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Ribbis with borrowing freezer

Question:

Is it a problem of ribbis, if someone says “who can lend me a freezer for Pesach? I will return it with a box of matzos!” Would it be ribbis to make such an arrangement or to actually do such a thing?

 

Answer:

Thank you for your question.

It is permitted to do this because it is not considered ribbis. Ribbis only applies to things lending similar to lending money, where the money given is used and other money is returned in its stead. However, when the item that was lent is returned, it isn’t called a loan rather a rental, or borrowing something, and the laws or ribbis generally don’t apply. (This doesn’t mean that they don’t apply at all, but in this instance, they don’t apply). This is why ordinary rentals are not considered ribbis, even though the person is returning the item plus extra money, since the original item has to be returned.

Best wishes

Sources:

שולחן ערוך יורה דעה הלכות ריבית סימן קעו סעיף א “אסור לאדם להשכיר מעותיו, שיאמר לו: אשכיר לך י’ דינרין בדינר לחודש. והני מילי כששוכר להוציאם, אבל אם שכרם כדי להתלמד בהם, או ליראות,  ומחזירם לו בעין, מותר.

 ושם סעיף ב “כלים, מותר להשכירם, אפילו נותן לו רשות למכרם ולעשות בהם כל חפצו רק שלבסוף יחזיר לו כלי אחר כזה (לשון רמב”ם פ”ח מה”מ די”א)”.

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