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Is it better or more of a Mitzvah to forgive a loan than to write a Pruzbol?

Question:

Is it better or more of a Mitzvah to forgive a loan than to write a Pruzbol?

 

Answer:

Thank you for your question. The idea of pruzbol is that Hillel saw that people were afraid and were abstaining from lending other money out of fear that they wouldn’t get their money back. He therefore instituted that one can give the outstanding loans owed to his to a Beis din and then shmitta will not cancel the loan. This is takana of chazal, and we don’t try to be smarter or more pious than chazal and not write a pruzbol. There is however an opinion, that a person that wants to perform the mitzva of shmitta exempting his loans can lend a small item to someone, and stipulate in the pruzbol, that it doesn’t apply to that small loan. Alternatively one can lend someone something, i.e. a piece of bread on Erev Rosh Hashana (5783) after writing the pruzbol, in order to perform the mitzva.

Best wishes

Sources:

ע’ מ”ש בזה בשו”ת התעוררות תשובה ח”א סי’ קנא שמזה שכל האמוראים עשו פרוזבול שאין להחמיר שלא לעשותו. וע’ ג”כ הבא”ח סוף פר’ כי תבא, שמי שרוצה לקיים המצוה שאפשר לקיימו כך ולכן יעץ לנשים להלוות לחברותיהן ככרות או לגברים להלוות לחבריהם גרוש ולאחר השמיטה כשיבואו להחזירם להם יאמרו להם הריני משמט

 

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