Shemot (Exodus) Chapter 22

24When you lend money to My people, to the poor person [who is] with you, you shall not behave toward him as a lender; you shall not impose interest upon him.   כדאִם־כֶּ֣סֶף | תַּלְוֶ֣ה אֶת־עַמִּ֗י אֶת־הֶֽעָנִי֙ עִמָּ֔ךְ לֹא־תִֽהְיֶ֥ה ל֖וֹ כְּנשֶׁ֑ה לֹֽא־תְשִׂימ֥וּן עָלָ֖יו נֶֽשֶׁךְ:
When you lend money to My people: Rabbi Ishmael says: Every אִם in the Torah is optional except three, and this is one of them. -[From Mechilta. אִם usually means “if,” which refers to something optional, denoting an incident that may or may not occur. Rashi on Exod. 20:22 explains that in this case, lending money to the needy is obligatory, as in Deut. 15:8. Therefore, in this verse, אִם means “when.”]   אִם־כֶּסֶף תַּלְוֶה אֶת־עַמִּי: רַבִּי יִשְׁמָעֵאל אוֹמֵר כָּל אִם וְאִם שֶׁבַּתּוֹרָה רְשׁוּת חוּץ מִשְּׁלֹשָׁה, וְזֶה אֶחָד מֵהֶן (מכילתא):
to My people: [If a member of] My people [i.e., an Israelite,] and a gentile [apply for a loan], [the member of] My people takes preference; [if] a poor person and a rich person [apply for a loan], the poor person takes preference; [if] the poor of your city and the poor of another city [apply for a loan], the poor of your city take preference (Mechilta, B.M. 71a), and this is its meaning: “When you lend money,” lend it to “My people” and not to a gentile, and to which of My people? “To the poor person.” And to which poor person? To the one who is “with you.” [I.e., if you have enough money to lend to only one person, lend it to a Jew rather than to a non-Jew. Even if the gentile will pay interest, and you are not allowed to take interest from the Jew, you must lend the money to the Jew (B.M. 71a).] Another meaning: to My people: That you shall not behave toward him [the borrower] in a demeaning manner when you lend to him, for he is [a member of] My people. -[From Tanchuma 15]   אֶת־עַמִּי: עַמִּי וְגוֹי עַמִּי קוֹדֵם, עָנִי וְעָשִׁיר עָנִי קוֹדֵם, עֲנִיֶּיךָ וַעֲנִיֵּי עִירְךָ עֲנִיֶּיךָ קוֹדְמִין, עֲנִיֵּי עִירְךָ וַעֲנִיֵּי עִיר אַחֶרֶת עֲנִיֵּי עִירְךָ קוֹדְמִין; וְזֶה מַשְׁמָעוֹ: אִם כֶּסֶף תַּלְוֶה – אֶת עַמִּי תַּלְוֵהוּ וְלֹא לְגוֹי, וּלְאֵיזֶה מֵעַמִּי? אֶת הֶעָנִי, וּלְאֵיזֶה עָנִי? לְאוֹתוֹ שֶׁעִמָּךְ. (דָּבָר אַחֵר, אֶת עַמִּי, שֶׁלֹּא תִנְהַג בּוֹ בִּזָּיוֹן בְּהַלְוָאָה שֶׁהוּא עַמִּי:
to the poor person [who is] with you: Look at yourself as if you were a poor person.) -[From Tanchuma 15]   אֶת־הֶֽעָנִי עִמָּךְ: הֱוֵי מִסְתַּכֵּל בְּעַצְמְךָ כְּאִלּוּ אַתָּה עָנִי:
you shall not behave toward him as a lender: You shall not demand it of him forcibly (Tanchuma 9, Exod. Rabbah 31:6). If you know that he does not have [the money to repay you], do not appear to him as if you have lent to him, but as if you have not lent to him; i.e., do not embarrass him. -[From B.M. 75b]   לֹא־תִֽהְיֶה לוֹ כְּנשֶׁה: לֹא תִתְבָּעֶנּוּ בְּחָזְקָה. אִם אַתָּה יוֹדֵעַ שֶׁאֵין לוֹ, אַל תְּהִי דּוֹמֶה עָלָיו כְּאִלּוּ הִלְוִיתוֹ אֶלָּא כְאִלּוּ לֹא הִלְוִיתוֹ, כְּלוֹמַר לֹא תַכְלִימֵהוּ:
interest: Heb. נֶשֶׁךְ, lit., biting. Interest, which is like the biting of a snake, which bites by making a small wound in a person’s foot, and he [the person] does not feel [the wound], and suddenly, it spreads and swells up as far as his crown. So it is with interest. He does not feel it, and it is not noticeable until the interest accumulates and it costs him a considerable sum of money. -[From Tanchuma 9, Exod. Rabbah 31:6]   נֶֽשֶׁךְ: רִבִּית, שֶׁהוּא כִנְשִׁיכַת נָחָשׁ שֶׁנוֹשֵׁךְ חַבּוּרָה קְטַנָּה בְּרַגְלוֹ וְאֵינוֹ מַרְגִּישׁ, וּפִתְאֹם הוּא מְבַטְבֵּט וְנוֹפֵחַ עַד קָדְקֳדוֹ, כָּךְ רִבִּית אֵינוֹ מַרְגִּישׁ וְאֵינוֹ נִכָּר עַד שֶׁהָרִבִּית עוֹלָה וּמְחַסְּרוֹ מָמוֹן הַרְבֵּה (תנחומא):
25If you take your neighbor's garment as security, until sunset you shall return it to him,   כהאִם־חָבֹ֥ל תַּחְבֹּ֖ל שַׂלְמַ֣ת רֵעֶ֑ךָ עַד־בֹּ֥א הַשֶּׁ֖מֶשׁ תְּשִׁיבֶ֥נּוּ לֽוֹ:
If you take… as security: Heb. חָבֹל תַּחְבֹּל. No expression of חִבָלָה means security given at the time of the loan, but [that which] is exacted from the debtor when the debt becomes due and he [the debtor] does not pay (B.M. 114). (חָבֹל תַּחְבֹּל the Torah repeats the taking of the security [implying that one may take security] even many times. The Holy One, blessed is He, said: “How much you owe Me! Yet your soul ascends to Me every night, gives an account, is found guilty before Me, and I return it to you. You too, take and return, take and return.” ) -(Tanchuma 16.)   אִם־חָבֹל תַּחְבֹּל: כָּל לְשׁוֹן חֲבָלָה אֵינוֹ מַשְׁכּוֹן בִּשְׁעַת הַלְוָאָה, אֶלָּא שֶׁמְּמַשְׁכְּנִין אֶת הַלֹּוֶה כְּשֶׁמַּגִּיעַ הַזְּמַן וְאֵינוֹ פוֹרֵעַ; (חָבֹל תַּחְבֹּל – כְּפֹל לְךָ בַּחֲבָלָה עַד כַּמָּה פְעָמִים; אָמַר הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא כַּמָּה אַתָּה חַיָּב לִי, וַהֲרֵי נַפְשְׁךָ עוֹלָה אֶצְלִי כָּל אֶמֶשׁ וָאֶמֶשׁ וְנוֹתֶנֶת דִּין וּמִתְחַיֶּבֶת לְפָנַי וַאֲנִי מַחֲזִירָהּ לְךָ, אַף אַתָּה טֹל וְהָשֵׁב טֹל וְהָשֵׁב:
until sunset you shall return it to him: [For] the entire day you shall return it to him until the sun sets, and when the sun sets you may again take it until the next morning arrives. This verse speaks of a garment worn by day, which he does not need at night. -[From Mechilta, B.M. 114b]   עַד־בֹּא הַשֶּׁמֶשׁ תְּשִׁיבֶנּוּ לֽוֹ: כָּל הַיּוֹם תְּשִׁיבֶנּוּ לוֹ עַד בֹּא הַשֶּׁמֶשׁ, וּכְבֹא הַשֶּׁמֶשׁ תַּחֲזֹר וְתִטְּלֶנּוּ עַד שֶׁיָּבֹא בֹּקֶר שֶׁל מָחָר; וּבִכְסוּת יוֹם הַכָּתוּב מְדַבֵּר, שֶׁאֵין צָרִיךְ לָהּ בַּלַּיְלָה (מכילתא, בבא מציעא קי"ד):
26for it is his only covering; it is his garment for his skin. With what shall he lie? And it shall be [that] if he cries out to Me, I will hear because I am gracious.   כוכִּ֣י הִ֤וא כְסוּת֙וֹ (כתיב כסותה) לְבַדָּ֔הּ הִ֥וא שִׂמְלָת֖וֹ לְעֹר֑וֹ בַּמֶּ֣ה יִשְׁכָּ֔ב וְהָיָה֙ כִּֽי־יִצְעַ֣ק אֵלַ֔י וְשָֽׁמַעְתִּ֖י כִּֽי־חַנּ֥וּן אָֽנִי:
for it is his only covering: This is a cloak. -[From Mechilta]   כִּי הִוא כסותה: זוֹ טַלִּית:
his garment: This is a shirt. -[From Mechilta]   שִׂמְלָתוֹ: זֶה חָלוּק:
With what shall he lie?: [This comes] to include a spread. -[From Mechilta]   בַּמֶּה יִשְׁכָּב: לְרַבּוֹת אֶת הַמַּצָּע (מכילתא):