Shekalim 22

 As our study of Massechet Shekalim draws to a close, the final lines of Shekalim (22b) refer to the fact that the Mishkan was first erected in the month of Nissan and it wonders in which month the future Beit HaMikdash will be rebuilt.Significantly, during the time-period of the Torah, the months did not actually […]

Read More

Shekalim 21

In explaining the position of Rabbi Yosi in the Mishna (Shekalim 8:1), today’s daf (Shekalim 21b) quotes a Beraita describing the way people walked in the streets of Jerusalem throughout the year and during the Festivals: ‘Throughout the year, those people who were טמא (spiritually impure) [who were the majority] would walk in the middle […]

Read More

Shekalim 20

Today’s daf (Shekalim 20a) records a curious exchange between Rabbi Mana and Rabbi Yosi about the mitzvah of Hashavat Aveida – returning a lost object.In general, when an object has been lost with little to no identifying signs in a public location, it is presumed that the original owner would quickly give up hope of […]

Read More

Shekalim 19

Today we begin Chapter Seven of Massechet Shekalim (Shekalim 19a) whose opening Mishna (Shekalim 7:1) addresses the question of how to treat coins that are found in the vicinity of the 13 collection chests in the Beit HaMikdash.For example, the Mishna begins by asking what should be done if coins are found on the floor […]

Read More

Shekalim 18

In today’s daf (Shekalim 18b), and basing itself on the seemingly superfluous word קרבן in the verse ‘if a person offers a mincha offering (קרבן)’ (Vayikra 2:1), the Gemara learns that in addition to bringing an animal as an offering, it was also permitted to bring wood to be used on the Altar as an […]

Read More

Shekalim 17

 Today’s daf (Shekalim 17a) begins with a Mishna (Shekalim 6:3) and it specifies the location by each of the gates of the Beit HaMikdash (Temple) where a visitor would perform each of their 13 prostrations. And it then offers an alternative explanation of the Rabbis where the 13 prostrations took place by each of the […]

Read More

Shekalim 16

 Much of today’s daf (Shekalim 16) explores the dimensions and manufacture of the Aron (Ark), and it is here where Rabbi Chaninah explains the meaning of the instruction found in Shemot 25:10-11: “Make an ark of acacia wood, 2½ cubits long, 1½ cubits wide, and 1½ cubits high. Cover it with a layer of pure […]

Read More

Shekalim 15

While the Gemara’s method of communicating various teachings and rulings often involves lengthy dialogues and discussions, as well as detailed interpretations, of biblical verses, there are other times when just a few short words can communicate a profound message that are already embedded in the words of the Tanach.A case in point can be found […]

Read More

Shekalim 14

 We were previously taught (see Mishna Shekalim 5:1) that the House of Garmu were responsible for the production of the לחם הפנים in the Beit HaMikdash, while the House of Avtinas were responsible for the production of the קטורת (incense). In today’s daf (Shekalim 14a), we are informed that each House was very secretive about […]

Read More

Shekalim 13

 The Mishna (Shekalim 5:1) in today’s daf (Shekalim 13a) tells us about Petachiah – better known to use as Mordechai (from the Purim story) – who was a Temple administrator, a member of the Sanhedrin, and who spoke seventy languages.The Gemara (Shekalim 13b) then quotes a Beraita which informs us that a Sanhedrin must have […]

Read More

Shekalim 12

The Mishna (Shekalim 4:6) found in today’s daf (Shekalim 12a) informs us of a dispute between Rabbi Akiva and Ben Azzai about the use of הקדש (items consecrated) to the בית המקדש (Temple) for the בדק הבית (upkeep of the Temple). Interestingly, we are taught elsewhere (Mishna Temurah 7:2) that סתם הקדש לבדק הבית – […]

Read More

Shekalim 11

 Having made reference in the previous Mishna (Shekalim 4:2) to the special ramp that was built for the transportation of the Parah Adumah from the Temple Mount to the Mount of Olives – whose function was to protect all those involved from the possibility of becoming טמא מת (spiritually impure through contact with the dead) […]

Read More

Shekalim 10

 The Mishna (Shekalim 4:2) found in today’s daf (Shekalim 10b) begins by listing three items that were purchased מתרומת הלשכה – with money from the treasury chamber, namely: פרה – the Parah Adumah (Red Heifer) used to purify those who had become טמא (spiritually impure through contact with the dead), שעיר המשתלח – the he-goat […]

Read More

Shekalim 9

Having informed us of the importance of being “נקיים (literally ‘clean’, but generally understood to be ‘free from sin and the suspicion of sin’) in the eyes of God and of Israel” (see Bemidbar 32:22), today’s daf (Shelakim 9b) quotes Rabbi Pinchas Ben Yair’s steps of spiritual growth – which includes the trait of נקיות […]

Read More

Shekalim 8

We are taught in the Mishna (Shekalim 3:2) found in today’s daf (Shekalim 8a) that someone who withdraws money from the treasury chamber of the Beit HaMikdash may not do so with a hemmed garment or with anything else that could conceivably be used to hide money. This is because – as we derive from […]

Read More

Shekalim 6-7

A central theme in both yesterday’s (Shekaim 6) & today’s daf (Shekalim 7) is the status of מותר – (surplus) money that was set aside to be given for the half-shekel donation as well as for a variety of other Beit HaMikdash related functions and other charity needs, and fundamentally, the question posed by the […]

Read More

Shekalim 5

The Mishna (Shekalim 2:1) found in today’s daf (Shekalim 5a) informs us that just as there were half-shekel donation boxes for the upkeep of the Beit Hamikdash (Temple) within the Beit Hamikdash itself, so too, every Jewish community outside of Yerushalayim also had half-shekel donation boxes for this same purpose. Thus, wherever a Jew was […]

Read More

Shekalim 4

Today’s daf (Shekalim 4) informs us that donations for the upkeep of the Beit HaMikdash (Temple) should not be sought from idolatrous non-Jews, and that if a donation is made, it shouldn’t be a distinctive identifiable object.However, in the Gemara elsewhere (Arakhin 6a) we find that Rav Yosef raises a challenge to this, since we […]

Read More

Shekalim 3

The Mishna (Shekalim 1:1) quoted in today’s daf (Shekalim 3a) informs us that the Beit Din in each city were responsible to repair the physical dangers in a city (eg. roads and streets that require repair); to provide religious services to a city (eg. maintain mikvaot and other צרכי הרבים), and to ensure that the […]

Read More

Shekalim 2

 As part of its discussion about the contribution of the half-shekel for the maintenance of the Mishkan (Tabernacle) and later on, the Beit HaMikdash (Temple), today’s daf (Shekalim 2b) offers two different approaches to understanding the behaviour of Bnei Yisrael in terms of what they gave to the Mishkan.One approach offered by Rebbi and presented […]

Read More