Ki Tavo

Ma’aser Sheni is an unusual tax: it isn’t given to anyone. One tenth of one’s produce, in biblical law, must be eaten at the temple – specifically, one must enjoy and rejoice in it. This defies normative capitalism. Most people work and produce something, and exchange that product for money. We’re so used to this system that we think we work for money. The Torah brings the focus back to the product itself. How would this play out today? Kitchen staff taking a break to eat their food, taxi-drivers riding alone sometimes down their favourite routes, craftsmen taking time out for creative work, journalists writing for fun – like Shabbat, we’re encouraged to slow down, have fun, put our production into perspective.

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[Inspired by: Deuteronomy 26, and Rashi on verse 14; and Toprak Adam by Neşet Günal. ]

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