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The Privilege of Taxation: Jewish Identity and the Half-shekel Temple Tax in the Talmud Yerushalmi
University of Cambridge.
2016 (English)In: Svensk Exegetisk Årsbok, ISSN 1100-2298, Vol. 81, p. 63-89Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In their discussion on the temple tax the rabbis assume that all their biblical source texts speak of one and the same phenomenon: a half-shekel tax, instituted by Moses in the wilderness, for the funding of the sacrificial cult and the upkeep of the tabernacle/temple. The most central theological, and sociological, theme in this discussion is the idea of collective participation in the daily sacrificial cult. Through the contribution of the half-shekel every Jew would be a part of the people of Israel, conceived of as a sacrificial collective. This model of Jewish group identity is tied in with issues of boundaries, since Samaritans and gentiles are excluded from the sacrificial collective. Women and slaves are seen as part of the people, but not as fully autonomous entities. Therefore, they are not obligated to contribute. The temple tax thus functions as an important identity marker, in the same vein as circumcision and Sabbath observance.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Svenska exegetiska sällskapet , 2016. Vol. 81, p. 63-89
Keywords [en]
temple tax, Talmud, rabbis, atonement, Exodus 30, group identity
National Category
Religious Studies
Research subject
Old Testament Exegesis
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-313746OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-313746DiVA, id: diva2:1067961
Available from: 2017-01-23 Created: 2017-01-23 Last updated: 2017-11-29Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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