[Avodah] prosbul question

Zev Sero via Avodah avodah at lists.aishdas.org
Tue Sep 22 11:00:40 PDT 2015

On 09/22/2015 10:04 AM, Lisa Liel wrote:
> On 9/21/2015 8:59 PM, Zev Sero via Avodah wrote:
>> On 09/17/2015 06:18 PM, Allan Engel via Avodah wrote:

>>> "...this even includes things such as food lent to a neighbour
>>> because anything which is lent out and another item is returned in
>>> its place is considered a halva'ah (a loan)"

>> Yes, of course.  That is the definition of halva'ah, as opposed to she'elah.
>> Both ribbis and shemitah apply to such a transaction.

> But a book, you return the same one.  Usually.

Not usually, always.

There are two utterly different kinds of transaction for which the
English language uses the same words: loan, borrow, lend.   This is
surprising, since usually English is a more precise language than most,
but it is so.

She'elah:  I give you my property, with permission to use it.  It
remains my property, and you must return it on the agreed-upon date,
or when I ask for it, in reasonable shape given the time you had it
and the use to which you put it.  In other words, in slightly worse
shape than when I gave it to you.   I may do this as a favour, but
there is no mitzvah for me to do so.  I am entitled to charge you
for it, in which case the transaction is called  "sechirus", or in
English, "rental".  Shemitah does not apply to this transaction.

Common examples: a book, a car, a tool, a pen.

Halva'ah: I give you my property, and it becomes yours.  I do not
expect it back, ever.  On the agreed-upon date, or when I ask, you
must give me something exactly like what I gave you.   Since you
are a Jew, I have a mitzvah to do this as a favour for you, and am
forbidden from charging you anything for it, and you are forbidden
from paying me anything for it, in any form.   Shemitah applies.

Common examples: $100, a cup of sugar, a rubber band.

Zev Sero               GChT
zev at sero.name

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