Mi Yodeya is a question and answer site for those who base their lives on Jewish law and tradition and anyone interested in learning more. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

If a person borrowed an item from a neighbor (such as a plastic chair) and the item broke due to negligence by the borrower. Can the borrower purchase a new identical item and give that back to the lender or since the item is more valuable than the borrowed one (because it is new instead of used) then this would be a problem of ribbis (interest).

share|improve this question
How would this be interest? It seems that the difference in value is not related to an agreement regarding a post-use surcharge. – Noach MiFrankfurt Apr 24 '14 at 12:57
@NoachmiFrankfurt maybe rabbinical – ray Apr 24 '14 at 13:12

There is no Halva'ah here so there can't be any prohibition on interest. This is a case of Sh'eilah which one can certainly charge for (known as Sechirah).

share|improve this answer
but it was not stipulated from the beginning as a sechira – ray Apr 24 '14 at 13:43
which is why you can't force the borrower to pay anything extra – Double AA Apr 24 '14 at 13:44
you have a source why such a case would not be a problem of avak ribis? thnx – ray Apr 24 '14 at 13:49
I agree with @doubleaa ,however I don't know why you need to come on to sechirah,since he is replacing an item which he lost or damaged,we look at the item not at the value of the item,because it would be impossible to get the same exact value of an old bike with a replacement, – sam Apr 24 '14 at 14:26
@doubleaa also from the halachos of a borrower ,balov imo and a damage done through normal work he is patur ,but there is no issur of paying him back,so certainly he can give back a chair with more value. – sam Apr 24 '14 at 14:39

A year and a half ago, someone apparently returned an item of mine, that had been slightly broken before the loan. Upon further inspection, it appeared that the returned item was a new replacement. This inspired me to ask Rabbi Leib Tropper several questions on the subject. He confirmed that:

  1. One is always allowed to replace a borrowed or guarded item with a new identical item.

  2. It does not matter what the condition of the original item was, nor if the borrower lost the item or broke it further.

  3. One does not have to notify the owner of the exchange.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.