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Ribbis: Matters of Interest

Giving A Bachur Special Attention

Berel, the dorm counselor, had helped Nissim, an introverted bachur, make friends in yeshivah and get on his feet financially. In coming years Nissim made out successfully in business, and Berel found himself in dire straits.

May Berel remind Nissim of the favors he had done for him in years past, as a way of convincing him to lend him money, or is this ribbis mukdemes?

May the hanhalah of a yeshivah give a bachur special attention, with the intention of approaching the bachur’s father for a loan in the near future?

May the yeshivah honor a Rebbi at the dinner so that the Rebbi ask his father to lend the yeshivah a million dollars for a new building?

There is no issur of ribbis mukdemes in case #1, since at the time Berel extended these favors he had no intention of borrowing money from Nissim. The fact that afterward he uses them as a way to convince Nissim does not matter.

In case #2, where the hanholoh of a yeshivah helps a certain bachur with the intention of borrowing money from his parents in the near future, there would be a problem if sizeable gifts are given (such as a large cash present or frequent invitations to meals in the rosh yeshiva’s house). Simply speaking nice words to him or giving small gifts are permitted, as explained in the previous question.

In case case #3, honoring the rebbi would be permitted since the rebbi is not the actual lender (as opposed to giving a present to a bachur which is considered giving it to the father who is the lender). Even awarding an expensive plaque to the rebbi at the dinner would be allowed.

The yeshivah may even request from the rebbi that he ask his father to extend the loan in gratitude for them honoring him, provided that the son’s award is not transferred to the father.

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