Thank you for your help.
1. Regarding taking a loan from a Jewish owned company (the loan was taken several years ago, before I knew what ribbis was) and the loan was taken without a heter iska. No interest was charged and no interest was (or will be) paid back from the loan. The company that the loan was taken from is owned by Jews, and I have a minority share in it. My question is: Since there are family members who are part of the corporation that lent the money (the money came from the corporation, not personal), may I still give them birthday gifts and other gifts as signs of familial love and goodwill that are completely different and independent from the loan that was given or would this be any issue of ribbis? (My intention would be that the gifts have zero to do with the loan, but are simply ways of maintaining/ increasing Shalom in families, and I would give such gifts etc even if the loan was never given…)
2. Do families need a heter iska between themselves if they have an interest bearing savings/checking account at a non-Jewish owned bank? So if several family names are on the account, and each person can technically access the account, and the account is generating interest from the bank, do the family members need a heter iska between themselves (sibling to sibling/ parent to child etc., ) or is it sufficient that a heter iska would only apply between a Jewish owned bank and the Jewish account holders, but not to the account holders between themselves…? Thanks very much.
- It is permitted for you to give them birthday gifts and do whatever other things you would do with family, and it isn’t ribbis. As you correctly wrote, it is evident that what you are doing has nothing to do with the loan, therefore it is permitted.
- There is need to have a heter iska only when there is a loan between the two people, however when both family members are the lender, and are getting interest from a gentile, in general there isn’t a need to make a heter iska for this.
As a side point it is a good idea for a person to make a general heter iska, which states that all business transactions that the person will do, should be considered an iska and not a loan. There is controversy about this, however it will work at least according to some poskim.