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).

  • 1
    How would this be interest? It seems that the difference in value is not related to an agreement regarding a post-use surcharge. Apr 24, 2014 at 12:57
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    @NoachmiFrankfurt maybe rabbinical
    – ray
    Apr 24, 2014 at 13:12

2 Answers 2


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).

  • but it was not stipulated from the beginning as a sechira
    – ray
    Apr 24, 2014 at 13:43
  • which is why you can't force the borrower to pay anything extra
    – Double AA
    Apr 24, 2014 at 13:44
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    you have a source why such a case would not be a problem of avak ribis? thnx
    – ray
    Apr 24, 2014 at 13:49
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    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, 2014 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, 2014 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.

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