Abiding by Civilian Law

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In general, there is a halachic principle called dina di-malkuta dina, which means that Halacha demands obedience to the laws made by civil authorities. However, it's important to note that this principle is limited and is discussed at length by the modern day Rabbinic authorities.


  1. The Gemara says Dina D'Malchusa Dina ("the law of the land is the law").[1] Several reasons are suggested for this[2]
  2. Dina dimalchuta dina applies to democracies such as the United States.[3]

Stealing from the Government

  1. see Stealing from the government

See Also

Secular Court


  1. Baba Kama 113a, Nedarim 28a, Gittin 10b, Bava Basra 54b. The principle of dina di-malkhuta dina is accepted as the halacha (Ritva Nedarim 28a says that there's no opinion in the Gemara that argues with it). Rambam Hilchot Gezelot 5:11 and Shulchan Aruch Choshen Mishpat 369:6 codify this principle as halacha regarding the taxes of the government.
    1. Rashbam Baba Batra 54b "Viahamar Shmuel" writes that the taxes and laws of the king are binding because the people accept it upon themselves.
    2. Ran Nedarim 28a "Bamoches" says because the land belongs to the king, he can make the laws, and if you don't abide he can kick you out of his land.
    3. Rabbenu Yona (Aliyot of Rabbenu Yona Baba Batra 54b "Umi Amar" says this works like hefker beit din hefker, that the king has dominion over all property
    4. Mabit (Kiryat Sefer Gezela 5) says that this is derived from the laws of a king derived from Sefer Shmuel Alef Perek 8
  2. Halachos of Other People's Money pg. 34. see note 71 where he quotes from Rav Yosef Eliyahu Henkin (Writings of Rav Yosef Eliyahu Henkin 96:8), Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach (Maadanei Eretz 20:8, Rav Moshe Feinstein (Igrot Moshe CM 2:62), Shevet Halevi 2:58