Before Yom Kippur I had someone lay out 180 shekel for me in Israel and I want to pay him back. I want to mail him a check or cash in US dollars. What is the most appropriate way to do this?
I do have a few shekel of my own, approximately 5 shekel.
You can mail him a check etc., and the calculation of the amount that you should pay him would be according to the rate on the day that the money is paid back, (not the day the money was laid out). This is because, you borrowed the local currency, and therefore you have to pay him back the value of that currency, even though it’s value in the international market has changed.
It is going to be difficult to send him the exact amount, as you don’t know what the exchange rate will be on the day that he gets it. Therefore, you are going to send him a little extra, that extra money should be put into tzedakah in your zechus, as he is not allowed to keep it or use it. If however exerted himself to buy the item for you, i.e. he went to the store especially for you, then you can tell him that the extra money is for the bother that he went through to buy the item for you, and not for the actual loan.