462. The Heter Iska

66:7 If there is not enough time to write a formal business contract, the parties may agree verbally on the things we have said (in 66:6).

66:8 If the investor advances the businessman money so that he can purchase merchandise, they should write a business agreement (“heter iska”) along the following lines:

I, the undersigned, acknowledge that I received the amount of (amount received) from (name of investor) of (investor’s city) to do business with equipment that I have in (location) until (date). The profits derived from this money, after deducting all expenses, will be divided equally with half going to me and half to the aforementioned (name of investor). Any losses, G-d forbid, will likewise be divided equally between us. Immediately upon the arrival of (due date), I commit to return to the aforementioned (name of investor) the principal plus his share of the profits. I will only be believed to say that I lost money upon confirmation by two reliable witnesses. I will only be believed about profits upon taking an oath. We have also agreed that, if I so desire, on (due date) I may give the aforementioned (name of investor) five bottles of whisky in lieu of the principal and his share of the profits, after which he will have no further claims on me. All the laws regarding the reliability of the owner of this document apply even after its due date. I have received a fee for my efforts. (Signature, date, location.) Signed in our presence, witnesses (signatures of witnesses).