Home Subscribe Services Support Us
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

Chapter 65:1-3
Dealing with Forbidden Goods

1. A person naturally desires and craves money. In particular, it is more likely that a person will succumb and violate the prohibition against taking interest than other prohibitions involving financial matters. With regard to theft, deception, and the like, a person naturally takes precautions to see that no one steal from him or cheat him. [Accordingly, he will hold himself back from acting in this manner towards a colleague.] Furthermore, even a person who desires to steal from or cheat a colleague will often hesitate to do so out of shame or out of fear of detection.

In contrast, concerning interest, the borrower pays the money willingly and is happy that he has found a loan, even though it requires paying interest. Indeed, the lender can rationalize that he is doing the borrower a great favor. With this money, the borrower can earn many times more than the amount of interest which he has to pay. Therefore, it is very easy for a person to succumb to temptation and violate this prohibition.

For the above reasons, our holy Torah regards to this prohibition very severely, mentioning it several times. A person who lends money at interest violates six Torah prohibitions. He will not arise at the resurrection of the dead, as [Ezekiel 18:13] states: "He gave [money] at interest and took an increase - shall he live? He shall not live."

A person who borrows at interest also violates three Torah prohibitions. The scribe [who writes the contract of loan], the witnesses to it, and the guarantor each violate one prohibition. Similarly, a broker and anyone else who helped arrange the loan - e.g., a person who informed the borrower of a potential lender or one who informed the lender of a potential borrower - also violate a prohibition.

2. A person who succumbed to temptation and took interest is obligated to return it (unless the interest was given prior to the loan or after the loan, as explained in Law 6).

3. Interest need not be agreed upon at the time a loan is originally given. Even when: a loan was given without charge until a specific time; one sold merchandise and deferred payment until a specific time; or one was obligated to pay a colleague for any particular reason, and, when the time for payment came, the creditor extended the loan in return for compensation, - these considerations are also regarded as interest.

   The Prohibitions Against Interest
Paragraphs 4-6
Table of Contents

Halacha-Yomi, Copyright (c) 2000 ProjectGenesis, Inc.



View Complete List

Great Expectations
Rabbi Yochanan Zweig - 5770

A Superior Primary Education
Rabbi Label Lam - 5764

Chochmah, Tevunah, and Daat
Shlomo Katz - 5769

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Work Around
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5776

Starting Over
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5760

Dealing with the Enemy
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5759

> This Time
Rabbi Label Lam - 5767

Dog-matic Murder
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5764

It's Never Too Late
Rabbi Pinchas Avruch - 5766

Looking for a Chavrusah?

- 5768

The Buck Stops Here
Rabbi Pinchas Avruch - 5765

Where are You?
Rabbi Pinchas Avruch - 5762


A Heavy Helping of Responsible-ness
Rabbi Label Lam - 5776

The Book of Mankind
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5762

Itís All About Redemption Part I
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5766

The Children of Parents
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5756

Project Genesis Home

Torah Portion

Jewish Law



Learn the Basics




Ask The Rabbi

Knowledge Base


About Us

Contact Us

Free Book on Geulah! Home Copyright Information