15 Then the Pharisees went out and planned together to entrap him with his own words. 16 They sent to him their disciples along with the Herodians, saying, “Teacher, we know that you are truthful and teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. You do not court anyone’s favor because you show no partiality. 17 Tell us then, what do you think? Is it right to pay taxes to Caesar or not?” 18 But Jesus realized their evil intentions and said, “Hypocrites! Why are you testing me? 19 Show me the coin used for the tax.” So they brought him a denarius. 20 Jesus said to them, “Whose image is this, and whose inscription?” 21 They replied, “Caesar’s.” He said to them, “Then give to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” 22 Now when they heard this they were stunned, and they left him and went away.
Gittin 10bBabylonian Talmud
However, with regard to a gift, by what means does the one who receives the gift acquire it from the giver? Is it not via this document? And yet this document is merely a shard, as a document written by gentiles is not considered a legal document according to halakha. Shmuel said: The law of the kingdom is the law, i.e., Jews must obey the laws of the state in which they live. Consequently, every form of property transfer accepted by local law is valid according to halakha as well.
Notes and References
"... To Samuel of Nehardea (c. 165-257 A.D.) belongs the honour of formulating the principle which made it possible for Jews from the early middle ages onwards to live under alien laws. Jeremiah bad admonished his exiled brothers: 'Seek ye the peace of the city whither I have caused you to be carried away captives, and pray unto the Lord for it; for in the peace thereof shall ye have peace.' It grew necessary to become more explicit, and the Rabbis proclaimed a principle which was as influential with the synagogue as 'Give unto Caesar that which is Caesar's' became with the Church. 'The law of the government is law' (dina d'malchutha dina, T.B. Baba Qama 113 b; Bava Bathra 54a; Gillin 10b; Nedarim 21a) said Samuel, and ever since it has been a religious duty for the Jews to obey and accommodate themselves as far as possible to the laws of the country in which they are settled or reside, "To Jeremiah and Mar Samuel," says Graetz, 'Judaism owes its possibility of existence in a foreign country' ..."
Abrahams, Israel Studies in Pharisaiam and the Gospels (pp. 62-65) Cambridge University Press, 1917
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