klriley at alphalink.com.au
Thu Mar 9 20:37:51 EST 2006
In Leviticus "tithe" refers to 1/10 of agricultural produce given to the
Levites and Priests. Many different Christian groups through the centuries
have had a similar system where 1/10 of income [including agricultural
products and money] are given to the church. I realised I had been assuming
Malachi had the latter idea in mind [all income] and started wondering if I
had that wrong, and if so whether Judaism had ever expanded the things to be
"tithed" in the same way as it had the counties in which tithing was
obligatory. After Leviticus, no mention seems to be made of what is to be
tithed, just that it is required.
From: Herman Meester
Date: 03/10/06 12:08:01
If secular, i.e. non-clergy/priestly governments collect taxes and
call it "tithe" if it happens to be 10%, then I don't think there is a
link with Christianity or Judaism. Judaism's tithing is purely ritual
and confined to the home; nothing to do with "taxes".
I think in Judaism, things other than vegetables, herbs, fruits etc.
aren't tithed. But I have to say I'm not a halachic expert at all.
This would be a good opportunity for me to take a look at the Mishna
tractates Ma`asrot and Ma`aser Sheni. I can't find the Zera`im part of
my Mishna at the moment, but if you'd like we could go into that
Could you be more precise on what you mean by "the one [tithe] used in
By the way, I think we have to distinguish between the religion of the
Israelites in the time of the temple cult on the one hand, and Judaism
on the other hand.
And I think the word Ma`aser, in itself, although it may *refer* to
religious/cultic practice, has no special religious *meaning*; it's
just "a tenth". Cf. mishne ××©× × "a second [time], doubling,
2006/3/10, Kevin Riley <klriley at alphalink.com.au>:
> Just reading in Malachi 3 and a thought occurred to me: Had the definition
> of "tithe" changed from the one in Leviticus [crops and herds] towards the
> one used in Christianity [all income whether goods or money] or does that
> post-date the break between Judaism and Christianity. I just had a feeling
> I may have been reading something into the text that isn't there. Checking
> the meaning of "McSR " didn't help as it was basically "tithe", "one tenth
> Did Judaism move towards tithing other than agricultural produce?
> Kevin Riley
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