קא פריק לה בארבעה זוזי הכא נמי לא שנא
that he redeems it at four dinars a year, despite the fact that the produce is worth more? Here too, it is no different. Since he established the deduction of a fixed sum that he cannot be sure he will receive, the practice is permitted, even if he in fact profits from the arrangement.
ומאן דאסר אמר לך שדה אחוזה הקדש היא ורחמנא אוקמיה אפדיון הכא הלואה היא ומיחזי כרבית
And the one who prohibits this arrangement could have said to you that the halakha with regard to an ancestral field is discussing consecrated property and the Merciful One established redemption for it, on the basis of which the Sages determined the full redemption. Here, by contrast, it is a loan, and therefore it has the appearance of interest.
אמר רב אשי אמרו לי סבי דמתא מחסיא סתם משכנתא שתא למאי נפקא מינה דאי אכיל לה שתא מצי מסלק ליה ואי לא לא מצי מסלק ליה
Rav Ashi said: The elders of the town of Mata Meḥasya told me: An unspecified mortgage [mashkanta] is for a year. The Gemara poses a question: What is the practical difference resulting from this ruling? The Gemara explains: It means that if the lender consumed its produce for a year, the borrower can then remove him; but if not, the borrower cannot yet remove him, as an unspecified mortgage does not last less than this period of time.
ואמר רב אשי אמרו לי סבי דמתא מחסיא מאי משכנתא דשכונה גביה למאי נפקא מינה לדינא דבר מצרא
And Rav Ashi said: The elders of Mata Meḥasya told me: What is the meaning of the word mashkanta? It is referring to the fact that it resides [shekhuna] with him. The Gemara again asks: What is the practical difference resulting from his statement? The Gemara answers: It is relevant for the halakha of one whose field borders the field of his neighbor. Since the mortgaged field resides with him, it is considered his property to a certain extent, and therefore he is granted the right to purchase a neighboring field before an outside party does so.
אמר רבא לית הלכתא לא כטרשי פפונאי ולא כשטרי מחוזנאי ולא כחכירי נרשאי
Rava said: The halakha is not in accordance with those who approve of the tacit interest agreement of Rav Pappa, nor in accordance with those who approve of the documents of Meḥoza, nor in accordance with those who approve of the tenancies of Neresh.
כטרשי פפונאי כטרשי דרב פפא
The Gemara clarifies these statements: The halakha is not in accordance with those who approve of the tacit interest agreement of Rav Pappa; this is referring to the tacit interest agreement of Rav Pappa (65a). Rav Pappa would sell liquor and accept delayed payment at a higher price, and believed this to be permitted since he did not gain anything from the arrangement.
שטרי מחוזנאי דזקפי ליה לרווחא אקרנא וכתבי ליה בשטרא מי יימר דהוה רווחא
What are the documents of Meḥoza? In Meḥoza they would lend money to someone for him to use in a joint business venture, and add the profits to the principal, as though the transaction were already completed, and they would write the full sum owed, including the lender’s share of the profits, in the document. The reason it is prohibited to do this is that who says there will be any profit? It is possible that the borrower will suffer a loss or earn less than expected, and he will eventually be paying interest if he pays the full amount recorded in the document.
א"ל מר בר אמימר לרב אשי אבא עביד הכי וכי אתו לקמיה מהימן להו א"ל תינח היכא דאיתיה לדידיה אי שכיב ונפל שטרא קמי יתמי מאי הוי (קהלת י, ה) כשגגה שיוצא' מלפני השליט ונח נפשיה דאמימר
Mar, son of Ameimar, said to Rav Ashi: Father would do so, i.e., he would add the profits to the sum of the loan contract, and when they came before him and told him they had not earned enough profit he would believe them and reduce the debt to the amount they had actually earned. Rav Ashi said to him: This works out well while the lender is still here, but if he dies and the document comes before the orphans, what would happen in that case? Unaware that profits have been added to the document, the orphans would demand the entire sum, which would constitute interest. The Gemara comments: This innocent observation of Rav Ashi’s was “like an error that proceeds from a ruler” (Ecclesiastes 10:5), and Ameimar died shortly afterward.
חכירי נרשאי דכתבי הכי משכן ליה פלניא ארעיה לפלניא והדר חכרה מיניה אימת קנאה דאקנייה נהליה
The Gemara addresses the final ruling. What are the tenancies of Neresh? In the town of Neresh they would write a document in this manner: So-and-so has mortgaged his land to so-and-so, and the borrower then went and leased it back from him for a fee that was added to the payment of the loan. This transaction is problematic. When did the lender acquire it, such that he can subsequently transfer it back to the borrower? As he is not the actual owner of the field, the money for the lease is actually payment for the delay in repaying the loan, and therefore this arrangement is considered interest.
והאידנא דקא כתבי הכי קנינא מיניה ושהינא כמה עידני והדר חכרה כדי שלא תנעול דלת בפני לווין שפיר דמי ולאו מלתא היא:
The Gemara comments: And nowadays, when we write a document in this manner: We acquired the property from him and we waited a while and then the borrower went and leased it back for such and such a price, a formula that states that the lender has acquired the field and may now lease it to others, which is utilized so as not to lock the door in the face of potential borrowers, it is permitted, as it does not have the appearance of a loan with interest. The Gemara concludes: But this is not correct, as even if the field is in his possession, since he has not acquired it properly, it is considered interest.
מתני׳ אין מושיבין חנוני למחצית שכר ולא יתן מעות ליקח בהן פירות למחצית שכר אלא אם כן נותן לו שכרו כפועל
MISHNA: One may not establish a deal with a storekeeper for half the profits. It is prohibited for one to provide a storekeeper with produce for him to sell in his store, with half the profits going to the lender. In such an arrangement, the storekeeper himself is responsible for half of any loss from the venture, effectively rendering half of the produce as a loan to the storekeeper. The lender remains responsible for the other half of any loss, and the storekeeper provides a service by selling his produce for him. This service, if provided free of charge, is viewed as interest paid for the loan, and is prohibited. And similarly, one may not give a storekeeper money with which to acquire produce for the storekeeper to sell for half the profits. These activities are both prohibited unless the owner gives the storekeeper his wages as a salaried laborer hired to sell the produce, after which they can divide the remaining profits.
אין מושיבין תרנגולין למחצה ואין שמין עגלין וסייחין למחצה אלא אם כן נותן לו שכר עמלו ומזונו
One may not give eggs to another to place chickens on them in exchange for half the profits, and one may not appraise calves or foals for another to raise them for half the profits. These activities are both prohibited unless the owner gives the other wages for his toil and the cost of the food he gives to the animals in his temporary care. All this applies when the lender establishes a fixed minimum profit he insists on receiving regardless of what happens to the animals.
אבל מקבלין עגלין וסייחין למחצה ומגדלין אותן עד שיהו משולשין וחמור עד שתהא טוענת:
But one may accept calves or foals to raise as a joint venture for half of the earnings, with one side providing the animals and taking full responsibility for losses, and the other providing the work and the sustenance, and the one raising them may raise them until they reach one-third of their maturation, at which point they are sold and the profits shared. And with regard to a donkey, it can be raised in this manner until it is large enough to bear a load.
גמ׳ תנא כפועל בטל מאי כפועל בטל
GEMARA: The Sages taught: When the mishna states that the owner must pay the manager of the venture as a salaried laborer, it means he must pay him as an idle laborer. The Gemara poses a question: What does it mean to pay someone as an idle laborer?