Torah Portion: Mishpatim
Do not act toward him as a creditor (Shemos 22:24).
It is a negative commandment that we not demand payment for a debt when we know that the borrower does not have the money with which to pay it. It is thus written: Do not act toward him as a creditor (Shemos 22:24).
Among the roots of the mitzvah is the aim that we implant in ourselves the trait of kindness and compassion. Then, when we internalize these traits, we will become worthy of receiving the good and thereby God’s wish will be fulfilled through us, for He wished to bestow good upon us in this world and in the Next.
The laws of this mitzvah include: A creditor who knows that the debtor does not have the funds with which to pay is forbidden not only to demand the debt outright but even to walk in front of his house is forbidden. He is thus forbidden to merely appear before the debtor to remind him of the debt.
This mitzvah applies to both men and women, in all places and at all times. One who transgresses this and demands payment from a debtor when he knows that the debtor does not have the money, and he does it in order to cause him discomfort, violates this prohibition.