Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Shall the rich pay more?

As noted previously on this blog, I always try to file my taxes by Rosh Chodesh Adar.  This year, that means sending in the return before the National Havurah Committee Chesapeake Retreat (February 17-19, 2012, Presidents' Day weekend), which will be exploring the vital issues of taxation, regulation, and other wise restraints that make us free, as well as having lots of fun and networking grassroots Jewish communities from across the region.

Here's this year's blurb:

Join the National Havurah Committee, havurahs and minyans from across the Mid-Atlantic Region for the NHC Chesapeake Retreat!

In parashat Mishpatim, Moses receives law concerning fines, lending, and restitution. On Shabbat Shekalim, the haftarah defines a system of census and taxation, including that “the rich shall not pay more and the poor shall not pay less” than a half-shekel. In the midst of a presidential primary, with Wall Street recently occupied, and in the weeks before Passover, how do we perceive these laws? Does equal taxation promote or hinder equality? Do regulations and taxes represent an infringement on, or an enabler of, human freedom?

Take a weekend to examine these questions while experiencing the holiness of a community that learns, prays, and rests together. Individuals, families, and havurot of all ages will gather to sing, eat, study, dance, pray, debate, relax, and bond.

If you've thought about going to the NHC Summer Institute, but stayed home because it was too long, too far, or too expensive, the regional retreat is a great way to get a taste of the experience that is shorter, cheaper, and (if you're in the Mid-Atlantic region) closer.  There are activities for all ages, and courses on both the Mishpatim/Shekalim theme and other topics from Sephardi Passover songs to farming.  Registration is entirely online this year, and work-study and scholarship assistance is available.  Register by January 16 before the price goes up (speaking of taxes and regulations).  See you there!

No comments:

Post a Comment