Concept

Loans and interest in Judaism

Summary
The subject of loans and interest in Judaism has a long and complex history. In the Hebrew Bible, the Book of Ezekiel classifies the charging of interest among the worst sins, denouncing it as an abomination and metaphorically portraying usurers as people who have shed the borrower's blood. The Talmud dwells on Ezekiel's condemnation of charging interest. The Torah and Talmud encourage lending money without interest. But the halakha (Jewish law) that prescribes interest-free loans applies to loans made to other Jews, however not exclusively. Rabbi Isaac Abarbanel, however, declared that the acceptance of interest from non-Jews does not apply to Christians or Muslims, as their faith systems are also Abrahamic and therefore share a common ethical basis. The biblical Hebrew terms for interest are neshekh (נשך), literally meaning a bite, and marbit or tarbit (מרבית‎/תרבית), which refers to the lender's profit. Neshekh refers to interest deducted in advance from the loaned money give
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