- Question: [Thursday, 7th Kisleiv 5783]
I borrowed an item from an individual and will be seeing them on Shabbos. May I return the item to them on Shabbos?
You may only return a borrowed item on Shabbos if the individual has a use for the item on Shabbos. If he does not have any use for the item on Shabbos, then you must wait for during the week to return it.
Explanation: The sages restricted giving a Mashkon for a borrowed item on Shabbos, unless the borrowed item is a Shabbos need such as food and drink, being that it appears like one is doing business. Likewise, one may not return a Mashkon on Shabbos unless the Jew has a need for it on Shabbos. Now, regarding the borrowed item itself, and whether it may be borrowed and returned for a non-Shabbos use, it is implied from some Poskim, and so explicitly writes Admur, that one may lend and borrow items without restriction even if they do not have a Shabbos use. However, in truth, borrowing a Shabbos for no Shabbos need, and rather for a need of after Shabbos would seemingly transgress the prohibition against doing an activity on Shabbos for the sake of the weekday. To solve this contradiction, one can explain that by a Mashkon, its nit enough that it be a Shabbos use, but also be a Shabbos necessity, such as food or drink, or clothing that one needs for Shabbos. However, by a borrowed item, it does not need to be a Shabbos need, although it must have a Shabbos use, as one cannot borrow on Shabbos for the sake of the weekday. Now, the same restriction should likewise apply to returning a borrowed item on Shabbos. Hence, it may not be returned unless it has a Shabbos use for the lender, just like may not be borrowed unless it has a Shabbos used for the borrower. This is aside for the fact that some Poskim explicitly write that even by a borrowed item, it must have a Shabbos need, just as we rule by a Mashkon.
Sources: See Piskeiy Teshuvos 307:; Halacha Berurah 307:67 and 70 and footnotes there See regarding switching a garment Mashkon, that it may only be done if the Jew needs to wear it on Shabbos: Admur 325:5; Michaber 325:3; Rabbeinu Yerucham 2:12; See regarding leaving a Mashkon for a borrowed item that it may only be done if the borrowed item is a Shabbos need: Admur 307:20; See regarding that a borrowed item does not need to have a Shabbos need: Admur 307:20; 246:5; M”A 307:14; P”M 307 A”A 15; M”B 307:46; Poskim who are stringent: Rashba Shabbos 148; Halacha Berurah 307:9; Mathe Yehuda 307:3