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(03-17-2012, 05:04 PM)Zulske Wrote: Both of you stated something similar that raises some questions.

Quote:[Case 1] "ruling governments are rightfully granted certain powers and privileges that are not granted to individuals"
Quote:[Case 2] "The power to use force to achieve a goal through coercion is usually denied people but granted to government"

Who grants government of those powers? Because you clearly stated that individuals do not have that right, so who grants them? Does G-d grant them? Is that in the Torah? Aren't all government power derived from the people? Otherwise it would constitute an authoritarian government, right?

Right. Throughout history, almost all governments have been authoritarian, and all governments that have arisen have fallen, sooner or later - taken down by either internal or external forces, or both. All of that was by Divine Providence. The national governments in the world today, in their present forms, are (almost?) all less than a mere 236 years old (the age of the U.S.A.) During this time, only some of them have dabbled more or less in systems that are similar to the concept of democracy. There have been only a few generations in history since the Jews' Exodus from Egypt in which the Jewish people were able to live under a Torah-based government.

There are powers which G-d *grants* to a proper Jewish king who rules over the Jewish people in righteousness, in accordance with the Jewish commandment to appoint and accept a Torah-observant and G'd-fearing king. Logically, other ruling governments are permitted to assume similar powers as accepted by their citizens, if the powers are used legally (in accordance with the laws of the land) and without violating the basic Seven Noahide Commandments. Obviously, properly administered, permitted taxation by the government is not in the category of theft.

(03-17-2012, 05:04 PM)Zulske Wrote: G-d commands Moses to establish judges throughout Israel to judge cases and disputes presented before them. That is clearly proper, because no extra power was granted to those judges that the people didn't have.

On the contrary - the Torah definitely grants extra powers to judges (under Torah-based government) that the people aren't granted. The constraint is that they are not permitted to transgress the Torah's commandments (many of which are specifically and exclusively for judges, courts or national rulers). See Rambam's "Book of the Commandments".

(03-17-2012, 05:04 PM)Zulske Wrote: they were trustees of the people, thus all power they had were properly delegated

Delegated only by the Torah [G-d's will], and NOT by the people. The people are commanded by G-d to accept the courts' righteous application of the powers that He deligates to the judges and rulers.

(03-17-2012, 05:04 PM)Zulske Wrote: they were local leaders and their authority was recognized by local groups, they didn't have a central government. I see no contradiction here.

The lack of a central government was only a temporary situation, between the time of the Exodus and their establishment as a nation in the Holy Land. Once they were established, the Torah's COMMANDMENT to have a Jewish king over all the Jewish people (Deuteronomy 17:15) came into effect.

(03-17-2012, 05:04 PM)Zulske Wrote: But in 1 Samuel 8 the people starts to ask for a king to rule over them, and amazingly enough, G-d warns them about taxation: "He will take the tenth of your flocks; and ye shall be his servants." I'm not an expert in biblical interpretation, that is why I need your help. But when the people asks for a government to rule over them, a government that would possess more powers than the ones given by G-d to the people, isn't that what G-d stated by: "they have not rejected thee (Samuel and the judges), but they have rejected Me, that I should not be king over them." ?

No. You have misinterpreted the text. In I Samuel 8:11-17, G-d was warning the people about all the EXTRA powers that HE HIMSELF permits to a Jewish king, including the rightful power of taxation.

G-d's statement that "they have not rejected thee (Samuel and the judges), but they have rejected Me, that I should not be king over them," was in response to the Jews' sinful request in the previous verse 8:5 - "So now appoint for us a king to judge us, LIKE ALL THE NATIONS." Their sin was that they desired to live like the non-Jewish nations around them, and not like the way that G-d commands for the Jews - which is to follow all their commandments, including that they should have a Jewish king who will have all of those listed powers that he is granted by G-d, including taxation, etc. But the Jews at that time were flagrantly rejecting one of their commandments - their commandment to follow and obey a true prophet (Samuel), so it was obvious that they were not spiritually ready to live under the additional constraints that would rightfully be imposed upon them by a Jewish king.

The powers granted by G-d to a Jewish king, based on that Biblical passage, are listed and explained by Rambam in Laws of Kings, Chapter 4, Laws 1-7. First and foremost, Rambam explains that the king is granted permission to levy taxes upon the nation (he mentions head taxes, income taxes, and/or customs duties).

(03-17-2012, 05:04 PM)Zulske Wrote: Mattityahu said:
Quote:"If there were no government, people would tear each other apart, and not just in a figurative sense, but literally."

I didn't say there should be no government. I'm just asking if there is a limit for taxation, or if taxation itself is theft in the eyes of the Torah.

This is a rightful limit for taxation, and taxation itself is not theft in the eyes of the Torah. See for example the tax that Joseph Ha'Tzaddik offered to the Egyptian people, which they willingly accepted, in Genesis 47:24-26.

(03-17-2012, 05:04 PM)Zulske Wrote: There are many ways to fund the government without taxes.

For example, slavery.

(03-17-2012, 05:04 PM)Zulske Wrote: But it would be a government that would look more like the one the Israelites experienced with judges, not a big one.

You have misinterpreted the text. The Israelites in the Holy Land were commanded in the Torah to give "taxes" - the various tithes - to the Jewish Priests (descendants of Aaron) and Levites, and the Priests and the Levites were to serve as judges and teachers. Note that Samuel was a Levite (I Chronicles 6:18-23), and many of the major and minor prophets were Priests. Also there was a tax (the half-shekel) for the needs of the Tabernacle and the Temple.

(03-17-2012, 05:04 PM)Zulske Wrote:
Quote:If, however, the coins he issues are not the tender of the land, he is considered to be a robber who takes by the force of arms. He and his servants are like a band of armed thieves, whose laws are not binding. Such a king and his servants are considered to be robbers in all respects.

Does that includes in the scenario we live today? By statute with shall use federal reserve notes (which are bills of credit for not having something of value to be backed by) as legal tender, but the Constitution still says "No State shall emit bills of credit and make anything but gold and silver coin a tender in payment of debts." So when I use the federal reserve note to pay taxes for the government to pay their debts, does that make them "robbers in all respects"? By force they don't allow me to use the actual legal tender which is gold and silver.

No. By "not the tender of the land", Rambam means not accepted by the majority of the people as the tender of the land, in practice.

Messages In This Thread
Taxation - by Zulske - 03-08-2012, 01:28 PM
RE: Taxation - by Rabbi Moshe Weiner - 03-09-2012, 04:36 AM
RE: Taxation - by Director Michael - 03-09-2012, 04:42 AM
RE: Taxation - by Zulske - 03-09-2012, 05:47 AM
RE: Taxation - by Director Michael - 03-13-2012, 11:15 AM
RE: Taxation - by Mattityahu ben Noach - 03-15-2012, 04:44 PM
RE: Taxation - by Director Michael - 03-16-2012, 06:44 PM
RE: Taxation - by Zulske - 03-17-2012, 05:04 PM
RE: Taxation - by Director Michael - 03-20-2012, 04:48 PM
RE: Taxation - by amenyahu - 03-28-2013, 01:54 AM
RE: Taxation - by Director Michael - 04-10-2013, 03:18 PM
RE: Taxation - by amenyahu - 04-16-2013, 11:34 PM
RE: Taxation - by Director Michael - 04-17-2013, 06:52 AM
RE: Taxation - by amenyahu - 04-24-2013, 05:08 PM
RE: Taxation - by Director Michael - 04-27-2013, 07:14 AM
RE: Taxation - by amenyahu - 05-03-2013, 11:47 PM
RE: Taxation - by Rabbi Moshe Weiner - 05-08-2013, 03:27 AM
RE: Taxation - by amenyahu - 05-08-2013, 09:27 AM
RE: Taxation - by Director Michael - 05-08-2013, 06:04 PM
RE: Taxation - by amenyahu - 05-10-2013, 10:45 AM
RE: Taxation - by Director Michael - 05-18-2013, 10:11 AM
Dinim: Courts or Government - by amenyahu - 07-08-2013, 09:00 PM
RE: Taxation - by Director Michael - 07-09-2013, 12:08 AM
RE: Taxation - by amenyahu - 07-09-2013, 12:59 AM
RE: Taxation - by Director Michael - 07-10-2013, 03:53 PM
RE: Taxation - by amenyahu - 07-13-2013, 05:53 PM
RE: Taxation - by Director Michael - 07-14-2013, 07:44 PM
RE: Taxation - by amenyahu - 07-14-2013, 09:21 PM
RE: Taxation - by Director Michael - 07-21-2013, 07:04 PM
RE: Taxation - by cheryl - 10-19-2013, 10:15 PM

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