נִשְׁאָר מִן הַזְּמַן וְזֶה אוֹמֵר עֲשָׂרָה אוֹמְרִים לַמַּלְוֶה הַמְתֵּן עוֹד עַד סוֹף הַחֲמִשָּׁה וְיִשָּׁבַע הֶסֵּת שֶׁנִּשְׁאַר עוֹד חֲמִשָּׁה יָמִים:

7

If the loan was supported by a promissory note and the borrower claims: "You established a time for me to pay the debt," it appears to me that the creditor should take a sh'vuat hesset that he did not place any time limit on the loan. He may then collect the loan immediately.

ז

הָיְתָה הַמִּלְוֶה בִּשְׁטָר וְטָעַן הַלּוֶֹה שֶׁזְּמַן קָבַעְתָּ לִי. יֵרָאֶה לִי שֶׁיִּשָּׁבַע בַּעַל חוֹב הֶסֵּת שֶׁלֹּא קָבַע לוֹ זְמַן וְיִטּל הַמַּלְוֶה מִיָּד:

8

Payment for a loan may be demanded in any place.

What is implied? When a person lends money to a colleague in a settled place and demands payment from him in a desert, the borrower may not postpone payment. Instead, he is obligated to pay him wherever he demands payment.

If the borrower seeks to repay the loan in the desert, the lender is given the option. If he desires, he may accept payment. If he desires, he may tell him: "Pay me back only in a settled area, just as I gave you the money in a settled area." The money then remains the borrower's responsibility until he pays the lender in a settled area.

ח

הַמִּלְוֶה נִתְּנָה לִתָּבַע בְּכָל מָקוֹם. כֵּיצַד. הַמַּלְוֶה אֶת חֲבֵרוֹ בַּיִּשּׁוּב וּתְבָעוֹ בַּמִּדְבָּר אֵינוֹ יָכוֹל לִדְחוֹתוֹ אֶלָּא חַיָּב לִפְרֹעַ לוֹ בְּכָל מָקוֹם שֶׁיִּתְבָּעֶנּוּ. בָּא הַלּוֶֹה לְפָרְעוֹ בַּמִּדְבָּר הָרְשׁוּת בְּיַד הַמַּלְוֶה אִם רָצָה מְקַבֵּל וְאִם רָצָה אוֹמֵר לוֹ אֵינִי נִפְרָע אֶלָּא בַּיִּשּׁוּב כְּדֶרֶךְ שֶׁנָּתַתִּי לְךָ בְּיִשּׁוּב. וַהֲרֵי הֵן בִּרְשׁוּתוֹ עַד שֶׁיִּפְרָעֶנּוּ בַּיִּשּׁוּב: