Browse by Subject
Current Leaflets
and Catalogs
and Pre-Press
sign up for special offers in your fields of interest  •  sign in to see what suggestions ISD has for you or to create a wishlist
70 Enterprise Drive, Suite 2
Bristol, CT 06010
+1 860 584-6546
quick search
advanced search
my account
email address
Who am I? And what's my password?
Sign in
or Create an Account
my shopping cart
is currently empty
view cart / check out
208 pages
9 x 6 inches
Hebrew Union College Press
Hardback (October 2008)
ISBN-13 9780878204625
ISBN-10 0878204628
Out of print
add to wish list
PDF eBook (October 2008)
ISBN-13 9780878201426
ISBN-10 0878201424
In stock
add to wish list
Paperback (April 2015)
ISBN-13 9780822963721
ISBN-10 0822963728
In stock
add to wish list
Economics and Business
Jewish Studies
Jewish Law in Transition
How Economic Forces Overcame the Prohibition Against Lending on Interest
by Hillel Gamoran
The prohibition against lending on interest (Exodus 22:24) is a well-known biblical law: "If you lend to any one of my people with you who is poor, you shall not be to him as a creditor, and you shall not exact interest from him." This prohibition was intended to prevent the wealthy from exploiting the unfortunate. In the course of time, it was seen to have consequences that militated against the economic welfare of Jewish society as a whole. As a result, Jewish law (halakhah) has over the centuries relaxed the biblical injunction, allowing interest charges despite the biblical prohibition.

Hillel Gamoran seeks to explain how and when this law of high moral standing collapsed and fell over the course of the centuries. Talmudic rabbis believed that business agreements violated the biblical prohibition against lending in five areas: loans of produce, advance payment for the purchase of goods, buying on credit, mortgages, and investments. The Bible does not consider any of these activities, but all arise in postbiblical literature. How was the biblical law to be applied to situations that had not occurred in biblical times? And how could the rabbis allow these activities when they were hampered from doing so by the laws against lending on interest?

To answer these questions, Gamoran examines the biblical prohibition against lending and postulates when it was written, why it was written, and to whom it applied. He then considers the early and later teachers of the Oral Law, the Tannaim and Amoraim, who expanded discussion of the ban in light of various business activities from 70 C.E. to 500 C.E. Finally, he explores how the original tannaitic proscriptions for each of the five activities were upheld or relaxed over the centuries. Each activity is considered in the period of the Geonim (ca. 650-1050), the Rishonim (ca. 1000-1500), and the Aharonim (ca. 1500-2000). For each period, Gamoran shows how the rabbis struggled with the law and with one another and used inventive interpretation to create the legal fictions necessary for business life to flourish.
Add to wishlist
You currently have wishlists
Please click on the name of the wishlist you want to add the item to.
Add to Cart
  If you have received a leaflet or are ordering from a conference handlist and want to take advantage of a special
  reduced price, please enter the relevant promotional code.
  ISBN Title Price   Promotional Code  

Wishlist item added
The item has been successfully added to your selected wishlist.
Home • Top of Page • Contact • About ISD • Browse by Subject • Publishers • Typesetting & Pre-Press • Sitemap • Privacy Statement • Terms & Conditions © ISD 2012