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Reuven does some work for Shimon who has 3 wives (explained later). The bank refuses to cash the check so Reuven goes back to Shimon for alternate payment. Shimon insists on paying extra on account of the delay. Reuven refuses the extra on the grounds that that is Ribbis. Shimon's wife ______ takes some of her own money and offers it to Reuven.

Wife 1: Dinah - she has no income and Shimon provides for her. Whatever she acquires becomes Shimon's. Shimon has already given her some money for discretionary spending.

Wife 2: Asenath - she has her own income and Shimon doesn't provide for her. Whatever she acquires is her's.

Wife 3: Rahab - she is not Jewish and there are no unexpected automatic halachic ownership changes.

Which, if any, of the wives may pay Reuven the extra? If none of the wives can pay, is there a person that can?

I would think that Dinah couldn't because her money is Shimon's money.

Asenath couldn't because even though she has her own money, they are still married and <\incoherent thoughts>

Rahab might have the same impediment as Asenath, but there also might be a mitigating factor that since she isn't Jewish they aren't married and she is considered a stranger and any tit for tat is incidental. <\more incoherent thoughts>

  • 1
    Taking or giving interest to a non Jew isnt prohibited ever – Double AA Feb 28 '17 at 0:52
  • @DoubleAA I'm pretty sure there's an explicit gemara against you in Bava Metzia (assuming you're trying to suggest charging ribis is allowed). – Loewian Feb 28 '17 at 5:10
  • @DoubleAA If the loan was from a Jew, then a nonJew paying for the Jew might be a different case. I do not have a copy of Rabbi Reisman's sefer, so I do not know if he addresses that case. – sabbahillel Feb 28 '17 at 19:29
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+100

You are correct that Mah Shekansah Ishah Kansah Ba'aleh when he provides for her, but you forget that there is also such a thing as Nichsei Melug, which she owns entirely; he owns only the products of that property, not the property itself.

The Gemara in BM 96b explains that a husband is considered a buyer on his wife's nichsei melug, in that he may use the property and is allowed to buy out anyone who wants to buy futures in the nichsei melug. It would seem from this that neither Dinah nor Asnas may pay the Ribbis, as the husband still has some rights to any of their property.

As for Rachav: There are two things going for her that she is allowed to pay. First, as you noted, Kiddushin isn't binding between a Jew and a non-Jew (Mishnah, Kiddushin 3:12). Thus, there is no connection between Rachav and Shimon and the money is mutar. Second, even if Rachav were the borrower, it would be permissible, as interest is allowed from a non-Jew, as discussed in this question.

  • So even if Asenath earned her own money, her using it to achieve something Shimon wanted to do is like Shimon is receiving a benefit from it? I was under the impression that Nichsei Melug and Tzon Barzel were only things she came into the marriage with. Can she bring in more of this property at any time? – Clint Eastwood Mar 7 '17 at 6:33
  • Although there is no connection solemnized by a ketubah, there is obviously some interchange between them (Married Couple filing jointly). That is in no way an issue and Shimon ISN'T just skirting the laws of ribbis through a proxy? – Clint Eastwood Mar 7 '17 at 6:41
  • Re: your first comment - I believe that, like a katan, one is able to give a married woman property al menas that it does not go to her husband, and it will be considered nichsei melug. Could be wrong, though. Re: your second comment - would it make a difference if it were some random guy on the street? Filing jointly doesn't mean anything. You have to be in the parshah to be a shliach, and even if Rachav could be a shliach, ein shliach ldvar aveirah. So no, Shimon would be off the hook on this one. – DonielF Mar 7 '17 at 12:38

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