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Tithing, Offerings beyond tithes — and charity beyond that — are each mi•tzᵊw•ot no less binding than any other mi•tzᵊw•ot of Tor•âh!

"Bring all of the to the and let it become , then, prithee, test Me, said -- of Armies; if I won't open the of the heavens and pour out a upon you -- [an idiom meaning "infinitely"] — Ma•lâkh•i ha-Nâ•vi 3.10.

Indeed, Ma•lâkh•i wrote in the two preceding pᵊsuq•im (3.8-9) that withholding tithes — something that belongs to -- — is tantamount to -- out of what belongs to Him!

To practice Tor•âh non-selectively necessarily requires keeping the mi•tzᵊwâh to tithe just like any other mitz•wâh.

The correct (I•vᵊr•it) terms are , ‭ ‬ and .

Since it was given on Har Sin•ai, Tor•âh has stipulated that and could only be directed to the maintenance of the operation, by the Ko•han•im, first of the Mi•shᵊkân, and later of the Beit ha-Mi•qᵊdâsh.

During the periods subsequent to the destructions of the Beit ha-Mi•qᵊdâsh:

"As it is written (Mᵊlâkh•im Beit 4.42), 'And a man came from Baal Shalishah bringing bread of the to the man of Ël•oh•im.' And how was it that Ël•i•shâ ate the [since he was not a Ko•hein], except to say to you that everyone who brings a present to a wise tal•mid-[Tor•âh Jew] it even becomes a approach-offering [of the heavenly Beit ha-Mi•qᵊdâsh]." (Mᵊnor•at ha-Mâ•or by Yi•tzᵊkhâq Abu•hav 14).

Notice that Tor•âh stipulates that "firstfruits" go to -- — not to the government tax office. This seems to imply that tithes are calculated not from "seconds" (after taxes), but as "firstfruits" of gross income. The rabbis, however, calculate tithes from after-tax income. There is justification for the rabbis' alternative interpretation. In modern times, what goes to the government is deducted before any income goes to the individual. Thus, taxes are a deduction, which reduce the true income that then goes to the individual. As a result, it can be said that the only true income the individual receives is after-taxes income. It seems likely, then, that the School of Sha•mai would advocate pre-tax calculation of tithes while the School of Hi•leil would more likely advocate the after-taxes calculation of the true income received by the individual. This would have been particularly true in the times of Roman occupation, when tax-gougers took what they could and the individual's income was whatever he could retain after the tax-gougers had ravaged him. We also know that Ribi Yᵊho•shua was of the School of Hi•leil — which fixes the Nᵊtzâr•im position.

Paying , ‭ ‬ and to any person or organization who isn't practicing legitimate Tor•âh observance doesn't satisfy the mi•tzᵊwâh and, far worse, supports idolatry — making the donor a participant idolater.


See Errata to NHM note 23.23.2

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