Transforming Normative Welfare Policy: The Reconstruction of the Institution of the Second Tithe as a Model for Welfare Policy
38 Pages Posted: 2 Feb 2016
Date Written: January 31, 2013
Academic discourse regarding welfare policy is dominated by views which focus on material redistribution. Recently, some views labeled as ‘relational egalitarians’ are aiming to shift the focus of welfare distribution toward the dignity and status of individuals in other respects besides their material possessions. This paper will analyze a similar transformation in welfare policy in Jewish Law sources initiated by the Sages in their legal design of the institution of the second tithe. Although the institution of second tithe may seem in first blush irrelevant and anachronistic to modern welfare policy, it will be argued that the indirect enhancement of the social status of the worst-off through the Sages’ creative redesign of the institution of the second tithe can serve as an abstract model for modern welfare policies.
Keywords: relational egalitarians, luck egaliterians, welfare policy, Jewish Law, tithing
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