How should we respond to the fact that many frum people are cheating on taxes?
Now pay attention. What do you think the non frum people are doing? It’s such a stupid idea, this question, “Why frum Jews?” It has nothing to do with the frummeh. All the accountants are busy for all their customers to save them money on taxes. They’re imagining all kinds of expenses. All over the world people are deceiving the government. I’m not saying you should do it. No, I’m not saying you should do it, no, but they’re doing it though. Don’t blame anybody for what everybody else is doing. I’m not saying that frum people actually are doing that, but if they’re cheating on taxes they’re not the only ones.
Don’t say “frum people are cheating.” You can ask me, “Why are people in this world cheating on taxes?” OK, that’s a question. The answer is they don’t want to pay taxes, that’s all.
You think the gentiles are not cheating on taxes? Reform Jews are not cheating on taxes? Wake up! It’s such a silly idea. Unfortunately, everybody is cheating on taxes.
Of course, they only ask about the frummeh. It’s like once a man said to me, “Why should yeshiva boys sit and learn Gemara? You should get up and go out in the streets and make people become ba’alei teshuvos instead of learning Gemara!” That’s what he said to me. So I said, “Suppose you saw people playing cards. Do you say to them, “Why are you playing cards? You should get up and walk in the street and help people do teshuvah.” No, when they’re playing cards, you have no ta’anah against them. When they learn Torah, you criticize them for learning Torah.
TAPE #E-147 (July 1998)