It's known that while charging interest is forbidden to a fellow yid, regarding a nachri, it's a requirement

Does the same apply to a noahide? Maybe the reason is only because the nachri worships idols, and a noahide doesn't

Or maybe we need to charge interest to anyone who isn't a yid?

  • I didn't hear it is a requirement to charge to nachri, can you source that?
    – Rabbi Kaii
    Dec 22, 2022 at 17:12
  • 1
    @RabbiKaii Rambam counts it as a mitzvah, although Chazal prohibited it
    – robev
    Dec 22, 2022 at 17:30
  • @robev I see, thank you. Chatzkel's source brings it
    – Rabbi Kaii
    Dec 22, 2022 at 17:33
  • @robev the Raavad I believe disagrees with that point on the Rambam
    – Chatzkel
    Dec 22, 2022 at 17:49
  • The gemara (Bava M'tzi'a 70b) takes a decidedly negative view towards lending with interest to a non-Jew, yet the Sifrei seems to call it a positive commandment. The Ramban (on Deut. 15:3, "אֶת הַנָּכְרִי תִּגֹּשׂ וַאֲשֶׁר יִהְיֶה לְךָ אֶת אָחִיךָ תַּשְׁמֵט יָדֶךָ") reconciles this by explaining that the imperative language in the first half of the verse merely serves as a parallel that implies a positive commandment that refers to the second half of the verse, namely that it is a positive commandment for a Jew to give interest free loans to his brethren. That was the point of the Sifrei.
    – Fred
    Dec 22, 2022 at 17:58

2 Answers 2


Abarbanel explain that the reason we don't charge ribis to fellow Jews is because we are family. We are not family with Noahides.

See also Responsa Tzemach Tzedek, Yoreh De’ah 83. See also Likkutei Sichot, vol. 12, p. 119.

(Interestingly, Responsa Tzemach Tzedek loc. cit. about how it only applies to idolators!)

I heard from Rav Dovid Gottleib a mashal. Ribis is basically "renting out your money". To make it concrete, think about renting out your house. If it is airbnb, you are going to charge. If it's your brother, you wouldn't dream of charging him to stay in your house.

  • But you're allowed to rent a house to a Jew.
    – Heshy
    Dec 22, 2022 at 17:21
  • @Heshy It's a mashal about ta'am mitzva, but I hear.
    – Rabbi Kaii
    Dec 22, 2022 at 17:29

The Mishna in the fifth Perek of Bava Metzia says it’s permitted;

ולוין מהן ומלוין אותן ברבית וכן בגר תושב

And one may borrow money from them and one may lend money to them with interest. And similarly, with regard to a gentile who resides in Eretz Yisrael and observes the seven Noahide mitzvot [ger toshav], one may borrow money from him with interest and lend money to him with interest, since he is not a Jew. (Sefaria)

The Rambam rules this way as well in Hilchos Malveh Vloveh 5:1 -

הָעַכּוּ''ם וְגֵר תּוֹשָׁב לוִֹין מֵהֶן וּמַלְוִין אוֹתָן בְּרִבִּית שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (דברים כג כ) "לֹא תַשִּׁיךְ לְאָחִיךָ" לְאָחִיךְ אָסוּר וְלִשְׁאָר הָעוֹלָם מֻתָּר. וּמִצְוַת עֲשֵׂה לְהַשִּׁיךְ לְעַכּוּ''ם שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (דברים כג כא) "לַנָּכְרִי תַשִּׁיךְ" מִפִּי הַשְּׁמוּעָה לָמְדוּ שֶׁזּוֹ מִצְוַת עֲשֵׂה וְזֶהוּ דִּין תּוֹרָה:

One may lend money to and borrow money from a gentile and a resident alien at interest, as implied by Deuteronomy 23:20: "Do not offer interest to your brother." We may infer: Offering - and taking - interest from "your brother" is prohibited; from people at large, by contrast, it is permitted. It is a positive mitzvah to lend money to a gentile at interest, as Ibid:21 states: "You may offer interest to a gentile." The Oral Tradition teaches that this is a positive commandment. This is the Scriptural Law.

The exact place of where we drive this from is discussed in the Gemara Bava Metzia 71A and the Lechem Mishnah discusses the Rambam source as well.

  • Is it only permitted to do so, or is it a requirement? Dec 22, 2022 at 17:41
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    @YakkOv It would seem that it depends how to understand the Rambam. The Lechem Mishnah understands that a Ger Toshav is included in "Achicha" but there is a special exception that permits it in his case. If so, there would be no reason to include him in the second mitzvah for a gentile. However, the Mishnah lemelech understands that once they are not included in "achicha" then they are part of the gentile group, and logic would follow that it is included in the requirement.
    – Chatzkel
    Dec 22, 2022 at 18:00
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    @YakkOv as an aside, the requirement is the opinion of the Rambam, the Raavad and others disagree.
    – Chatzkel
    Dec 22, 2022 at 18:01

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