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Two Halves Make A Whole

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 The Significance Of Charity Parshas Zachor

Two Halves Make A Whole

The last Shabbat before the month of Adar is called Shabbat Parshat Shekalim, or simply Shabbat Shekalim. On this Shabbat we read about the mitzva of the half-shekel, which G-d commanded every Jew to give as atonement for the sin of the Golden Calf.

The sin of the Golden Calf was idolatry, which caused the Jewish people to be distanced and alienated from each other. Accordingly, the antidote was to unite the Jewish people and G-d in true unity, which was accomplished through the mitzva of the half-shekel.

In essence, the Jewish people and G-d are one entity. Without G-d, the Jews are incomplete. They are only half of a single whole.

To demonstrate this fact, the Jewish people were commanded to give a half-shekel. The other "half" is G-d, and together they comprise a single unit.

Significantly, both rich and poor Jews were required to give the same amount. For every Jew, regardless of social standing or other factors, is only "half." Only by uniting with G-d do we become complete.

This is also the inner connection between Shabbat Shekalim and the month of Adar, in which the miracle of Purim took place. The Talmud relates that the spiritual reason for Haman's decree was the Jews having bowed down to an idol. The spiritual reason the decree was nullified was their merit of the half-shekel.

When the Jews bowed down to the idol it gave the appearance that they were disconnected from G-d. Their miraculous salvation, which came about in the merit of the half-shekel, demonstrated openly that Jews can never be separated from G-d.

The merit of the half-shekel inspired the Jews to observe Torah and mitzvot with even greater dedication and self-sacrifice, despite Haman's harsh decree. May we be similarly inspired by reading of their example, and merit the ultimate salvation of Moshiach's coming.

 The Significance Of Charity Parshas Zachor

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