Parshas Shekalim

Parshas Shekalim

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  • The Shabbos before Rosh Chodesh Adar, we lein Parshas Shekalim (the beginning of Parshas Ki Sisa) as maftir[1]. (If Rosh Chodesh Adar falls out on Shabbos, we read Parshas Shekalim that same Shabbos).


  • The reason behind this is as follows: In the time of the Beis Hamikdash, messengers were sent out to Klal Yisroel on Rosh Chodesh Adar to remind them to give their Machatzis Hashekel. The funds collected were used for korbanos (and other public needs) that needed to be brought by the tzibbur. All korbanos tzibbur offered after Rosh Chodesh Nissan had to be purchased using these newly collected shekalim.[2]


  • According to the Sefer Hachinuch[3], since nowadays we do not have the Beis Hamikdash nor the shekalim of old, our minhag is to read Parshas Shekalim to remember what used to be done in the days of the Bais Hamikdash.


  • Mishnah Berurah, quoting the Levush, writes that by reading Parshas Shekalim, it is considered as if we actually are bringing the shekalim to the Beis Hamikdosh (“through our lips”).


  • The Yerushalmi[4] quotes another reason as to why we lein Parshas Shekalim: Hashem knew Haman was going to use shekalim to “buy” the right to destroy Klal Yisroel from Achashveirosh[5]. Therefore, we were given the mitzvah of Machatzis Hashekel as a way of combatting Haman’s plot. This is why we read Parshas Shekalim each year—to remember and enact Machatzis Hashekel, the zechus of which helped save us from Haman’s decree.


[1] משנה מגילה דף כ”ט.

[2] משנה שקלים פרק א’ משנה א’

[3] ספר החינוך מצוה ק”ה

[4] ירושלמי מגילה פרק א’ הלכה ה’ וכן במדרש תנחומא פרשת כי תשא אות ג’. וע”ע גמ’ מגליה דף יג:

[5] כדאיתא במגילת אסתר ג:ט “ועשרת אלפים ככר כסף אשקול על ידי עשי המלאכה להביא אל גנזי המלך.”