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January 21, 2017 / 23 Tevet, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘loan’

No Landlords (Part II)

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012

(Arachin, 31a, 31b, 32a, 32b, 33b; Eruvin 59a; Yoma 12a; Bava Kama 82b; Ketubot 45b)

The second category into which land in Israel was classified for the purpose of determining the scope of reversionary rights during the era when the Jubilee laws applied was known as “batei arei chomah,” houses or other constructions in walled cities.

The reversionary rights the Torah gave to the original owners of batei arei chomah differed from those given to the original owners of sdeh achuzah, ancestral fields, in the following four significant ways.

First, whereas the original owners of sdeh achuzah were precluded by the Torah from exercising their right of mandatory redemption of the ancestral field for a period of two years from the sale, the original owners of batei arei chomah were permitted to exercise their right of mandatory redemption and buy back the property immediately following the sale.

Second, whereas the mandatory redemption rights of the original owners of sdeh achuzah could be exercised at any time two years from the date of the sale until the Jubilee year, the mandatory redemption rights of the original owners of batei arei chomah expired 365 days after the sale.

Third, whereas sdeh achuzah automatically reverted back to the original owners upon the arrival of the Jubilee year, even if the original owners did not exercise their buyback rights, batei arei chomah remained with the purchaser forever and did not revert back to the ownership of the original owners if they did not exercise their buyback rights within one year.

Fourth, whereas upon exercising buyback rights the original owners of sdeh achuzah were permitted to deduct from the buyback price the value of the crops that buyers enjoyed prior to the buyback, the original owners of batei arei chomah were not permitted to deduct any amount for the use that the buyers enjoyed prior to the buyback, but had to refund the full purchase price to the buyer.

Because of these significant differences in reversionary rights, it was important to know the definition of batei arei chomah.

Batei arei chomah are structures (of at least six to eight square feet) in towns consisting of at least three courtyards with two buildings each, with a predominantly Jewish population – provided that such towns were surrounded by a wall in the time of Joshua even though they may no longer be surrounded by a wall at the time of the sale or buyback. Batei arei chomah included not only residential houses fitting that description, but also structures used for business in such times – olive presses, bath houses, storehouses, dovecots, cisterns, vaults.

The laws of Batei arei chomah applied only to structures sold together with the land upon which they were built, but not to structures that were sold “without” land. Since, according to one Tannaic opinion, the land of Jerusalem was not apportioned to any particular tribe, but was designated as Temple property to which all tribes had equal access, land in Jerusalem – as opposed to structures – could not be privately sold and therefore the sale of structures in Jerusalem was not subject to the laws of batei arei chomah but rather to the different laws of batei chatzerim, open towns, which shall be discussed separately.

The fact that purchasers of batei arei chomah were refunded the purchase price in full upon a buyback and did not have to pay the original owners anything for the use that they enjoyed prior to the buyback, caused some concern in so far as this free use might be construed as being contrary to the laws of ribit, interest on loans, which the Torah prohibits, whether paid in cash or in kind.

If the original owner who sold his house for $1,000,000, which he received as the “purchase price” from the buyer, redeemed his house prior to one year and refunded the purchase price in full, this transaction could be construed as a loan of $1,000,000 for one year for which the house was put up as collateral, to be foreclosed upon should the loan not be repaid.

In fact, if one takes the position that prior to the expiration of twelve months there is no real sale at all, but only a conditional sale, it looks even more like a loan. There are two approaches to this concern, one of the Mishnah and one of the Braitah.

According to the Mishnah, which looks at the transaction at the commencement of the transaction, the free use, though reminiscent of interest, is not really interest at all because the free use arises from a sale and not a loan. According to the Braitah, which looks at the conclusion of the transaction, it turns out that the money in the hands of the original owner was in fact a loan, which he now has to pay back and the free use of the property by the buyer is in fact interest.

Raphael Grunfeld

US Grants 3-Year Extension of Loan Guarantees to Israel

Wednesday, January 25th, 2012

The US government has announced that it will recommend that Congress approve a three-year extension of loan guarantees to Israel, worth $3.8 billion.

Deputy U.S. Secretary of State Thomas Nides announced the decision at a meeting with Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon on earlier in the week. The recommendation is expected to receive wide bi-partisan support in Congress and be approved without incident.

Jewish Press Staff

Egypt to Seek IMF Loan After All

Thursday, January 12th, 2012

Egypt will seek the $3 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) that it rejected last year, in an effort to stem its economic decline and restore its foreign-currency reserves.

Egypt will return to negotiations with the IMF next week, and will likely have to accede to IMF demands for economic reforms to receive the loan.

Egypt’s military-led government originally rejected the IMF’s offer in June 2011 because of populist sentiment opposing any inhibition on Egyptian sovereignty.

Jewish Press Staff

‘Forget About It!’

Wednesday, October 26th, 2011

Yanky was going through difficult times. “My company merged over a year ago and I got laid off,” he poured his heart out to Moish, a neighbor. “I’ve been trying everywhere to get a job, but nothing’s available.”

“How have you been managing meanwhile?” asked Moish.

“Barely, with my wife’s salary and savings,” said Yanky. “Yom Tov was very difficult with all the expenses.”

“I’m sorry to hear that,” said Moish consolingly. “Is there some way I can help?”

“If you could lend us $1,000 for four months that would help greatly,” said Yanky. “I expect that I should be able to find something by then.”

“I can do that,” replied Moish. “Come by tomorrow. I just ask that you write an IOU note for the loan.”

“Definitely,” replied Yanky. “It’s always best to have a written record.”

The following day, Yanky stopped by Moish’s house and received the loan. “We will make every effort to repay on time,” he said.

Three months later, Moish was talking with Yanky. “What’s doing?” he asked. “Any leads with a new job?”

“Unfortunately, nothing yet,” said Yanky. “I had a couple of interviews, but nothing’s panned out.”

“I wish you hatzlacha (success),” Moish encouraged him.

“Thank you,” said Yanky. “We’ve been setting aside a little each month toward repaying you, but now the transmission went on the car. We’re going to have to use that money to cover the repair!”

“How much is the repair?” asked Moish.

“It’s almost $2,000,” said Yanky with a sigh.

Moish thought for a moment. “You’ve got too much on your head,” he said. “Forget about the loan; you don’t have to repay it.”

“Thank you,” said Yanky. “That will be a big burden off of me.”

A week later, Yanky met Moish. “Guess what?” he said. “I just found a job!”

“I’m happy to hear,” said Moish. “How did you get it?”

“It’s a funny story,” responded Yanky. “I’ll tell you about in another time. At least we’re back to two salaries again.”

“I’m glad to hear that,” said Moish. “So you’ll be able to pay me back the $1,000 sometime soon?”

“But you told me to forget about the loan,” said Yanky with surprise.

“I did,” said Moish. “But that was because I thought you wouldn’t be able to come out from under.  It’s not like I can easily afford to forgo $1,000. Anyway, I didn’t sign any release or receipt and I’m still holding the IOU.”

“I don’t understand you,” said Yanky. “I am thankful for the loan, but you told me I didn’t have to repay! We’re not rolling in money, and a word is a word!”

“Not if said mistakenly,” said Moish. “Anyway, words alone do not always carry legal validity, especially when a document remains extant.”

“I suggest that we consult with Rabbi Dayan,” said Yanky. “If he says that I still have to pay, I will.”

Yanky and Moish arranged to meet with Rabbi Dayan. He listened attentively, and then ruled: “Yanky does not have to repay the loan, even though no formal release was made.”

“Why is that?” asked Moish.

“When you said to Yanky, ‘Forget about the loan; you don’t have to repay it,’ it is considered mechila [forgoing the loan],” explained Rabbi Dayan. “Although most transactions require some formal act or document to be legally valid, mechila is valid with words alone; it does not require any official confirmation, receipt, or kinyan [act of transaction].” (C.M. 241:2)

“But doesn’t the fact that I continued to hold on to the IOU note negate the mechila?” asked Moish.

“There is, in fact, a dispute whether mechila with words alone is valid when the lender continues to possess a loan document [shtar],” replied Rabbi Dayan. “However, the Rama indicates that it is valid. Even if we consider the dispute as in doubt, Yanky is in possession of the money and cannot be made to pay. Furthermore, the dispute relates to a loan document signed by witnesses, not an IOU note signed by the borrower alone.” (Shach 241:4; Pischei Teshuvah 241:2)

“What about the fact that the mechila was made by mistake,” argued Moish. “I wouldn’t have been willing to forgo the loan if I had known that he would get a job a week later.”

“You are correct that a mechila made mistakenly is not valid,” answered Rabbi Dayan. “However, this applies only when there was a mistake at the time of the mechila, such as if Yanky had already found a new job. However, if there was no mistake at the time and circumstances changed afterward, the mechila remains valid.” (Pischei Teshuvah 241:3)

“Therefore,” concluded Rabbi Dayan, “Yanky does not have to repay the loan and Moish must return the IOU note to him.”

Rabbi Meir Orlian

Don’t Bite The Hand That Feeds You (Part II)

Wednesday, October 26th, 2011

In Part I (Family Issues 10-14-2011) we discussed how many of us personalize different situations and how that affects our effectiveness in dealing with those situations.  Specifically we focused on foster parents who have expectations of their role and what will help their foster child and what happens when the foster child and/or the foster parent doesn’t have those expectations filled.

This led us to the prevailing difficulty of dealing with an attitude of entitlement.  We said that entitlement is a sense by a person that something is coming to them simply because they want it.  “It’s coming to me.  You have no right not to give me that.  I must have that.  I deserve that.”

This sense of “I deserve it so therefore it’s mine” has unfortunately reached epidemic levels in today’s society  – in both the secular and Jewish world.  Let’s be honest… we have all felt this way at some time, on some level.  In fact, next time you go to a buffet where the food is there for the taking, watch as people take more food than they could eat, or would ever eat if the food weren’t there in abundance. “I paid for the buffet, they have all this food for me to take and I’m definitely going to get my money’s worth.  I deserve it since I paid for it.”

Most people who feel entitled will always have a reason or rationale behind their thought process. Whether it’s “I deserve it” or “because of what I have been through…” the end result is the same – somehow its coming to them.  It has so proliferated our culture that many governments – on a federal or local level – have what’s called “entitlement programs.”  Now in the United States, there is much discussion and debate about government cutbacks, especially in regards to social services programs.  However, if these programs are “entitlements,” the basic argument is that they can’t be touched because, after all, people are entitled to these benefits.  Even within schools, this entitlement theory exists.  In this form, children are entitled to advance to the next level or class, whether or not they have successfully completed and earned a passing grade.

Where does this come from?  Sure there are those who theorize on the positive and negative effects of holding a child back or pushing them ahead.  However, what must be examined and debated is what we are teaching children when, regardless of whether or not their work is completed, they get moved ahead.  What about the employee who has been with a company for several years who feels, regardless of the merit of his or her work or the success of the company, he or she is entitled to a raise?

In Jean Twenge’s book , Generation Me: Why Today’s Young Americans are More Confident, Assertive, Entitled—and More Miserable Than Ever Before, she supports the assumption that people from their teens to their 20’s are plagued with entitlement.  Is this increased sense of entitlement a society shift or more of a generational one?  In fact, did this sense of entitlement always exist and was it always this bad?  As the saying goes, “in degree, not kind.”  That is, it’s the amount of entitlement, or degree, that becomes the problem.  A sense of entitlement has existed.  In his book The Me New Generation, author Jake Halpern describes the entitlement generation as “smart, brash, even arrogant, and endowed with a commanding sense of entitlement.” They are the “co-workers who drive you nuts.” On the flip-side, he says that these individuals are also free-thinkers who are willing to break the status quo and pursue their dreams. Their confidence is what allows them to accomplish great things and help the companies they work for grow and be successful.

Edwin Schild

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/family/parenting-our-children/don%e2%80%99t-bite-the-hand-that-feeds-you-part-ii/2011/10/26/

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