Kinyan Hanaah

The טור, in 204:1, writes the following:

וכתב הרמב”ם ×–”ל אבל אם ×”×™×” לו חוב עליו ואמר לו מכור לי בחוב שיש לי אצלך ונתרצה המוכר הרי ×–×” כמי שנותן דמים עתה והחוזר בו עומד במי שפרע. ובקרקע ×›×™ האי גוונא קונה לגמרי. אבל אדוני אבי הרא”ש ×–”ל כתב שלא קנה אפילו המעות עדיין בעין ביד הלוה דמלוה להוצאה ניתנה ואינו נותן לו עתה כלום: אבל אם אמר לו יקנה לי שדה שלך בהנאת מחילת המלוה קנה.

The case is as follows: Reuven owes Shimon $100. Reuven wants to buy an item from Shimon (let’s say we’re talking about rest estate, which can be bought with כסף). Instead of having Shimon repay his debt to Reuven, and then have Reuven turn around and pay money to Shimon, they want the payment to come in the form of the forgiving of the debt. The רא”ש writes that this does not work. However, one can acquire an item by “giving” the enjoyment that the cancellation of the debt brings.

We raised two questions on this during seder:

1. The טור quotes the רא”ש as extending the דין to an extension of the loan as well:

ואפילו לא מחל לו כולה אלא הרויח לו הזמן כגון שהגיע זמנו לפרוע והרויח לו הזמן ואמר לו יקנה לי שדה שלך בההיא הנאה שהרוחתי לך קנה.

However, the case he picks seems strangely limited. In his case, if the loan is due, then an extension is also considered to provide sufficient הנאה to effect a קניין. What about the (seemingly) less obvious case of a loan that’s not yet due. Does extending the date from next week to two weeks count as sufficient הנאה to allow the קניין to take place?

2. R’ Doron asked why this is not considered ריבית? In effect, Shimon is giving Reuven a field in exchange for a loan (or a lengthening of an existing loan). Why should this not be prohibited according to the הלכות forbidding the lending of money with any form of interest?

2 responses to “Kinyan Hanaah”

  1. I spoke to the Rav tonight about both issues.

    1. Yes. Given that the הנאה only needs to be a penny’s worth, any extension should fit this criteria.
    2. The money of the הנאה is deducted from the eventual purchase price. Thus, there’s no real problem of ריבית here.

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