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When one lends someone money they many not charge them interest. When one lends someone an item the item returned has to be identical or else it may be Ribbis.

Suppose you have a carpool with a friend or neighbor and one lives further away from the school thus one has to drive extra over the other. Would that be Ribbis?

  • I believe ribis is only when one is paying for the time extension, not just an unequal exchange of goods services. So if, for example, one were to intentionally make up for the schlep disparity by postponing the one who lives closest to last, that sounds like a potential issue. – Loewian Oct 30 '18 at 22:30
  • @kouty can you explain a little more or give a reference – Gershon Gold Oct 31 '18 at 11:43
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  • baer heytev SA YD 166 sk 1 דוקא הני שהן דברים של פרהסיא אסור אבל להשאילו כליו או בהמתו וכה''ג מותר אם היה משאילו בלא''ה כיון שעושה אותו מדעת הלוה כדלעיל סי' ק''ס ס''ז וכתב הרא''ש שי''מ היכא דידוע שקודם ההלואה היו אוהבים זה את זה כ''כ שהיו משאילים חצר זה לזה אם היו צריכים מותר להשאיל גם אחר ההלואה ואינו אסור רק בסתם בני אדם ומדברי מהרש''ל נראה דלא שרי בכה''ג אלא דברים שאינן של פרהסיא וכתב עוד מי שלוה מחבירו אינו רשאי לכבדו במצוה כגון לקרותו בס''ת או לקנות לו גלילה אפילו יודע בעצמו שבלאו הלואה נמי עביד ליה אפ''ה מאחר שאוושא מילתא דומה לבית ועבד דאסור אם לא שידוע לכל שלא מחמת הלואה קא עביד הש''ך – kouty Nov 1 '18 at 12:49
  • see thie sk 2 too. – kouty Nov 1 '18 at 12:50
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Mishna B"M 5, 10:

"אוֹמֵר אָדָם לַחֲבֵרוֹ, נַכֵּשׁ עִמִּי וַאֲנַכֵּשׁ עִמָּךְ, עֲדֹר עִמִּי וְאֶעְדֹּר עִמָּךְ,
וְלֹא יֹאמַר לוֹ נַכֵּשׁ עִמִּי וְאֶעְדֹּר עִמָּךְ, עֲדֹר עִמִּי וַאֲנַכֵּשׁ עִמָּךְ."

"One may say to his fellow, “Weed with me and I will weed with you,” or “Hoe with and I will hoe with you.” But one may not say to him, “Weed with me and I will hoe with you,” or, “Hoe with me and I will weed with you."

Because one work (service) is definitely harder than the other it is considered a Ribis.

And so is ruled in Shu"A Yo"D 160:

"לא יעשה מלאכה לחבירו על מנת שחבירו יעשה עמו אח"כ מלאכה שהיא יותר כבדה
ואפי' לעשות עמו אותה מלאכה עצמה אסור אם הוא בזמן שהיא יותר כבדה כגון שזה מנכש"

However, from the interpreters it seems to apply ONLY when either:

  • the two works/services are not of the same type
  • the two works/services are of the same type, but one service is knowingly and considerably bigger or harder or more expensive.

But as the Reyshah of the Mishnah says, if the work is "more or less" the same, as in "נַכֵּשׁ עִמִּי וַאֲנַכֵּשׁ עִמָּךְ", it is not considered a Ribbis.

For example, driving for 15 or 20 min is considered the same service, while driving for 30 or 60 min is definitely not.


Also, it only applies on a single agreement - you do X and I'll do Y, but if you agree in general that you exchange cars no matter what the commutes are, sometimes shorter and sometimes farther Ribbis will not apply.

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The Sefer Hatshuvos Bris Pinchos (authored by Rav Pichos Vind Of Yerushalayim) brings a solution to exchange of jobs even where one is clearly harder or longer than the other: The parties obligate themselves to do the job (drive carpool) for each other BEFORE they arrange who will do the job before the other. Only after both sides agreed to to do the job, do they arrange who does it when. This is permitted because if the person who has to do the bigger job does it first, obviously no ribbis is involved since the "lender" gave more than the one who repaid. Ribbis means that more was repaid than was originally given not vice verca. Thus since the original obligation of the one who drives the longer carpool for the other is not dependent on the fact that that person FIRST drove for him, since at the time of his agreement it was not yet decided who would drive first, even if he ends up being the second driver, there is no issue of ribbis because he agreed to do that amount of driving even before it was known that the other would drive (the shorter route) for him.

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