1 Lending to your neighbor is an act of mercy, going to his aid fulfills the commandments.
2 Learn to lend to your neighbor when he is in need and, in turn, repay him any loan on time.
3 Keep your word, remain faithful and you will find what you need on every occasion.
4 Many think of a loan as a quick deal and put those who help them in a fix.
5 The moment they receive it, they kiss the hand of the moneylender and humble themselves in deference to his wealth. But on the day repayment is due, they prolong the time, repay with re proaches and blame the current situation.
6 If they can repay, they pay barely half and the moneylender will be grateful for that much. They have robbed him of his money and, moreover, he has gained enemies, for they repay him with curses and insults and reproaches instead of gratitude.
7 Many a good person refuses to lend, not for any malicious reason: he is afraid of being cheated without cause.
8 Nevertheless, be kind to those who have fallen on hard times, do not keep them waiting for your help.
9 For the commandments’ sake, help the poor man; see his need and do not turn him away empty-handed.
10 Better to spend your money on a brother or friend than to let it rust under a stone, to your discredit.
11 Use your money according to the commandments of the Most High and you will find it more valuable than gold.
12 Fill your barns with good deeds and these will rescue you from mis fortune. 13 They will fight for you against your enemy better than any strong shield and mighty spear.
14 A good man goes surety for his neighbor; the scoundrel leaves him to his fate.
15 Do not forget the favors of your guarantor: he has risked his life for you.
16 The sinner wastes his guaran tor’s money; the ungrateful man forgets the one who saved him. 17 Acting as guarantor has ruined many a good man and has tossed him like the waves of the sea. 18 It has banished powerful men and forced them to wander among foreign nations.
19 The sinner is anxious to be a guarantor but he will be condemned as a loan shark.
20 Help your neighbor as far as you can but beware of falling into the same plight.
21 Some things you cannot live without: water, bread, clothes and a house for shelter.
22 Better a poor man’s life in his wooden shack than lavish banquets in another man’s house.
23 Be content with whatever you have, be it great or small; this is better than to go elsewhere and be reproached as an outsider.
24 It is hard to go from house to house; 25 when you are an outsider, do not risk opening your mouth. You will eat and drink without much welcome and, on top of that, hear bitter remarks: 26 “Come, stranger, set the table and whatever you have, give it to me to eat.”
27 “Be off, stranger, make room for somebody more important; my brother is coming to see me, I need the house.”
28 It is hard for a good man to have hospitality denied him and to be treated like a debtor.