If one lends someone else money and realized that this person isn't going to pay, so the lender feels bad and doesn't want the person to have a sin and forgives the debt. Let's say the borrower randomly shows up to pay what he owed, can the lender accept it, or since he already was mochel he needs to tell the borrower that he was actually mochel it?

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    If the money is no longer owed, why would he be allowed to take it deceptively? Unless you're asking that had he known he would indeed pay, he would never have been mochel so is the mechila retroactively invalidated?
    – Loewian
    Aug 8, 2018 at 4:12

1 Answer 1


There are two aspects to it:

  1. There's always a place for a free gift. One can always accept money without any previous interaction.

  2. It depends if you forgave wholeheartedly or not. Sometimes you're "forced" to forgive and therefore it is not true and therefore your "forgiveness" changes nothing. However if, for example, you made a statement before two witnesses that that person does not owe you money - see #1.
    Another option to your true forgiveness is that you decide (privately) to give him that money as Tzedakah and deduct that money from your Maaser. In that case, it is clear that he does not owe you anything indeed, as if he paid back.

To remind you that פריעת בעל החוב מצווה Returning the debt is a Mitzvah (so to say, see Erchin 22a), so the person is obligated to try to return the money anyway.

  • @A Berko Do you have a source to your claim that פריעת בעל חוב מצוה applies even after the debtor was mochel the chov? Aug 8, 2018 at 15:30
  • @RibbisRabbiAndMore That's a way to understand the מחלוקת on פריעת בעל החוב. מאן דאמר היא מצווה - even if the monitory debt was canceled the Mitzvah of returning was not. Indeed, the lender can not cancel the Mitzvah, it is a part of בין אדם למקום just like every other Mitzvah - cannot be מחול by that person.
    – Al Berko
    Aug 8, 2018 at 18:01

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