Ethical Demands on Creditors in Jewish Tradition

Yoel Domb

in The Oxford Handbook of Judaism and Economics

Published in print December 2010 | ISBN: 9780195398625
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

 Ethical Demands on Creditors in Jewish Tradition

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This article demonstrates that Judaism has a unique and valuable ethical contribution to the legal culture that developed over time regarding the recovery of loans. Until recently, other traditions considered borrowers slaves at the mercy of their creditors, and, even today, borrowers in many countries can be imprisoned. However, Judaism from its outset fought to protect the personal rights and freedoms of the borrower. This approach reached its apex in the Talmud, where the lender is enjoined not to make contact with the borrower and to avoid even chance meetings with him if it may cause embarrassment. This article discusses ancient legal systems that provide a creditor with a wide range of tools for retrieving loans. Some systems allowed taking the borrower himself as forced collateral against the loan. This article further explains the ethical underpinnings of the Jewish approach to debt and Debt retrieval laws. A discussion on corporate creditor ethics winds up this article.

Keywords: Judaism; Talmud; corporate creditor; ethics

Article.  9266 words. 

Subjects: Economics ; Financial Markets

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