Positive Commandment 78
Sanctifying one-tenth of a Herd
Leviticus 27:32 “And concerning the tithe (one-tenth) of the herd, or of the flock…the tenth shall be holy to the L-rd”
“I plowed and planted and, now, I’ll reap my harvest!” says the farmer.
“I designed and built and worked hard. Now, I’ll earn my wages!” smiles the architect.
“I calculated and saved up, I invested my money and, now, I’ll make my profit!” beams the broker.
“Wait a minute!” declares the Torah, “don’t forget that it is HaShem who brings you success. You must show HaShem your appreciation!”
A Jew is commanded to set aside one tenth of his herds and flocks and offer them as sacrifices to HaShem who blesses his possessions.
I assume this is where Christians get their concept of the tenth-part tithe from, although how they justify giving it only to the church, I don’t know.
If you take this to its logical point, since we don’t have a Temple, we can’t tithe livestocl and produce as sacrifices, and so we tithe that same food, or money substituted for that food, and use the tithe to feed the poor.
I think, however, the laws get complex on this matter, so it’s not like I’m stating Halachah here.
At any rate, the only thing I can think of is that the Christians consider their church to be the replacement for the Temple, and so that’s why they have to give their tithe to the church instead of the poor.