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Inflation Issues in Jewish Law
Rabbi Dr. Aaron Levine

Rabbi Dr. Aaron Levine - A Musmach of Rabbi Jacob Joseph School; Professor of Economics, Yeshiva University; Rabbi, Young Israel of Avenue J, Brooklyn.

  1. R. Samuel b. Isaac Sardi (Spain, ca 1185-1255), Sefer Ha-Terumot, sha'ar 46 helek 8, ot 2; R. Asher b. Jehiel (germany, 1250-1327), Rosh, Bava Kamma IX-12; R. Solomon b. Abraham Adret (Spain, ca. 1235-1310), Rashba Bava Kamma 97b.
  2. Rosh, loc. cit. R. Abraham b. David of Posquires (1125-1198), quoted in Shittah M'kubezet, Bava Kamma 97b), however, advances a different rationale for the 20% rule.
  3. R. Isaac b. Jacob Alfasi (Algeria, 1013-1103), Rif, Bava Kamma 98a; Maimonides (Egypt, 1135-1204), Yad, Malveh IV:11; Rosh, loc. cit.; R. Jacob b. Asher (Germany, 1270-1343), Tur, Yoreh De'ah 165; R. Joseph Caro (Turkey, 1488-1575), Shulhan Arukh Yareh De'ah 165. A dissenting view is advanced by R. Abraham b. David. In his view no accommodation is made for the lender in case of currency depreciation.
  4. Tosafot Bava Kamma 97a; Rosh, IX:11; Tur, Chashen Mishpat 74:9; R. Moshe Isserles (Poland, 1525-1572), Ramo, Sh. Ar. Choshen Mishpat 74:7; R. Jehiel Michel Epstein Byelarussia, 1829-1908, Aruch ha-Shuichan, Choshen Mishpat 74:8. R. Solomon b. Isaac (Rashi, Bava Kamma 97a), however, draws a distinction between the legal treatment of a monetary loan and a credit sale. It is only in the former case, in his view, that non-stipulation allows the debtor to discharge his debt with the defunct original medium of exchange, though at the time of repayment it circulates nowhere in the world. R. Mordechai b. Hillel (Germany, 1240-1298) Mordechai Bava Kamma IX:110 asserts that toward the end of his life, R. Solomon b. Issac recanted this view and subscribed to Tosafot's view.
  5. Aruch Ha-Shulchan, op. cit.; R. Abraham Isaiah Karelitz (Israel, 1878-1953), Chazon Ish, Bava Kamma 17:31 and Likkutim siman 19 at Bava Kamma 89b.
  6. Yad, op.; cit.; R. Israel of Krems (fl. mid 14th cen.), HaGahot Ashen, Bava Kamma IX:11; Tur, op. cit. 74:9; Sh. Ar., op. cit. 74:7; Ar. hash, op. cit.
  7. Hochmat Adam 134:1.
  8. R. Shieshet Bava Mezia 75a; Rif ad locum; Rosh, op. cit. V:74; Tur, op. cit.; Sh. Ar, op. cit.; Hochmat Adam, op. cit.
  9. R. Isaac, Bava Mezia 75a; Rif ad locum; Yad, op. cit., X:2; Rosh, op. cit. V:75; Tur, op. cit. 162:2; Sh. Ar., op. cit. 162:2; Hochmat Adam, op. cit. 134:2.
  10. Responsa Rosh, K'lal 108 sief 16 R. Yam Tov Vidal of Talasa (fl. 14th cen.), Maggid Mishneh, Yad, Malveh X:2
  11. R. David b. Samuel ha-Levi (Poland. 1556-1667), Turei Zahav, Sh. Ar. Yoreh De'ah 162 note 38; R. Shabbetal b. Meir ha-Kohen (Poland 1621 1662), siftei Kohen, Sh. Ar., Yoreh De'ah 162 note 7 R. Jacob Blau, B'rit Yehudah (Jerusalem: Akiba Yosef, 1976) p. 317 note 37.
  12. Siftei Kohen, Sh. Ar., op. cit. 162 note 11.
  13. Bava Mezia 72b; Yad, op. cit.; Rosh, Bava Mezia V:61 Tur, op. cit. Sh. Ar., op. cit.; Hachmat Adam 134:5.
  14. Hachmat Adam, op. cit.
  15. Yad, op. cit. X:1; Siftei Kohen, op. cit. 162 note 10; Hachmat Adam op. cit.
  16. Yad, op. cit.
  17. R. Abraham b. David of Posquires, Rabad at Yad, loc. cit.; Ramo, Sh. Ar., op. cit. 162:3; R. Isaac b. Sheshet Perfet (Spain, 1326-1408), Responsa Ribash 19.
  18. Siftei Kohen, Sh. Ar., op. cit. note 11.
  19. Yad, op. cit.
  20. R. Joseph Caro, Beit Yosef, Tur, op. cit.
  21. Responsa Rosh quoted in Beit Yosef, loc. cit;
  22. Turei Zahav, Sh. Ar., op. cit. 162 note 3
  23. Siftei Kohen, Sh. Ar., op. cit. note 9
  24. R. Jonathan Eibschutz (Prague, 1695-1764), Kereti-u-Feleti, Sh. Ar. Yoreh De'ah.
  25. R. Isaac b. Sheshet Perfet, Responsa Ribash 19.
  26. R. Yohanan, Bava Mezia 45a; Rif ad locum; Rosh Bava Mezia 45a; Tur, op. cit. 162:1.
  27. R. Hiyya Rofe (Safed, d. 1620), Ma'aseh Hiyya 17.
  28. Yad, op. cit. VII:10; Tur, op. cit. 176:7; Sh. Ar., op. cit. 176:7 Hochmat Adam, 136:3.
  29. Mishnah Bava Mezia V:10; Rif ad locum; Yad Malveh VII:11 Rosh Bava Mezia V:78; Tur, op. cit. 160:9; Sh. Ar., op. cit. 160:9; Hochmat Adam, loc. sit.
  30. R. Joshua ha-Kohen Falk. Perishah, Tur, op. cit. 160 note 14.
  31. R. Mordechai Dov Twersky (Hornestopol, 1840-1903), Turei Zahav, Yoreh De'ah.
  32. Tur, op. cit. 160
  33. Perishah, Tur, loc. cit. note 15.
  34. R. Abraham b. David of Posquires quoted in Shittah M'kubezet, Bava Mezia 75a.
  35. B'rit Yehudah, p. 208-209.
  36. Yad, Mattenot Aniyim VII:5; Tur, op. cit. 249:1; Sh. Ar., op. cit. 249:1; A hash., Yoreh De'ah 249:1. R. Ezra Basri's survey of the responsa literature concludes that the majority of the Talmudic decisors regard the 10% level as an obligation by rabbinic, as opposed to biblical, decree. See R. Ezra Basri, Dinei Mamonot, vol. 1 (Jerusalem:Rubin Mass, 1974) p. 403.
  37. For a detailed discussion of the maaser base, see Cyril Domb, ed, Ma' aser Kesafim (New York Philipp Feldheim Inc., 1980), p. 41-54.
  38. R. Moshe Feinstein, Iggerot Moshe, vol. 5, Yoreh De'ah 114.
  39. See Tosafot Ketubbot 105a.
  40. The Talmud in Ketubbot 105a records this formula only in respect for the publicly appointed judges of Jerusalem who preside over cases of robbery. Maimonides (Yad, Shekalim VII), however, extends the need rule to public proof readers of holy books. Maimonides' extension, by R. Moshe Sofer, leads to the generalization of the need formula to all religious ministrants hired by the public.
  41. R. Moshe Sofer (Hungary, 1762-1839), Responsa Chatam Sofer, Choshen Mishpat 166; R. Leopold Winkler, (Hungary, b 1844) Levushei Mordechai, Choshen Mishpat. Part II.
  42. Tur, op. cit. 173:21; Sh. Ar., op. cit. 173:12; R. Joel Sirkes, Bach, Tur, op. cit. 161;
  43. Leviticus 19:13.
  44. Bah, op. cit.
  45. R. Eliezer of Toul, quoted in R. Meir ha-Kohen, Teshuvot Maimuniyyot, Sefer Mishpatim 15; R. Meir b. Baruch of Rottenburg, quoted in R. Jeruham b. Meshullam Toledot Adam ve-Havvah, n'tiv 29 pt. 3; Bah, op. cit., R. Moshe Sofer.
  46. R. Isaac b. Moses of Vienna, Or Zaru'a, Bava Mezia V:21; R. Israel of Krems, Haggahot Asheri, Bava Mezia V:21; Beit Yosef, Tur, op. cit. 160.
  47. Bach, op. cit. For alternative rationalizations of R. Eliezer of Toul's view, see Novellae Hatam Sofer, Bava Mezia 73a, and Beit Yizhak, Yoreh De'ah 11:2 ot 2.
  48. R. Judah Rosanes, (Turkey, 1657-1727) Mishneh la-Melech, Yad, Malveh VII:11.
  49. R. Naham Rakover, "Pizuyim al Ikkuv Kesafim," in I Raphael, ed., Torah she-be'al Peh (Jerusalem:Mosad haRav Kook, 1977). p. 216.
  50. B'rit Yehuda, op. cit., p. 35.
  51. Bava Kamma 66a; Yad, Gezelah 1:5; Tur, Choshen Mishpat 360:1; Sh. Ar. haSh. Choshen Mishpat 360:1; Ar haSh. Choshen Mishpat 360:1. Provided the article of theft has not been materially changed, the thief must return it intact even if doing so would involve the extraordinary inconvenience of removing it from a structure he subsequently built. Nevertheless, to encourage evildoers to make amends, the Sages suspended the obligation in this instance, and instead, required the thief merely to make restitution monetarily (see Mishnah Gittin V:5)
  52. Bava Mezia 43a; Rif ad locum; Yad, op. cit. 111:1; Rosh, Bava Mezia 111:27; Tur, op. cit. 362:7; Sh. Ar., op. cit. 362:10; Ar. haSh., op. cit. 362:15.
  53. Bava Kamma 5a; Rif loc. cit.; Yad ,op. cit. 362:11; Ar. haSh. loc. cit.
  54. R. Joshua ha-Kohen Falk, Sma, Sh. Ar., op. cit. 362 note 21; Ar haSh, loc. cit.
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