Israel Tax Authority Presents: Government Funded Jewish Mother

Is marriage really something that should be incentivised? And where the hell are all the small government conservatives when we’re talking about Washington getting into the yenta business?
   – – President Bartlet (Martin Sheen) – The West Wing s03e20

Israeli Income Tax Form Addressed to the Registered SpouseSunday will be the last day for submitting your income tax report in Israel and this gives me an opportunity to point to the government’s annual act-like-a-Jewish-mother ceremony: On its form numbered 135, the government insists on referring to the person submitting it as ‘The Registered Spouse‘ (Ben HaZug HaRashum). This appears three times just on its initial page, with an additional footnote explaining this ‘registered spouse’ term includes unmarried and separated people.
Take a moment and meditate on that: Through its official form the State of Israel looks at its citizenry and only sees couples: a ‘registered spouse’ and his or her partner, or a ‘registered spouse’ with no partner. As far as my country is concerned, it’s not that I am single as much as I haven’t paired up yet.

Yes, just like The Simpsons’ Are we there yet routine, the Jewish state forces me to a yenta dialog that goes something like this:

– It’s 2008, are you married yet?
– No.
– It’s 2009 already, are you married yet?
– No!
– It’s 2010, are you married now?
– No! Stop asking me that!