J. David Bleich, "Survey of Recent Halakhic Periodic Literature", Tradition 24/1 (1988), 74-83. - The author discusses the problems occasioned by the sabbatical year release of private debt in respect to checks. The device of the certified check emerges from the detailed analysis of the subject as an instrument which can render the drawer's debt "as collected" and thus not subject to sabbatical cancellation of debts. (S.M.P.)

B.Z. Eliash, "The Basis of the Loan Concept in Jewish Law" (Heb.), Sinai 90 (5742), 44-67. - On the basis of various halakhic sources, the author attempts to define the basic elements of a loan in Jewish law, and to distinguish it from various transactions. According to Eliash, a loan is a transfer of money or assets in exchange for an obligation to return money or assets in the future. In this way, a loan is distinguished from both a deposit and a sale. (Y.S.K.)

M. Givati, "Remission of Debts: Theory and Practice", BM 25 (1980), 172-180 (Heb.). - The persuasive, hortatory formulation of Deut. 15:1-6 indicates that the sabbatical remission of debts was enacted to protect the destitute peasant from exploitation by the wealthy landowner while still ensuring the former the privilege of obtaining a loan. To what extent the prescriptions were followed in biblical times is unsure; by tannaitic times they had become ineffective despite their severe language. It was for this reason - to encourage loans to the needy - that the prozbol was instituted, and not, as sometimes thought, to enable the well-off to secure commercial loans. Parties to commercial loans would be likely to make use of previous enactments authorising them to transfer the loans to the court (M. Shebi. 10:1, 3, 5), while the peasant class would be insufficiently familiar with such technicalities. (B.S.J.)

M. Goodman, "The First Jewish Revolt: Social Conflict and the Problem of Debt", JJS 33:1-2 (1982: Yadin Festschrift), 417-427. - The First Revolt was brought on largely by an extremely unequal distribution of wealth that occurred during the preceding pax Romana. Jewish nationalism enabled the wealthier classes to direct the anger of landless peasants and unemployed urban proletarians (the Temple had just been completed) against Israel's foreign occupiers thus averting the class warfare one might have expected. (S.N.R.)



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