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Parsha Insights - Shekalim

03/01/2016 06:13:20 PM

Mar1

This Shabbat is the first of four special Sabbaths, two before Purim and two before Pesach.  On these Sabbaths, we remove two Torah scrolls from the Aron Hakodesh.  In the first we read the Parshat Hashavuah.  In the second, we read a special section.  This Shabbat's special section deals with the mitzvah of Machatzit Hashekel.
 
In Temple times, the communal offerings had to be purchased with the half shekel donations of the Jewish people.  These had to be donated by Rosh Chodesh Nissan. Therefore the Rabbis instituted that a month earlier, we read about this mitzvah to remind us of its imminence.
 
Question
Why did Hashem word this mitzvah as giving a 'half' of a shekel.  Wholeness is paramount in performing a mitzvah.  What is the lesson of 'half'?
 
Answer
The Temple is the ultimate place in the world where the Jew meets G-d.  This mitzvah reminds us that we are incomplete without G-d.  We are only a half.  When we meet G-d in the Temple we become whole.
 
Even without the Temple, the Torah takes its place.  When we study and live Torah, we become whole and holy Jews.
 
Sat, December 15 2018 7 Tevet 5779