[ON SHABBAT] A MAN MAY BORROW PITCHERS OF WINE AND PITCHERS OF OIL FROM HIS NEIGHBOUR, PROVIDED HE DOES NOT SAY TO HIM, 'LEND [THEM] [HALVENI] TO ME'
Wait, borrow – but don’t ask? That doesn’t sound right.
The Gemara makes a distinction between two ways of asking for a loan:
Raba son of R. Hanan asked Abaye: Wherein does halveni differ from hash'ileni?
Both mean the same thing. Hash’ileni, it though, is a more informal term. Halveni, denotes a kind of contract – an advance promise to pay. The concern is that the one who loans will come to write down the terms. Keeping things informal – or at least in the abnormal form of a transaction – lessens that chance.
And abnormal is what it’s all about. Or better: special.
The Rabbis said, 'Regarding all actions on [Shabbat and] Festivals, as far as it is possible to vary, we vary them
Even in the words we use.