As our fans in the United States are preparing for the annual April 15 tax deadline we at Koren Publishers Jerusalem decided to take some time to learn a small but relevant section from our Noé Edition Koren Talmud Bavli specifically Bava Kamma page 113:A.
This sections follows a mishna that declares that “one may not exchange money from the trunks of customers collectors” as one may safely assume that the custom collectors may have come about their collections fraudulently.
However, Shmuel questions this mishna by pointing out that Jews are required to follow the civil law in the land in which they live which includes paying customs/taxes to the government. As we can see there is a background note marked after the words “the law of the kingdom is the law.” Let’s see what the Koren Talmud Bavli has to say about this phrase:
The background notes make Shmuel’s statement more clear for the learners of this daf [page]. This halakha is nearly universally accepted by our Sages and derives its roots from 1 Samuel. The Rashba, Rosh, Ran, AND Rashbam argue that Jewish citizens by virtue of choosing to live in a specific place have implicitly agreed to follow the laws of that land. Additionally the king has every right to impose these laws on its citizens and even the Jews are considered citizens under a gentile king. So from here we learn that even the Jewish people must pay their taxes to their foreign governments.
On that note, we wish everyone doing their taxes (wherever they may live) the best of luck and once you’re done learn a little Talmud with the rest of us!