More Discussions for this daf
1. Tarsha 2. Rav Papa's beer

Stephen A. Shalat asked:

On Line 47 Tarsha is a form of interest, and "silent", according to Rashi, because neither the lower nor the higher prices for the given merchandise are mentioned aloud, but why does the difference between the two prices not constitute interest?

Yet Rav Pappa and Rav Chama insist that because the former does a favor for the buyer, and the latter assumes risk of loss until his merchandise is sold by the retailers, who also enjoy the additional advantages of tax exemption on the merchandise and first in line to sell such merchandise, that therefore neither of these two cases is an example of ribis. Both Rav Pappa and Rav Chama seem to violate the very definition of Tarsha; they seem to focus on the benefits which accrue to the purchasers, and not to the fact that the original owners, Rav Pappa and Rav Chama, are enjoying more money than would otherwise be the case.

I can't understand why mere silence about the point of sale, now or later, disqualifies this type of transaction as ribis!

Stephen A. Shalat, Forest Hills, NY USA

The Kollel replies:

The fact that it was done silently is not the reason for the Heter.

As the Gemara says, the defining factor of Ribis is "Agar Natar," causing a person to pay because he is making me wait to receive my money back. The reason the lender gets the Ribis is because he had to wait for his money. Rav Papa claimed that he was perfectly ready to wait to sell his beer in the season when it is in demand, since there was no risk involved and he had no immediate need for the money. So although he was charging more than the going rate, it was not in exchange for being caused to wait for his money. Rav Chama, too, claimed that he was not receiving the higher rate because he was willing to be paid at a later date (and he was not taking money in advance). Rather, it was in the buyer's best interest not to pay in advance.

Rav Papa's reasoning was rejected because although he, Rav Papa, was in no rush to sell early, the buyer only paid the higher rate for the beer because he needed the money.

D. Zupnik