Syllabus

Ribis I is designed as a course, which will cover some of the most prevalent issues which concern ribis in modern society.  Students will receive thirty-two sets of notes, which will be distributed via e-mail over the course of a year.  These notes will assist the student in his study of the Shulchan Aruch; Yoreh Deah, which will serve as the basic text.

These notes will:

1)     Provide background information from the Gemara and Rishonim

2)     Outline the text of the Shulchan Aruch

3)     Summarize the basic commentaries of the Shulchan Aruch.  We will not only mention the outcome but will concentrate as well on the rationale.  This is crucial if one wishes to apply the halacha.

4)     Introduce applications of the halacha.  We will attempt to bridge the gap between theory and practice.

There will be two tests during the course of the year.  At the end of the year a certificate will be issued to all successful participants.

We will study entire simanim of the Shulchan Aruch.  This course will concentrate on the following topics:

 

1)     Biblical and Rabbinic Ribis (Siman 161)

The differences both in content and halachic ramifications of these two types of ribis.  Must one return ribis which one has received? Can one use a loan document which stipulates that the borrower will pay ribis?  Must one’s heirs return money which was received as ribis?  What happens if the borrower gave an object in lieu of money as payment for ribis?

2)     Lending Goods (Siman 162)

What is the difference between money and goods?  Under what conditions may one lend goods?  Lending foreign currency?  Exceptions to the rules.

3)     How Devaluation Affects Ribis (Siman 165)

How much must one return?  What if the old currency ceases to serve as legal tender?

4) Services which the Borrower may not Provide to his Lender (Siman 166)

Under which circumstances a borrower can provide services to his lender?  If the lender received services illegally can he still collect the balance of the loan?  When must he return money?

5)  Ribis Problems Encountered in Sales (Siman 173, 175, 176)

Can one charge more for delayed payments?  Can one provide discounts for pre-payment?  Selling promissory notes.  Purchasing insurance. Buying risky investments.  Prepaying for future rentals.  Which objects can be rented?

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