Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
 
Print Version

Email this article to a friend


76. Creditor and Debtor - Malveh ve-Loveh

We are commanded to lend to a poor Jew and it is forbidden to harass him regarding repayment, as it says "If you lend money to My people, to the poor among you, you shall not be demanding to him",1 and it says "[He shall not harass his friend...] you may harass the stranger... [you shall not harden your heart or close your hand to your poor brother; you shall open your hand to him] and you shall give him a pledge [according to his needs]".2,a

A debtor must not evade paying his debts, as it says "Do not say to your friend `Go and come back'".3 All his property is liable for the debt; if the loan was made on a note, the creditor can collect, if necessary, even from real estate that the debtor sells after the loan. If he is bankrupt he has no further liability; but the post-Talmudic sages decreed that he must take an oath that he has nothing but necessary household goods.b

It is forbidden to take collateral for a loan forcibly, as it says "[If you have any demand against your friend you shall not come into his house to take collateral;] you shall stand outside [and the man against whom you have a demand shall bring the collateral out to you]".4 If the debtor is poor and the collateral was not taken at the time of the loan we are commanded to return it to him whenever he needs it and we are forbidden to keep it from him, as it says "[And if he is a poor man] you shall not sleep with his collateral; you shall return the collateral to him by sunset",5 and it says "[If you take your friend's garment as collateral] you shall return it to him by sunset".6 It is forbidden to take as collateral utensils that are used to prepare food, as it says "[He shall not take a mill as collateral] for he is taking life as collateral".7 It is forbidden to take collateral from a widow, as it says "You shall not take the garment of a widow as collateral".8,c

It is forbidden to lend money to a Jew at interest, as it says "[And if your brother becomes poor...] you shall not take interest or increase from him... you shall not give him your money at interest and you shall not give him your food at increase".9 It is forbidden to borrow money at interest, as it says "You shall not take from [or: give to] your brother interest [of money, interest of food, interest of anything taken for interest]".l0 It is forbidden to participate in a loan that involves interest (as guarantor, scribe or witness), as it says "[If you lend money to My people...] you shall not put interest on him".1 It is permitted to lend to or borrow from a non-Jew at interest, as it says "You shall take interest from the stranger [but from your brother you shall not take interest]"11; but the sages forbade doing this except as necessary to support oneself.d

Sources:

1. Ex. 22:24 a. 1:1-2
2. Deut. 15:2-3,7-8 b. 1:3; 2:1-2; 11:4; 18:1-2
3. Proverbs 3:28 c. 3:1-2,4-5
4. Deut. 24:10-11 d. 4:2; 5:1-2
5. Deut. 24:12-13
6. Ex. 22:25
7. Deut. 24:6
8. Deut. 24:17
9. Lev. 25:35-37
10. Deut. 23:20
11. Deut. 23:21



 






ARTICLES ON LECH LECHA:

View Complete List

The Mind
Rabbi Label Lam - 5772

I Lift My Hands
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5762

This Land Is My Land (and Our Land)
Shlomo Katz - 5775

Looking for a Chavrusah?

From Egypt to Israel
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5766

I Believe
Rabbi Raymond Beyda - 5766

Reward May Come
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5760

> Outsiders
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5756

What Happened To Lot?
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5765

Love and Sacrifice
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5761

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Exile and Redemption
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5763

Bordering on the Holy Land
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5766

Of Threads and Shoelaces
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5770

ArtScroll

No Pain, No Gain
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5758

Avraham's Strange Reaction
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5762

Priorities Confused
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5759

Living Miraculously
Rabbi Label Lam - 5766



Project Genesis

Torah.org Home


Torah Portion

Jewish Law

Ethics

Texts

Learn the Basics

Seasons

Features

TORAHAUDIO

Ask The Rabbi

Knowledge Base




Help

About Us

Contact Us



Free Book on Geulah!




Torah.org Home
Torah.org HomeCapalon.com Copyright Information