Indeed, the debtor’s needs are cast upon him, because it is stated in connection with this same issue of returning the collateral: “And it shall be righteousness to you” (Deuteronomy 24:13), which indicates that there is an obligation for the creditor to act toward the debtor with righteousness.
§ A dilemma was raised before the Sages: What is the halakha with regard to making arrangements for the debtor so that he will retain some of his possessions so that he may continue living as before, albeit at a slightly lower standard? The issue on which this is based is whether or not a verbal analogy is derived from the usage of the term “poor” written in the context of a debtor (Leviticus 25:35) and the term “poor” written in the context of valuations (Leviticus 27:8), as the Gemara will discuss further at the end of the amud.
The Gemara suggests: Come and hear a proof, as Ravin sent a message in his letter from Eretz Yisrael: I asked all my teachers concerning this matter, but they did not tell me anything. But there was this question concerning a similar matter that I heard them discuss: With regard to one who says: It is incumbent upon me to bring one hundred dinars for the Temple maintenance, what is the halakha as to whether they make arrangements for him? Although an arrangement is explicitly taught only with regard to the specific type of donation of valuations, is it applicable here as well?
Rabbi Ya’akov in the name of bar Padda, and Rabbi Yirmeya in the name of Ilfa, each say: It is an a fortiori inference from the halakhot of a debtor: And if for a debtor, to whom one returns his collateral, they do not make arrangements for the payment of his debt, then in the case of consecration, where they do not return his collateral, is it not logical that they should not make arrangements for the payment of his debt? And Rabbi Yoḥanan says: It is written: “When a man shall clearly utter a vow according to your valuation” (Leviticus 27:2). In this verse, all vows of consecrated property are juxtaposed to valuations, teaching that just as they make arrangements for the payment of a debt with regard to valuations, so too they make arrangements for the payment of a debt with regard to any vow of consecration.
The Gemara asks: And what do the other Sages, i.e., Rabbi Ya’akov and Rabbi Yirmeya, derive from this juxtaposition between vows and valuations? The Gemara replies: They maintain that this juxtaposition comes to teach the halakha that a vow of consecration is judged by its significance. If one stated a vow of valuation concerning a vital part of his body, e.g., that he will donate the value of his heart, he is obligated to pay not only the value of that organ, but the valuation of his entire self. Consequently, the phrase “a vow according to your valuation” indicates that just as valuations are judged by their significance, so too consecrated property is judged by its significance.
The Gemara asks: But they should make arrangements for a debtor based on an a fortiori inference from the halakhot of valuations, as follows: And if in the case of valuations the halakha is that they do not return his collateral and yet they do make arrangements for the payment of his debt, then with regard to a debtor, where the halakha is that one does return his collateral, is it not logical that they should make arrangements for the payment of his debt? The Gemara responds: The verse states: “But if he is too poor for your valuation…and the priest shall value him, according to the means of the one that vowed shall the priest value him” (Leviticus 27:8). The Torah emphasizes that this halakha is applicable only to “he” who makes a valuation, but not to a debtor.
The Gemara asks: And according to the other opinion, which maintains that they do make arrangements for a debtor, how is the word “he” interpreted? The Gemara answers: This word teaches that the halakha does not apply unless he remains in his state of poverty from the beginning to the end. If he was rich at the outset, or grew wealthy at some later stage, arrangements are not made for him.
The Gemara asks an additional question: And once it is established that arrangements are not made for a debtor, they should return the collateral in the case of consecration based on an a fortiori inference from the halakhot of a debtor: And if in the case of a debtor, where they do not make arrangements for him, the creditor nevertheless returns his collateral, with regard to consecration, where they do make arrangements for the payment of his debt, is it not logical that they should return his collateral to him? The Gemara answers: The verse states with regard to a regular loan: “You shall restore to him the collateral…and he will sleep in his garment and he will bless you” (Deuteronomy 24:13), excluding consecration, where there is no need for a blessing, and therefore it is not included in the halakha of returning the collateral.
The Gemara is puzzled by this claim: And is consecrated property not in need of a blessing? But isn’t it written: “And you shall eat and be satisfied, and bless the Lord your God” (Deuteronomy 8:10), indicating that consecrated property also requires a blessing? Rather, the reason is that the verse states with regard to the restoration of collateral: “And it shall be righteousness [tzedaka] for you” (Deuteronomy 24:13), which is referring to caring for one who requires charity [tzedaka], excluding consecrated property, which does not require charity.
§ The Gemara relates: Rabba bar Avuh found Elijah standing in a graveyard of gentiles. Rabba bar Avuh said to him: What is the halakha with regard to making arrangements for the debtor? Elijah said to him: A verbal analogy is derived from the usage of the term “poor” written in the context of a debtor and the term “poor” written in the context of valuations. With regard to valuations, it is written: “But if he is too poor [makh] for your valuation” (Leviticus 27:8), and with regard to a creditor, it is written: “But if your brother be poor [yamukh]” (Leviticus 25:35).