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If one borrowed 4 eggs from a neighbor, and found a bloodspot in one of them: 1- Must/may he return 4 eggs or 3 eggs?

2- If he returns 4 clean eggs, wouldn't this be an issue of Ribbis, since he is returning more than he received. He received 3 clean eggs, and one unclean egg, and is returning 4 clean eggs.

Bloodspots in Eggs

R' Moshe Feinstein ZTL ((Igros Moshe, Yoreh Deah 1:36)) says, (cited in the linked article) that Mei’ikar hadin removal of the blood spot would suffice. However, it is a proper practice to dispose of the entire egg even today.

This would IMHO still render the bloodspot egg of less value than the clean eggs.

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    since eggs with "blood" spot are kosher, he should probably return all 4 – wfb May 23 '18 at 17:54
  • @wfb R' Moshe Feinstein says (in that article) that Mei’ikar hadin removal of the blood spot would suffice. however, it is a proper practice to dispose of the entire egg even today. This would IMHO still render the bloodspot egg of less value than the clean eggs. – RibbisRabbiAndMore May 23 '18 at 17:59
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    SInce there would be no way of being sure that all four eggs have no blood spot, returning 4 clean eggs would probably not be ribis. One is returning 4 eggs of the same status as those received. That is probably clean but not certain. Since I do not have a source for this, I am leaving it a comment. – sabbahillel May 23 '18 at 23:01
  • @sabbahillel See my (your) answer in the Amswer section. Thank you very much. – RibbisRabbiAndMore May 24 '18 at 8:05
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The first answer seems correct, but might need to be qualified. It seems Rav Elyashiv ZT"L would have said it is Ribbis in the case that you borrowed from a neighbor.

Let's say you only borrowed one egg and found a blood spot in it, would you have to repay that one egg? According to the first answer, you would. Because, you borrowed a probably clean eggs, so you must return a probably clean egg. However Rav Elyashiv [quoted in :ספר חשוקי חמד בבא מציעא דף מב] paskens, that if the original owner doesn't sell eggs, the borrower does not have to return an egg, since even if he did not give it to his neighbor, he would discard it.

Now, applying that to your case of 4 eggs, it would seem that returning the forth egg is more than you are obligated and considered Ribbis.

In the case where you borrowed from a store keeper, logic would say that it is not Ribbis. You would actually need to repay him the forth egg, according to Rav Elyashiv's P'sak [regarding Choshen Mishpat].

[:חשוקי חמד ב"מ מב

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  • Thank you very much for your quote from R' Elyashiv, and for applying it to my question. I will Bli-neder try to forward it to my Rebbee R' vind Shlit"a from whom I heard the original psak. – RibbisRabbiAndMore May 25 '18 at 7:02
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I received the following answer from "sabbahillel" as a comment, with the added note "Since I do not have a source for this, I am leaving it as a comment"

Since there would be no way of being sure that all four eggs have no blood spots, returning 4 clean eggs would probably not be ribbis. One is returning 4 eggs of the same status as those received. That is, probably clean, but not certain.

In a lecture on the laws of Ribbis which I heard from R' Pinchos Vind Shlita of Yerushalayim, who is a renowned expert on ribbis issues, and author of many works on the subject of ribbis, he mentioned the scenario discussed here, and he ruled that there would be no problem of ribbis in returning 4 eggs. His reasoning for this ruling was exactly the reason given by sabbahillel in his comment, with slight elucidation.

Rabbi Vind said "since in todays world, when a person purchases eggs, and finds a bloodspot in one of them, it is accepted that he cannot demand the seller to replace the egg with another one. This shows that the price paid for eggs is for eggs which are "probably clean", and thus finding a bloodspot after the purchase does not grant the buyer any right to reimbursement. Based on this, if one borrowed 4 probably clean eggs, and returns 4 probably clean eggs, he is returning eggs of the same value which he borrowed, and no ribbis is involved. The fact that the borrower found a bloodspot in one of the eggs after borrowing the eggs does not change the value of the eggs at the time which they were borrowed."

[So, this is the source for Sabbahillel's comment, and thus it is hereby elevated to the status of an Answer.]

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  • If he returned 4 and 3 of them had blood spots - would this all be the same as the original question and answer? – Draizy-Levi Pine May 27 '18 at 2:33
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In Rabbi Reissman's seffer on Hilchos Ribbis, he says it is allowed to return the full amount of eggs. The following is a quote from page 34, footnote 10:

If someone borrowed a dozen eggs and found that one of them had a blood spot which rendered it non-kosher, he would still be permitted to return a dozen eggs. Anytime a person buys a dozen eggs, there is a possibility that some of them have blood spots. The market value of the eggs which were borrowed took this into account. The eggs which are being returned have the identical value, since some of them might contain blood spots.

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  • This is basically the sssssssame answer given bt the other answerers. – RibbisRabbiAndMore Jun 27 '18 at 7:55

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