Israel Forever

For the week ending 8 March 2008 / 1 Adar II 5768

The Fiery Coin

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
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Jews are generous people and this Shabbat recalls their first opportunity to contribute to a sacred cause.

In addition to the regular weekly portion, this Shabbat we will read Parshat Shekalim, which recalls that call to generosity includes a hint that Moshe was shown by G-d a fiery half-shekel coin as a model for the coins that Jews would be required to contribute.

Why a coin of fire rather than one of silver that was what Jews would be giving?

It has been suggested that the message was that even though every Jew would be giving exactly the same amount, the value of his gift would depend on how much fiery enthusiasm accompanied that gift.

It is this sort of enthusiastic giving for sacred causes that will sustain Israel forever.

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