Thursday, October 30, 2008

The price of usury


In Europe, a moneylender passed away. He had made his fortune by collecting interest from the poor of the town. In vengeance, the Chevra Kadisha (burial society) demanded a large sum of money for the grave, angering the heirs.

The matter came to R' Akiva Eiger. "How appropriate," he responded. "The normal price of a grave assumes that the purchaser will use it for a limited time, until the resurrection of the dead. We are taught that one who takes interest, though, does not get resurrected. As such, he will remain in the grave for eternity, and he should therefore pay a higher price for use of the grave!"

(Cited in introduction to "Laws of Ribbis" by R' Yisroel Reisman)

Have a great day,

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