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.)
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.
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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