“Forget about borrowing money. Instead, let’s lend out money. We’ll be the ones charging people sky-high interest rates!"
Fishel and Faivish usually had zero interest in the mail. It was always boring stuff like bills and bank statements. But the letter that arrived one Wednesday was different. The envelope showed a businessman carrying a fancy briefcase. He looked extremely pleased with himself. All around him, gold coins rained down.
A big headline read, “YOU are approved for a free loan of $20,000. Easy money! Just open this envelope, register your information — and start spending!”
In the background there was a picture of a jet in a blue sky. There was also a cruise ship on the ocean.
Fishel and Faivish’s eyes grew big.
“Wow! Quick, it’s addressed to Daddy. Let’s show it to him,”
“Yeah,” Faivish agreed with his brother for a change. “Gosh, he’s in for a surprise. Twenty thousand dollars!
But to their dismay, their father wasn’t impressed.
“I get these annoying offers all the time,” he informed them. “Just chuck it in the garbage.”
“But — they’re offering you twenty thousand dollars!” exclaimed Fishel.
“You could fly us all to Honolulu. Or take us on a cruise around the world!” pleaded Faivish.
“I’ve no intention of borrowing twenty thousand dollars to pay for a holiday. Not to mention the sky-high interest rates these people charge. After all, they’re in it for the money. Now, I’m busy. Off you go.”
Disappointedly, the brothers trailed off into the kitchen. Mrs. Friedman was dicing a salad. Suddenly, Fishel stopped short and stared at his brother.
“I’ve got a brilliant idea!”
“What?” asked Faivish.
“Forget about borrowing money. Instead, let’s lend out money. We’ll be the ones charging people sky-high interest rates. We’ll make a ton of money!”
Faivish stared at his brother. He had to admit the idea was sheer genius!
“Soon I’ll be able to afford my own private jet,” boasted Fishel.
“You’re not old enough to fly an airplane,” pointed out Faivish.
“I’ll get a pilot to do the flying for me. You can come as a passenger,” Fishel offered.
Faivish dismissed the suggestion.
“Nah, I’ll be too busy enjoying my own cruise ship.”
“Hah, my jet will travel much faster than your ship.”
“Big deal. I’ll have more time to enjoy the amazing views from on deck.”
“Oh yeah? Flying’s a hundred times more fun.”
“No way! Cruising’s a thousand times better.”
“Now, now, boys,” came Mrs. Friedman’s voice. “Why don’t you try and get along with each other?”
The troublesome two scowled at each other. Then they turned away.
Fishel thought that Mommy might have some helpful ideas.
“We’re starting a business, Mommy,” he said. “We’re gonna lend out money for interest, and—”
“Oh, dear,” said Mommy. “Hold your horses. Have you two forgotten about ribbis?”
(Excerpted from Mishpacha Jr., Issue 790)
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