It says in an article at VBM Torah:

It should be remembered that Halakha makes explicit mention of particular bodies to whom it is permissible to lend at interest (e.g., the community)

So what Jewish institutions / bodies are we allowed to lend to at fixed interest and under what circumstances?

What are the sources for this allowance?

1 Answer 1


אבק רבית (rabbinically-forbidden ribis) is allowed in certain cases, such as to benefit the estate of orphans (Rambam Hilchos Malveh 4:14):

נכסי יתומים מותר ליתן אותם לאדם נאמן שיש לו נכסים טובים קרוב לשכר ורחוק להפסד. כיצד אומר לו תהיה נושא ונותן בהן אם יש שם ריוח תן להם חלקן מן הריוח ואם יש שם הפסד תפסיד אתה לבדך שזה אבק רבית הוא וכל אבק רבית אינה אסורה אלא מדבריהם ובנכסי יתומים לא גזרו:

See also: http://www.jlaw.com/Articles/ribis1.html

the Maharam Schick and Rav Shlomo Greenfeld considered a bank's unique status as a corporation; its owners are not personally liable for any debts incurred on their part. Thus any Ribis would not pass from creditor to debtor, but rather from a lifeless entity to real people. This unique state they perceived as a mitigating, but not totally exonerating, factor They allow a corporation to collect (Ribis that is of rabbinic origin) or permits Ribis if the organization is also a charity or acting on behalf of an estate.


In the interests of benefiting philanthrophic institutions and of protecting the rights of heirs not legally competent (generally children), our Rabbis permitted estates and Zedaka organizations to lend money and charge interest if the infraction is mid'rabbanan (of rabbinic origin). Under no circumstances may these institutions engage in deals involving Ribis d'oraitha (prohibited by the Torah) even if the deal is arranged with a broker's assistance.

  • If by fixed interest you mean ribis ketzutza (i.e. ribis d'oraissa) I don't believe there is ever sucha heter.
    – Loewian
    Jan 1, 2015 at 20:44
  • Part of this answer is about which lenders can lend with interest, which doesn't address the question, which was about borrowers.
    – msh210
    Jan 1, 2015 at 23:19
  • 1
    In which case the answer should be: none (unless the lender is a tzedaka organization and it is only a case of avak ribis). The issur ribis is on both sides; so too the heter.
    – Loewian
    Jan 2, 2015 at 0:52

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