אֵיזֶהוּ נֶשֶׁךְ וְאֵיזֶהוּ תַרְבִּית. אֵיזֶהוּ נֶשֶׁךְ. הַמַּלְוֶה סֶלַע בַּחֲמִשָּׁה דִינָרִין, סָאתַיִם חִטִּין בְּשָׁלשׁ, מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהוּא נוֹשֵׁךְ. וְאֵיזֶהוּ תַרְבִּית, הַמַּרְבֶּה בְּפֵרוֹת. כֵּיצַד. לָקַח הֵימֶנּוּ חִטִּין בְּדִינַר זָהָב הַכּוֹר, וְכֵן הַשַּׁעַר, עָמְדוּ חִטִּין בִּשְׁלשִׁים דִּינָרִין, אָמַר לוֹ תֶּן לִי חִטַּי, שֶׁאֲנִי רוֹצֶה לְמָכְרָן וְלִקַּח בָּהֶן יָיִן. אָמַר לוֹ הֲרֵי חִטֶּיךָ עֲשׂוּיוֹת עָלַי בִּשְׁלשִׁים, וַהֲרֵי לְךָ אֶצְלִי בָּהֶן יָיִן, וְיַיִן אֵין לוֹ:
The Torah states the prohibition against taking interest: “And if your brother becomes impoverished, and his hand falters with you, then you shall support him; whether a stranger or a native, he shall live with you. You shall not take from him interest [neshekh] or increase [tarbit]; you shall fear your God and your brother shall live with you. You shall not give him your money with neshekh and with marbit you shall not give him your food” (Leviticus 25:35–37). The mishna asks: Which is neshekh, and which is tarbit? Which is the case in which there is neshekh? With regard to one who lends another a sela, worth four dinars, for five dinars to be paid later, or one who lends another two se’a of wheat for three se’a to be returned later, this is prohibited, as it is taking interest [noshekh]. And which is the case in which there 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, one acquired wheat from another at the price of one kor of wheat for one gold dinar, worth twenty-five silver dinars, 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. If wine then appreciates in value, the result will be an interest-bearing transaction, as the buyer collects from the seller wine worth more than the wheat for which he paid.
הַמַּלְוֶה אֶת חֲבֵרוֹ, לֹא יָדוּר בַּחֲצֵרוֹ חִנָּם, וְלֹא יִשְׂכֹּר מִמֶּנּוּ בְּפָחוֹת, מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהוּא רִבִּית. מַרְבִּין עַל הַשָּׂכָר, וְאֵין מַרְבִּין עַל הַמֶּכֶר. כֵּיצַד. הִשְׂכִּיר לוֹ אֶת חֲצֵרוֹ, וְאָמַר לוֹ, אִם מֵעַכְשָׁיו אַתָּה נוֹתֵן לִי, הֲרֵי הוּא לְךָ בְּעֶשֶׂר סְלָעִים לְשָׁנָה, וְאִם שֶׁל חֹדֶשׁ בְּחֹדֶשׁ, בְּסֶלַע לְחֹדֶשׁ, מֻתָּר. מָכַר לוֹ אֶת שָׂדֵהוּ, וְאָמַר לוֹ, אִם מֵעַכְשָׁיו אַתָּה נוֹתֵן לִי, הֲרֵי הִיא שֶׁלְּךָ בְּאֶלֶף זוּז, אִם לַגֹּרֶן, בִּשְׁנֵים עָשָׂר מָנֶה, אָסוּר:
One who lends another money may not reside in the borrower’s courtyard free of charge, nor may he rent living quarters from him at less than the going rate, because this is interest. The benefit he receives from living on the borrower’s property constitutes the equivalent of an additional payment as interest on the loan. One may increase the price of rent to be received at a later date instead of at an earlier one, but one may not similarly increase the price of a sale. How so? If a courtyard owner rented his courtyard to a renter, and the owner said to the renter: If you give me the payment now, the rental is yours for ten sela a year, but if you pay on a monthly basis it will cost a sela for each month, equaling twelve sela a year. Such a practice is permitted, despite the fact that he charges more for a monthly payment. If a field owner sold his field to a buyer and said to him: If you give me the payment now, it is yours for one thousand dinars, but if you wait and pay me at the time of the harvest, it is yours for twelve hundred dinars, this transaction is prohibited as interest.
מָכַר לוֹ אֶת הַשָּׂדֶה, וְנָתַן לוֹ מִקְצָת דָּמִים, וְאָמַר לוֹ אֵימָתַי שֶׁתִּרְצֶה הָבֵא מָעוֹת וְטֹל אֶת שֶׁלְּךָ, אָסוּר. הִלְוָהוּ עַל שָׂדֵהוּ, וְאָמַר לוֹ, אִם אִי אַתָּה נוֹתֵן לִי מִכָּאן וְעַד שָׁלשׁ שָׁנִים הֲרֵי הִיא שֶׁלִּי, הֲרֵי הִיא שֶׁלּוֹ. וְכָךְ הָיָה בַּיְתוֹס בֶּן זוֹנִין עוֹשֶׂה עַל פִּי חֲכָמִים:
If one sold another a field and the buyer gave him some of the money, and the seller said to him: Whenever you wish, bring the outstanding money and take your field at that point, this is prohibited. If one lent money to another on the basis of the borrower’s field serving as a guarantee, and said to him: If you do not give me the money now and instead delay your payment from now until three years have passed, the field is mine, then after three years, the field is his. This is permitted even if the field is worth more than the amount of the loan. And this is what Baitos ben Zunin would do, with the consent of the Sages, when he lent money.
אֵין מוֹשִׁיבִין חֶנְוָנִי לְמַחֲצִית שָׂכָר, וְלֹא יִתֵּן מָעוֹת לִקַּח בָּהֶן פֵּרוֹת לְמַחֲצִית שָׂכָר, אֶלָּא אִם כֵּן נוֹתֵן לוֹ שְׂכָרוֹ כְּפוֹעֵל. אֵין מוֹשִׁיבִין תַּרְנְגוֹלִין לְמֶחֱצָה, וְאֵין שָׁמִין עֲגָלִין וּסְיָחִין לְמֶחֱצָה, אֶלָּא אִם כֵּן נוֹתֵן לוֹ שְׂכַר עֲמָלוֹ וּמְזוֹנוֹ. אֲבָל מְקַבְּלִין עֲגָלִין וּסְיָחִין לְמֶחֱצָה, וּמְגַדְּלִין אוֹתָן עַד שֶׁיְּהוּ מְשֻׁלָּשִׁין. וַחֲמוֹר, עַד שֶׁתְּהֵא טוֹעָנֶת:
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. 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. 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.
שָׁמִין פָּרָה וַחֲמוֹר וְכָל דָּבָר שֶׁהוּא עוֹשֶׂה וְאוֹכֵל לְמֶחֱצָה. מְקוֹם שֶׁנָּהֲגוּ לַחֲלֹק אֶת הַוְּלָדוֹת מִיָּד, חוֹלְקִין, מְקוֹם שֶׁנָּהֲגוּ לְגַדֵּל, יְגַדֵּלוּ. רַבָּן שִׁמְעוֹן בֶּן גַּמְלִיאֵל אוֹמֵר, שָׁמִין עֵגֶל עִם אִמּוֹ וּסְיָח עִם אִמּוֹ. וּמַפְרִיז עַל שָׂדֵהוּ, וְאֵינוֹ חוֹשֵׁשׁ מִשּׁוּם רִבִּית:
One may appraise a cow or a donkey or any item that generates revenue while it eats and give it to another to feed it and take care of it in exchange for one-half the profits, with the one who cares for the animal benefiting from the profits it generates during the period in which he raises it. Afterward, they divide the profit that accrues due to appreciation in the value of the animal and due to the offspring it produces. In a place where it is customary to divide the offspring immediately upon their birth, they divide them, and in a place where it is customary for the one who cared for the mother to raise the offspring for an additional period of time before dividing them, he shall raise them. Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel says: One may appraise a calf together with its mother or a foal with its mother even though these young animals do not generate revenue while they eat. The costs of raising the young animal need not be considered. And one may inflate [umafriz] the rental fee paid for his field, and he need not be concerned with regard to the prohibition of interest, as the Gemara will explain.
אֵין מְקַבְּלִין צֹאן בַּרְזֶל מִיִּשְׂרָאֵל, מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהוּא רִבִּית. אֲבָל מְקַבְּלִין צֹאן בַּרְזֶל מִן הַנָּכְרִים, וְלֹוִין מֵהֶן וּמַלְוִין אוֹתָן בְּרִבִּית, וְכֵן בְּגֵר תּוֹשָׁב. מַלְוֶה יִשְׂרָאֵל מְעוֹתָיו שֶׁל נָכְרִי מִדַּעַת הַנָּכְרִי, אֲבָל לֹא מִדַּעַת יִשְׂרָאֵל:
One may not accept from a Jew sheep to raise or other items to care for as a guaranteed investment, in which the terms of the transaction dictate that the one accepting the item takes upon himself complete responsibility to repay its value in the event of depreciation or loss, but receives only part of the profit. This is because it is a loan, as the principal is fixed and always returned to the owner, and any additional sum the owner receives is interest. But one may accept a guaranteed investment from gentiles, as there is no prohibition of interest in transactions with them. And one may borrow money from them and one may lend money to them with interest. And similarly, with regard to a gentile who resides in Eretz Yisrael and observes the seven Noahide mitzvot [ger toshav], one may borrow money from him with interest and lend money to him with interest, since he is not a Jew. Also, a Jew may serve as a middleman and lend a gentile’s money to another Jew with the knowledge of the gentile, but not with the knowledge of a Jew, i.e., the middleman himself, as the Gemara will explain.
אֵין פּוֹסְקִין עַל הַפֵּרוֹת עַד שֶׁיֵּצֵא הַשָּׁעַר. (יָצָא הַשַּׁעַר, פּוֹסְקִין, וְאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאֵין לָזֶה יֵשׁ לָזֶה). הָיָה הוּא תְחִלָּה לַקּוֹצְרִים, פּוֹסֵק עִמּוֹ עַל הַגָּדִישׁ, וְעַל הֶעָבִיט שֶׁל עֲנָבִים, וְעַל הַמַּעֲטָן שֶׁל זֵיתִים, וְעַל הַבֵּיצִים שֶׁל יוֹצֵר, וְעַל הַסִּיד מִשֶּׁשִּׁקְּעוֹ בַכִּבְשָׁן. וּפוֹסֵק עִמּוֹ עַל הַזֶּבֶל כָּל יְמוֹת הַשָּׁנָה. רַבִּי יוֹסֵי אוֹמֵר, אֵין פּוֹסְקִין עַל הַזֶּבֶל אֶלָּא אִם כֵּן הָיְתָה לּוֹ זֶבֶל בָּאַשְׁפָּה. וַחֲכָמִים מַתִּירִין. וּפוֹסֵק עִמּוֹ כְשַׁעַר הַגָּבוֹהַּ. רַבִּי יְהוּדָה אוֹמֵר, אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁלֹּא פָסַק עִמּוֹ כְשַׁעַר הַגָּבוֹהַּ, יָכוֹל לוֹמַר תֶּן לִי כָזֶה, אוֹ תֶּן לִי מְעוֹתָי:
One may not set a price with a buyer for the future delivery of produce until the market rate is publicized, as, if he is paid for supplying produce at a later date in advance of the publication of the market rate for that type of produce, he may set a price that is too low. The money paid in advance is deemed a loan, and if the initial payment was lower than the later market value, delivery of the produce will constitute interest on the loan. Once the market rate is publicized, the seller may set a price, even if the produce is not yet in his possession. The reason for this is that even though this one, i.e., the seller, does not have any of the produce, that one, someone else, has it, and the seller could theoretically acquire the produce now at the price he set. If the seller was first among the reapers, having harvested his crop before the market rate was set, he may set a price with a buyer as he wishes for a stack of grain that is already in his possession, or for a large basket of grapes prepared for pressing into wine, or for a vat [hama’atan] of olives prepared for pressing into oil, or for the clumps [habeitzim] of clay prepared for use by a potter, or for plaster nearing the end of the manufacturing process at the point after he has sunk it, i.e., baked it, in the kiln. Although the market rate has yet to be set, the seller may nevertheless set a price now for their eventual delivery. The mishna continues: And he may set a price with a buyer for manure on any of the days of the year, as the manure will certainly be available and it is therefore viewed as if it is ready. Rabbi Yosei says: One may set the price of manure only if he already had a pile of manure in his dunghill to which the sale can immediately be applied, but the Rabbis permit it in all cases. And one may also set a price with a buyer at the highest rate, i.e., a large amount of produce sold for the lowest price, stipulating with the seller that the sale price match the lowest market rate for this product during the course of the year. Rabbi Yehuda says: Even if he did not set a price with him beforehand at the highest rate, the buyer may say to the seller: Give me the produce at this rate or give me back my money. Since he did not formally acquire the produce, if the price changed he may withdraw from the transaction.
מַלְוֶה אָדָם אֶת אֲרִיסָיו חִטִּים בְּחִטִּין לְזֶרַע, אֲבָל לֹא לֶאֱכֹל. שֶׁהָיָה רַבָּן גַּמְלִיאֵל מַלְוֶה אֶת אֲרִיסָיו חִטִּין בְּחִטִּין לְזֶרַע, בְּיֹקֶר וְהוּזְלוּ, אוֹ בְזוֹל וְהוּקְרוּ, נוֹטֵל מֵהֶן כְּשַׁעַר הַזּוֹל, וְלֹא מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהֲלָכָה כֵן, אֶלָּא שֶׁרָצָה לְהַחְמִיר עַל עַצְמוֹ:
A person may lend wheat to his sharecroppers in exchange for wheat, for the purpose of seeding, meaning that he may lend them a quantity of wheat with which to seed the field, and at harvest time the sharecropper will add the amount of grain that he borrowed to the landowner’s portion of the yield. But he may not lend wheat for the sharecroppers to eat and be paid back with an equivalent quantity because this creates a concern about interest, as the price of wheat may rise. As Rabban Gamliel would lend wheat to his sharecroppers in exchange for wheat, for purposes of seeding, and if he lent it at a high price and the price then fell, or if he lent it at an inexpensive price and the price subsequently rose, in all cases he would take it back from them at the inexpensive price. But this was not because this is the halakha; rather, he wanted to be stringent with himself.
לֹא יֹאמַר אָדָם לַחֲבֵרוֹ, הַלְוֵינִי כוֹר חִטִּין וַאֲנִי אֶתֵּן לְךָ לַגֹּרֶן. אֲבָל אוֹמֵר לוֹ, הַלְוֵינִי עַד שֶׁיָּבֹא בְנִי, אוֹ עַד שֶׁאֶמְצָא מַפְתֵּחַ. וְהִלֵּל אוֹסֵר. וְכֵן הָיָה הִלֵּל אוֹמֵר, לֹא תַלְוֶה אִשָּׁה כִּכָּר לַחֲבֶרְתָּהּ עַד שֶׁתַּעֲשֶׂנּוּ דָמִים, שֶׁמָּא יוֹקִירוּ חִטִּים, וְנִמְצְאוּ בָאוֹת לִידֵי רִבִּית:
A person may not say to another: Lend me a kor of wheat and I will give it back to you at the time the wheat is brought to the granary, as the wheat may increase in value, which would mean that when he gives him back a kor of wheat at the time the wheat is brought to the granary it is worth more than the value of the loan, and he therefore will have paid interest. But he may say to him: Lend me a kor of wheat for a short period of time, e.g., until my son comes or until I find the key, as there is no concern about a change in price during such a short interval of time. And Hillel prohibits the practice even in this case. And Hillel would similarly say: A woman may not lend a loaf of bread to another unless she establishes its monetary value, lest the wheat appreciate in value before she returns it, and they will therefore have come to transgress the prohibition of interest.
אוֹמֵר אָדָם לַחֲבֵרוֹ, נַכֵּשׁ עִמִּי וַאֲנַכֵּשׁ עִמָּךְ, עֲדֹר עִמִּי וְאֶעְדֹּר עִמָּךְ, וְלֹא יֹאמַר לוֹ נַכֵּשׁ עִמִּי וְאֶעְדֹּר עִמָּךְ, עֲדֹר עִמִּי וַאֲנַכֵּשׁ עִמָּךְ. כָּל יְמֵי גָרִיד, אֶחָד. כָּל יְמֵי רְבִיעָה, אֶחָד. לֹא יֹאמַר לוֹ חֲרשׁ עִמִּי בַּגָּרִיד וַאֲנִי אֶחֱרשׁ עִמְּךָ בָּרְבִיעָה. רַבָּן גַּמְלִיאֵל אוֹמֵר, יֵשׁ רִבִּית מֻקְדֶּמֶת וְיֵשׁ רִבִּית מְאֻחֶרֶת. כֵּיצַד. נָתַן עֵינָיו לִלְווֹת הֵימֶנּוּ, וְהָיָה מְשַׁלֵּחַ לוֹ וְאוֹמֵר בִּשְׁבִיל שֶׁתַּלְוֵנִי, זוֹ הִיא רִבִּית מֻקְדֶּמֶת. לָוָה הֵימֶנּוּ וְהֶחֱזִיר לוֹ אֶת מְעוֹתָיו, וְהָיָה מְשַׁלֵּחַ לוֹ וְאָמַר בִּשְׁבִיל מְעוֹתֶיךָ שֶׁהָיוּ בְטֵלוֹת אֶצְלִי, זוֹ הִיא רִבִּית מְאֻחֶרֶת. רַבִּי שִׁמְעוֹן אוֹמֵר, יֵשׁ רִבִּית דְּבָרִים, לֹא יֹאמַר לוֹ, דַּע כִּי בָא אִישׁ פְּלוֹנִי מִמָּקוֹם פְּלוֹנִי:
A person may say to another: Weed the wild growths from my field with me now, and I will weed your field with you at a later stage, or: Till my field with me today and I will till with you on a different day. But he may not say to him: Weed with me today and I will till with you a different day, or: Till with me today and I will weed with you, as due to the different nature of the tasks it is possible that one of them will have to work harder than the other did, which is a type of interest, since he repaid him with additional labor. All the dry days during the summer, when it does not rain, are viewed as one period, meaning that if they each agreed to work one day, the dry days are viewed as though they were all exactly equal in length, despite the slight differences between them. Similarly, all the rainy days are treated as one period. But he may not say to him: Plow with me in the dry season and I will plow with you in the rainy season. Rabban Gamliel says: There is a case of pre-paid interest, and there is also a case of interest paid later, both of which are prohibited. How so? If he had hopes of borrowing money from him in the future, and he sends him money or a gift and says: I am sending you this gift in order that you will lend to me, this is pre-paid interest. Similarly, if he borrowed money from him and subsequently returned his money, and he later sends a gift to him and says: I am sending you this gift in order to repay you for your money, which was idle with me, preventing you from earning a profit from it, this is interest paid later. Rabbi Shimon says: Not only is there interest consisting of payment of money or items, but there is also verbal interest. For example, the borrower may not say to the lender: You should know that so-and-so has come from such and such a place, when he is aware that this information is of significance to his creditor. Since his intention is to provide a benefit to the lender, he has effectively paid him an extra sum for the money he lent him, which constitutes interest.
וְאֵלּוּ עוֹבְרִין בְּלֹא תַעֲשֶׂה. הַמַּלְוֶה, וְהַלֹּוֶה, וְהֶעָרֵב, וְהָעֵדִים. וַחֲכָמִים אוֹמְרִים, אַף הַסּוֹפֵר. עוֹבְרִים מִשּׁוּם לֹא תִתֵּן (ויקרא כה), וּמִשּׁוּם בַּל תִּקַּח מֵאִתּוֹ (שם), וּמִשּׁוּם לֹא תִהְיֶה לוֹ כְּנשֶׁה (שמות כב), וּמִשּׁוּם לֹא תְשִׂימוּן עָלָיו נֶשֶׁךְ (שם), וּמִשּׁוּם וְלִפְנֵי עִוֵּר לֹא תִתֵּן מִכְשֹׁל וְיָרֵאתָ מֵּאֱלֹהֶיךָ אֲנִי ה' (ויקרא יט):
And these people violate a prohibition of interest: The lender, and the borrower, and the guarantor, and the witnesses. And the Rabbis say: Also the scribe who writes the promissory note violates this prohibition. These parties to the transaction violate different prohibtions. Some are in violation of: “You shall not give him your money with interest” (Leviticus 25:37), and of: “Do not take from him interest or increase” (Leviticus 25:36), and of: “Do not be to him as a creditor” (Exodus 22:24), and of “Do not place interest upon him” (Exodus 22:24), and of: “And you shall not place a stumbling block before the blind, and you shall fear your God; I am the Lord” (Leviticus 19:14).