Passover, Easter and Taxes

Happy Passover, Holy Week and Tax Day.

“Three times a year… all your males shall appear before God, in the place he will choose. They shall not appear before the Lord empty handed, but each with his own gift, accord to the blessing that the Lord, your God, has bestowed upon you.” – Deuteronomy, 16:16-17

Remember that Jesus was in Jerusalem for Passover because it is one of the three Pilgrimage Festivals on the Jewish calendar. Passover, Shavuot (getting the Torah at Sinai) and Sukkot (the festival of booths), were harvest festivals, the three times of sacrificing from your herds, flocks or fruits to God at the Temple.

Remember that the sacrifices which were brought to the Temple, besides being a “pleasant aroma for God,” fed the Priests and the Levites as well. The poor were fed from what you left behind in your field, and it wasn’t a tax deduction – just the thing you were commanded to do to feed those who could not feed themselves.

Taxes are sacrifices. They keep our government running, feed the poor, teach the children who would otherwise be unable to learn because they’d have to work in factories to help support their families.

God and Caesar each provide, and each require sacrifice to maintain the system. Render happily.


4 thoughts on “Passover, Easter and Taxes

  1. I gotta say, I’m with Arthur here. Your reply certainly doesn’t make me feel any better about paying taxes PBG. Especially the last line. They are 2 incredibly divergent “sacrifices” of wealth. I understand you were trying to make a cool parallel; i do that sometimes and occasionally have to strech a little to make it work. But this one just isn’t working for me.



  2. PG, here we go again. The commandments, mitzvot and religious obligations mentioned in your post are all important. However, they are not part of a secular system of government, nor are they any indications of one’s obligations to one’s presiding monarch, local or federal government. In the US we have the Constitution. This guarantees us our freedom from an state religion or state imposed religious obligation. Taxes are not sacrifices and certainly not sacrifices in the Jewish sense. Taxes are part of the Constitutional obligation of limited government. The federal government is over stepping its limited role by imposing taxes on me so the they can be “fed” and so that they can feed the poor or educate anyone. This is the sweat of my brow and if I chose to feed the poor or heal the world with my efforts, that is my decision and not the Federal governments. Furthermore, my religious obligations and observance is my choice and the government has no role in it.


    1. Hi AT. I am merely drawing parallels between religious obligations and societal obligations. In no way should this be taken to mean that I believe government and religion are the same – just that there are similar systems of obligatory obeisance required to help keep each of those systems going. Yes, sacrifices in the Jewish sense have a deeper meaning as well, as does tithing in Judaism and other faiths. Not having been there bizman she-beyt ha-mikdash haya kayam, I can only guess that it pleased the average Judean to be able to sacrifice part of his wealth at the Temple, at every opportunity. I am only asking that those who have found fortune in our day and age – and even those who haven’t – feel that way about paying taxes.


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