Babylonian Talmud, Baba Metzia 61b

 

תלמוד בבלי בבא מציעא ס"א:

Original Text:

רבא אמר: מגופיה דקרא שמיע ליה מות יומת דמיו בו יהיה (יחזקאל י"ח:י"ג) הוקשו מלוי רבית לשופכי דמים

Translation:

Rava said, “We learn this from the verse itself, '[He has lent at advance interest, or exacted accrued interest – shall he live? He shall not live! If he has committed any of these abominations,] he shall die; he has forfeited his life.' (Ezekiel 18:13) Usurers are compared to murderers.”
[Translation by Rabbi Steve Greenberg]

Suggested Discussion Questions:

Why is lending with interest such a severe crime?
How is it like murder?
Are there other crimes that people commit today that are similar?
Is lending with interest today this bad?

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Comments on this Text

 For relevant context, see Greenberg, Steven, Wrestling With God & Men, 232.