ובעניינא דשכיר כתיב and this prohibition is written in the context of the matter of a hired laborer: “You shall not oppress your neighbor, nor rob him, and the wages of a hired servant shall not abide with you all night until the morning” (Leviticus 19:13).
(ויקרא יט, יא) לא תגנובו דכתב רחמנא למה לי לכדתניא (שמות כ, יב) לא תגנוב על מנת למיקט לא תגנוב על מנת לשלם תשלומי כפל The Gemara asks: Why do I need the prohibition: “You shall not steal” (Leviticus 19:11), that the Merciful One wrote? This is yet another prohibition against taking money by illegitimate means, and it could be derived from the other prohibitions mentioned previously. The Gemara answers that it is necessary for the Merciful One to write that prohibition for that which is taught in a baraita: “You shall not steal” applies in all circumstances, even if you do so only in order to aggravate the victim; “you shall not steal” applies in all circumstances, even if you do so in order to pay the double payment as a gift to the person from whom you stole.
א"ל רב יימר לרב אשי לאו דכתב רחמנא במשקלות למה לי א"ל לטומן משקלותיו במלח היינו גזל מעליא הוא לעבור עליו משעת עשייה Rav Yeimar said to Rav Ashi: Why do I need the prohibition that the Merciful One wrote with regard to weights: “You shall do no unrighteousness in judgment, in measure, in weight, or in volume” (Leviticus 19:35)? It is merely another form of robbery. Rav Ashi said to him: It is referring to a seller who buries his weights in salt, in order to lighten them. Rav Yeimar said: That is the same as full-fledged robbery; therefore, it should not require a separate derivation. Rav Ashi answered: It is written to establish that he violates the prohibition from the moment of the act of burying them. He violates the prohibition even before he actually deceives a buyer with the buried weights.
ת"ר (ויקרא יט, לה) לא תעשו עול במשפט במדה במשקל ובמשורה במדה זו מדידת קרקע שלא ימדוד לאחד בימות החמה ולאחד בימות הגשמים במשקל שלא יטמין משקלותיו במלח ובמשורה שלא ירתיח The Sages taught: The verse states: “You shall do no unrighteousness in judgment, in measure, in weight, or in volume [uvamesura]” (Leviticus 19:35). “In measure”; this is referring to the measurement of land, e.g., this means that in a case where two people are dividing their jointly owned field, one may not measure the land to be given to one during the summer and measure the land to be given to the other during the rainy season, because the length of the measuring cord is affected by the weather conditions. “In weight”; this is referring to the fact that he may not bury his measuring weights in salt. And “in volume”; this teaches that one may not froth the liquid one is selling, creating the impression that there is more liquid in the vessel than there actually is.
והלא דברים ק"ו ומה משורה שהיא אחד משלשים (ושלשה) בלוג הקפידה עליו תורה ק"ו להין וחצי הין ושלישית ההין ורביעית ההין ולוג וחצי לוג ורביעית הלוג The Gemara adds: And are the following matters not inferred a fortiori: And if with regard to the mesura volume, which equals one thirty-third of a log, the Torah was fastidious concerning it that one may not deceive another, it can be inferred a fortiori that with regard to a hin, which equals twelve log, and a half-hin, and a third-hin, and a quarter-hin, and a log, and a half-log, and a quarter-log, which are all much larger volumes, that one may not deceive another.
אמר רבא למה לי דכתב רחמנא יציאת מצרים ברבית יציאת מצרים גבי ציצית יציאת מצרים במשקלות § Rava says: Why do I need the mention of the exodus from Egypt that the Merciful One wrote in the context of the halakhot of the prohibition against interest (see Leviticus 25:37–38), and the mention of the exodus from Egypt with regard to the mitzva to wear ritual fringes (see Numbers 15:39–41), and the mention of the exodus from Egypt in the context of the prohibition concerning weights (see Leviticus 19:35–36)?
אמר הקב"ה אני הוא שהבחנתי במצרים בין טפה של בכור לטפה שאינה של בכור אני הוא שעתיד ליפרע ממי שתולה מעותיו בנכרי ומלוה אותם לישראל ברבית וממי שטומן משקלותיו במלח וממי שתולה קלא אילן בבגדו ואומר תכלת הוא Rava explains: The Holy One, Blessed be He, said: I am He Who distinguished in Egypt between the drop of seed that became a firstborn and the drop of seed that did not become a firstborn, and I killed only the firstborn. I am also He Who is destined to exact punishment from one who attributes ownership of his money to a gentile and thereby lends it to a Jew with interest. Even if he is successful in deceiving the court, God knows the truth. And I am also He Who is destined to exact punishment from one who buries his weights in salt, as this changes their weight in a manner not visible to the eye. And I am also He Who is destined to exact punishment from one who hangs ritual fringes dyed with indigo [kala ilan] dye on his garment and says it is dyed with the sky-blue dye required in ritual fringes. The allusion to God’s ability to distinguish between two apparently like entities is why the exodus is mentioned in all of these contexts.
רבינא איקלע לסורא דפרת א"ל רב חנינא מסורא דפרת לרבינא יציאת מצרים דכתב רחמנא גבי שרצים למה לי א"ל אמר הקב"ה אני הוא שהבחנתי בין טפה של בכור לטפה שאינה של בכור אני עתיד ליפרע ממי שמערב קרבי דגים טמאין בקרבי דגים טהורין ומוכרן לישראל The Gemara relates: Ravina happened to come to Sura on the Euphrates. Rav Ḥanina of Sura on the Euphrates said to Ravina: Why do I need the mention of the exodus from Egypt that the Merciful One wrote in the context of creeping animals: “Do not make yourselves detestable with all the creeping animals that swarm…for I am the Lord Who brings you up from the land of Egypt” (Leviticus 11:43–45)? Ravina said to him: The Holy One, Blessed be He, said: I am He Who distinguished in Egypt between the drop of seed that became a firstborn and the drop of seed that did not become a firstborn, and I killed only the firstborn. I am also He Who is destined to exact punishment from one who intermingles the innards of non-kosher fish with the innards of kosher fish and sells them to a Jew, who is unable to distinguish between them.
אמר ליה אנא המעלה קא קשיא לי מאי שנא הכא המעלה דכתב רחמנא Rav Ḥanina said to him: I was not asking about the very mention of the exodus. Rather, I was asking about the term “Who brings you up” mentioned in that verse; that is what is difficult for me. What is different here, that the Merciful One wrote: “Who brings you up from the land of Egypt,” as opposed to the other three instances cited by Rava where the exodus is mentioned in the context of mitzvot and prohibitions, where it is written: “Who brought you out”?
א"ל לכדתנא דבי רבי ישמעאל דתנא דבי רבי ישמעאל אמר הקב"ה אילמלא (לא) העליתי את ישראל ממצרים אלא בשביל דבר זה שאין מטמאין בשרצים דיי Ravina said to him: It is to teach as it was taught in the school of Rabbi Yishmael. As it was taught in the school of Rabbi Yishmael: The Holy One, Blessed be He, said: Had I brought the Jewish people up from Egypt only for this matter, so that they would not become impure by consuming creeping animals, it would be sufficient for Me, as observance of this mitzva elevates their spiritual stature.
א"ל ומי נפיש אגרייהו טפי מרבית ומציצית וממשקלות א"ל אע"ג דלא נפיש אגרייהו טפי מאיסי למכלינהו: Rav Ḥanina said to him: And is the reward for abstaining from consuming creeping animals greater than the reward for observing the halakhot with regard to interest and ritual fringes and weights? Let the Merciful One write: Who brings you up, in the context of those mitzvot as well. Ravina said to him: Even though their reward is not greater, it is more repulsive for Jews to eat creeping animals. Avoiding those animals brings them up, in the sense that it is praiseworthy and enhances the transcendent nature of the Jews.
ואיזהו תרבית המרבה בפירות כיצד לקח הימנו חטים בדינר זהב וכו': אטו כל הני דאמרינן עד השתא לאו רבית הוא § The mishna teaches: And which is tarbit? It is the case of one who enters into a transaction that yields an increase in the produce beyond his investment. How so? For example, a case where one acquired wheat from another at the price of one kor of wheat for one gold dinar, with the wheat to be supplied at a later date, and such was the market price of wheat at the time he acquired it. The price of one kor of wheat then increased and stood at thirty dinars. At that point, the buyer said to the seller: Give me all of my wheat now, as I wish to sell it and purchase wine with it. The seller said to him: Since it is ultimately wine that you want, not wheat, each kor of your wheat is considered by me to be worth thirty dinars, and you have the right to collect its value in wine from me. And in this case, the seller did not have wine in his possession. The Gemara asks: Is that to say that all these cases that we said in the mishna until now are not cases of interest?
א"ר אבהו עד כאן של תורה מכאן ואילך של דבריהם וכן אמר רבא עד כאן של תורה מכאן ואילך של דבריהם Rabbi Abbahu says: Until here, i.e., in the first two cases it presents, the mishna is referring to cases of interest by Torah law, and from this point forward the mishna is referring to cases of interest by rabbinic law. If the lender does not explicitly stipulate that the debtor must pay a sum greater than the value of the loan they do not violate the Torah prohibition of interest, but the Sages prohibited doing so. And so says Rava: Until here the mishna is referring to cases of interest by Torah law, and from this point forward the mishna is referring to cases of interest by rabbinic law.
ע"כ (איוב כז, יז) יכין רשע וילבש צדיק עד כאן ותו לא אלא אפי' ע"כ יכין רשע וילבש צדיק The Gemara comments: In the cases in the mishna cited until here there is a fulfillment of the verse: The wicked may prepare and the righteous shall don (see Job 27:17), which is interpreted as referring to the case of a wicked father who collects interest from borrowers. Upon inheriting the father’s estate, his righteous son is not obligated to return the interest to the borrower. The Gemara asks: Is this verse applicable only in the cases discussed until here, and no further? It is logical that if the heir does not need to return the interest that was prohibited by Torah law, all the more so the heir should not need to return the interest that was prohibited by rabbinic law. Rather, Rava said: Even in the cases discussed until here one can apply the verse: The wicked may prepare and the righteous shall don.
ע"כ רבית קצוצה מכאן ואילך אבק רבית The Gemara comments: Until here the tanna cites cases of fixed interest, i.e., where the amount to be paid as interest was fixed at the time of the loan, which is prohibited by Torah law. From this point forward the tanna cites cases with only a hint of interest, prohibited by rabbinic law, as there is no fixed sum paid as interest.
א"ר אלעזר רבית קצוצה יוצאה בדיינין אבק רבית אינה יוצאה בדיינין רבי יוחנן אמר אפילו רבית קצוצה נמי אינה יוצאה בדיינין Rabbi Elazar says: Fixed interest can be removed from the lender’s possession by means of legal proceedings adjudicated by judges. By contrast, in cases of a hint of interest, prohibited by rabbinic law, the money paid cannot be removed by means of legal proceedings adjudicated by judges. Rabbi Yoḥanan says: Even fixed interest cannot be removed by means of legal proceedings adjudicated by judges.
א"ר יצחק מ"ט דרבי יוחנן דאמר קרא (יחזקאל יח, יג) בנשך נתן ותרבית לקח וחי לא יחיה את כל התועבות האלה עשה למיתה ניתן ולא להשבון רב אדא בר אהבה אמר אמר קרא (ויקרא כה, לו) אל תקח מאתו נשך ותרבית ויראת מאלהיך למורא ניתן ולא להשבון Rabbi Yitzḥak says: What is the reason for the opinion of Rabbi Yoḥanan? It is as the verse states: “He has given forth with neshekh and he took tarbit, shall he live? He shall not live. He performed all these abominations, he shall be executed; his blood shall be upon him” (Ezekiel 18:13). It can be inferred that one who takes interest is subject to death at the hand of Heaven but not to repayment, as the court cannot compel him to repay the interest. Citing a different proof, Rav Adda bar Ahava said that the verse states: “You shall not take from him neshekh or tarbit; you shall fear your God and your brother shall live with you.” (Leviticus 25:36). It can be inferred that one who does so is subject to shirking the fear of Heaven, but not to repayment.
רבא אמר מגופיה דקרא שמיע ליה (יחזקאל יח, יג) מות יומת דמיו בו יהיה הוקשו מלוי רבית לשופכי דמים מה שופכי דמים לא ניתנו להשבון אף מלוי רבית לא ניתנו להשבון Rava said: It can be derived from the verse in Ezekiel itself, not by inference, as it is written: “He shall be executed; his blood shall be upon him” (Ezekiel 18:13). In the verse, lenders who charged interest were juxtaposed with shedders of blood. This teaches: Just as shedders of blood are not subject to repayment, so too, lenders who charge interest are not subject to repayment.
אר"נ בר יצחק מ"ט דר"א דאמר קרא Rav Naḥman bar Yitzḥak said: What is the reason for the opinion of Rabbi Elazar that interest prohibited by Torah law can be reclaimed by means of legal proceedings adjudicated by judges? It is as the verse concerning the prohibition against taking interest states: