“You may dun the foreigner” (Dt.15:3)—
this is a prescriptive commandment.
“But that which is due you from your brother’s hand, you must release” (Dt.15:3)—
but not that of your brother’s which is in your hand.
On this basis you say:
one who extends a loan on the basis of collateral—
[the loan] is not released [in the Sabbatical year]. 2
“From your brother’s hand, you must release” (Dt.15:3)—
but not one who deposits his bills of indebtedness with the court.3
On this basis they taught:
Hillel established the prozbul4
for the sake of an orderly world.
When he saw that
people refrained from lending to each other
[since the Release-year cancelled all debts,]
thereby transgressing what is written in the Torah (Dt.15:9)—
he rose up and established the prozbul.
This is the text of the prozbul:
I hereby transmit to you, O judges
So-and-so and So-and-so,
who are in Such-and-such a place,
all the debts due me,
so that I might collect them
whenever I wish.
And the judges sign at the bottom—
or the witnesses.5