Qitzur Shulchan Arukh – 65:25-26

(I missed Friday, so as to discourage that happening, I’m going to force myself to make it up today. There will be two se’ifim in today’s post.)

כה: עוֹבֵד כּוֹכָבִים שֶׁאָמַר לְיִשְׂרָאֵל, לְוֵה בִּשְׁבִילִי מָעוֹת בְּרִבִּית מִיִּשְׂרָאֵל עַל מַשְׁכּוֹן זֶה, אוֹ אֲפִלּוּ אֵינוֹ נוֹתֵן לוֹ מַשְׁכּוֹן אֶלָּא שְׁטַר- חוֹב, וְהַמַּלְוֶה סוֹמֵךְ אֶת עַצְמוֹ רַק עַל הַמַּשְׁכּוֹן אוֹ עַל הַשְּׁטָר שֶׁל עוֹבֵד כּוֹכָבִים, וְעַל הַשָּׁלִיחַ אֵין שׁוּם אַחְרָיוּת, מֻתָּר. וַאֲפִלּוּ אִם הַיִּשְׂרָאֵל הַשָּׁלִיחַ מֵבִיא אֶת הָרִבִּית לְהַמַּלְוֶה, מֻתָּר לְקַבְּלָהּ, וּבִלְבַד שֶׁהַמַּלְוֶה יִגְמֹר זֹאת בְּדַעְתּוֹ, שֶׁכָּל אַחְרָיוּת הַמַּשְׁכּוֹן וְהַמָּעוֹת, בֵּין בַּהֲבָאָה בֵּין בַּחֲזָרָה הַכֹּל עַל אַחְרָיוּתוֹ, וְעַל הַשָּׁלִיחַ לֹא יִהְיֶה שוּם אַחְרָיוּת

A non-Jew who says to a Jew, “Borrow for me money on interest from a Jew upon this collateral” or even if he only gave him a debt contract [IOU] and the lender relies only on this collateral or on the non-Jew’s contract, and there is no responsibility placed on the messenger — it is permitted.

Even if the Jewish messenger delivers the interest to the borrower it is permitted as long as the borrower has this in mind — that all the obligation of the collateral and the money, whether upon delivery or return,are all responsibility [if lost], and there is no responsibility on the messenger.

כו: וְכֵן יִשְׂרָאֵל שֶׁנָּתַן מַשְׁכּוֹן אוֹ שְׁטַר-חוֹב לְיִשְׂרָאֵל חֲבֵרוֹ, שֶׁיִּלְוֶה בִּשְׁבִילוֹ עַל זֶה מָעוֹת בְּרִבִּית מֵעוֹבֵד כּוֹכָבִים, אִם הָעוֹבֵד כּוֹכָבִים אֵינוֹ סוֹמֵךְ רַק עַל הַמַּשְׁכּוֹן אוֹ עַל הַשְּׁטָר. וְעַל הַשָּׁלִיחַ אֵין שׁוּם אַחְרָיוּת, מֻתָּר. וְכֵן אִם הַיִּשְׂרָאֵל הִלְוָה תְּחִלָּה לְיִשְׂרָאֵל חֲבֵרוֹ עַל מַשְׁכּוֹן, וְאַחַר כָּךְ אָמַר לְהַמַּלְוֶה, לְוֵה מָעוֹת מֵעוֹבֵד כּוֹכָבִים בְּרִבִּית עַל מַשְׁכּוֹן זֶה וְעָלַי לְשַׁלֵּם הַקֶּרֶן וְהָרִבִּית, אִם הָעוֹבֵד כּוֹכָבִים סוֹמֵךְ אֶת עַצְמוֹ עַל הַמַּשְׁכּוֹן בִּלְבַד, מֻתָּר

Similarly a Jew who gives a collateral or a debt contract to his fellow Jew, that with it he borrow for him money on interest from a non-Jew, if the non-Jew only relies on the collateral or the contract, and the messenger has no responsibility [for loss], it is permitted.

Also similarly, if a Jew first lend his fellow Jew against a collateral, and afterward tells the lender, “Borrow money with interest from a non-Jew against this collateral, and I will pay the capital and the interest”, if the non-Jews relies on the collateral alone, it is permitted.

We saw the same key principle before in se’ifim 19 and 20. If someone assumes risk for the item, they are the owner. In se’if 19, this meant that a friend helping another sell merchandise who did not assume responsibility for the merchandise was actually a borrower, and any extra the helper makes would be prohibited as interest. In #20, it is the difference between paying a delivery man or paying someone for the time he held an item for you.

Here, it’s the difference between someone being your messenger in a loan to or from a non-Jew, or having two loans– one between two Jews, and one between one of those Jews and a non-Jew, where the Jew in the middle ends up flat, receiving and paying the same amount. However, in the latter situation, where the Jew assumed responsibility for the money, the loan between the two Jews can’t involve interest, and therefore money given to him to be indirectly paid to the non-Jew as interest would be prohibited.

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