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Ribbis: Matters of Interest

Ribbis Haircuts

Two bachurim rotate cutting each other’s hair. However, one gets a simple haircut (“over the top”), and the other requires a styled haircut (scissor/tapered cut).

Would repaying the simple haircut with a fancy haircut be considered a ribbis issue (if there was a significant difference in barbershop prices)?

As stated above (see “Cutting the Grass”), there would be no issue cutting each other’s hair, unless they had formulated the agreement as conditional (“I’ll cut your hair if you cut mine”). Hence, the simplest way to avoid this shailah is to clearly specify that it is being done as a favor.

However, since it is rather easy to formulate such an agreement as conditional, care should be taken that it be avoided.

Turns at Carpool

Many families are involved in carpool arrangements in some form or another. At times the routes are similar, yet at times the routes differ significantly in length and congestion.

Is there any issue with driving the longer, congested route in exchange for the other person driving the shorter route?

As stated in the previous cases, one should avoid formulating these agreements as conditional and binding, rather they should be formulated in ways which clearly indicate that they are being performed as favors by all parties involved.

The same would apply to carpool arrangements in which one driver agrees to do carpool on more days per week than the other driver. As long as there was no conditional agreement it would be permitted.

Driving similar routes is permitted in any case, even if they are slightly different in length.

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