web analytics
January 25, 2015 / 5 Shevat, 5775
 
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post


Daf Yomi

Daf-Yomi-logo

In Our Days
‘We Do Not Seize A Surety From Minor Children’
(Shekalim 3b)

The Mishnah states that children are not compelled to pay the machatzis hashekel tax. The Gemara, according to the Roke’ach’s version (Roke’ach 133, cited by the Vilna Gaon), notes that after a child attains halachic maturity (i.e., he exhibits specific signs of maturity after the age of 13), he is asked to donate the machatzis hashekel but is not coerced to do so until he turns 20. (The Rambam [Hilchos Shekalim 1:7] has a variant text which does not distinguish between 13-year-olds and 20-year-olds. According to the Rambam, one is obligated to give the machatzis hashekel as soon as one attains halachic majority.)

Rivevan in his commentary to the Mishnah (ad loc.) explains that the Temple treasurers would enter homes to seize items of value as surety to guarantee that the yearly half-shekel was paid to the Temple treasury.

One Mitzvah, Two Reasons

Har Ephraim (by Rabbi Ephraim Garboz, published with the commentary of Rabbi Shlomo Sirlio, Jerusalem, 1958) asks why, according to the Roke’ach, a 13-year-old boy is asked to donate the machatzis hashekel if he is not obligated to pay this tax until he turns 20.

In answer, Har Ephraim explains that there are two reasons for the mitzvah of machatzis hashekel: a) the verse states, “This they shall give, all who pass among the counted ones” (Shemos 30:13); and b) everyone must have a share in the sacrifices and therefore all must contribute toward the purchase of the sacrificial animals. By giving the machatzis hashekel one discharges both requirements. (Kehilas Yaakov to Tractate Zevachim derives these two requirements in a somewhat similar manner.)

According to the first reason, a lad under 20 is exempt from the mitzvah because the verse links this mitzvah to the census (i.e., “This they shall give, all who pass among the counted ones”) – and anyone under 20 was not counted, as stated explicitly in that passage (Shemos 30:14; Rashi, Menachos 46b). Nevertheless, 13-year-old boys are asked to contribute the machatzis hashekel because they are required to participate in the purchase of the communal sacrifices (the second reason).

In The Torah’s Own Words

Vayikra 23:11 uses the word “li’retzonchem.” Rashi and Targum Onkelos understand this word to mean “to find favor for you.” Toras Kohanim, however, explains “li’retzonchem” to mean “of your own volition,” indicating that beit din does not compel the Jewish people to offer communal sacrifices. Consequently, explains Har Ephraim, a lad under 20 is not coerced to contribute the machatzis hashekel even though there is a mitzvah for him to do so.

Half A Dollar… Pound… Shekel…

The Rema (Orach Chayim 694:s.k. 1) cites the custom of giving half a coin of the local currency to tzedakah before (or on) Purim in commemoration of the mitzvah of machatzis hashekel. He notes that anyone under 20 is exempt from this obligation because, as our Gemara says, those under age 20 are not required to give the machatzis hashekel.

Diaspora Support For Eretz Yisrael

The Kaf HaChayim (Orach Chayim 694:22) states that in some places the custom is to send the collected machatzis hashekel funds to charities in Eretz Yisrael. This is in commemoration of the times when the beit hamikdash was standing and people living outside the boundaries of the Land of Israel would send their shekalim to the beit hamikdash for the purchase of sacrifices and other Temple needs.

About the Author: RABBI YAAKOV KLASS, rav of Congregation K’hal Bnei Matisyahu in Flatbush, Brooklyn, is Torah Editor of The Jewish Press. He can be contacted at yklass@jewishpress.com. RABBI GERSHON TANNENBAUM, rav of Congregation Bnai Israel of Linden Heights, Boro Park, Brooklyn, is the Director of Igud HaRabbanim – The Rabbinical Alliance of America.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Daf Yomi”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends an event held at the International Conference Center in Jerusalem of the Taglit Birthright program, where Netanyahu was the guest speaker. January 14, 2015.
Netanyahu ‘Will Go Anywhere Invited’ to Prevent Iran from Achieving Nuclear Weapons
Latest Judaism Stories
Torah-Hakehillah-121914

Rabbi Yaakov Nagen, a Ram at Yeshivat Otniel, notes that the verse is suggesting that retelling the story of the Exodus is so important that Hashem is performing ever-greater miracles specifically so that parents can tell their stories to future generations.

Parshat Bo

Before performing the 10th plague God makes a fundamental argument about the ultimate nature of justice.

Daf-Yomi-logo

Life Before The Printed Word
‘A Revi’is Of Blood’
(Yevamos 114a-b)

The-Shmuz

How is it possible that the clothing was more valuable to them than gold or silver?

Question: If Abraham was commanded to circumcise his descendants on the eighth day, why do Arabs – who claim to descend from Abraham through Yishmael – wait until their children are 13 to circumcise them? I am aware that this is a matter of little consequence to our people. Nevertheless, this inconsistency is one that piques my curiosity.

M. Goldman
(Via E-mail)

“It means that the disqualification of relatives as witnesses is a procedural issue, not a question of honesty,” explained Rabbi Dayan.

Property ownership is an extremely important and fundamental right and principle according to the Torah.

The tenderest description of the husband/wife relationship is “re’im v’ahuvim/loving, kind friends”

And if a person can take steps to perform the mitzvah, he should do so (even if he won’t be held accountable for not performing it due to circumstances beyond his control).

Suddenly, she turns to me and says, “B’emet, I need to thank you, you made me excited to come back to Israel.”

Pesach is called “zikaron,” a Biblical term used describing an object eliciting a certain memory

Recouping $ and assets from Germans and Swiss for their Holocaust actions is rooted in the Exodus

Pharaoh perverted symbols of life (the Nile and midwives) into agents of death.

I think that we have to follow the approach of the Tannaim and Amoraim. They followed the latest scientific developments of their time.

Three years of war and the loss of one-tenth of Britain’s men is not too great a price to pay.

More Articles from Rabbi Yaakov Klass and Rabbi Gershon Tannenbaum
Daf-Yomi-logo

Life Before The Printed Word
‘A Revi’is Of Blood’
(Yevamos 114a-b)

Daf-Yomi-logo

Mitzvah Or Kinyan?
‘Both Shall Have Intention At The Same Time’
(Yevamos 102b)

A Kohen Of Choice
‘A Deaf-Mute, A Mentally Challenged Person, A Minor…’
(Yevamos 99b)

A Posted Picture Saves The Day
‘In Order To Avoid Igun…’
(Yevamos 88a)

Reward And Punishment
‘Masser Rishon For The levi’im’
(Yevamos 86a)

Fetal Immersion?
‘The Fetus Is A Limb Of Its Mother’
(Yevamos 78a)

No Fault Lines
‘…His Father And Mother Were In Prison…’
(Yevamos 71b)

The Daughters Are Mine, The Sons Are Mine
‘Grandchildren Are like Children’
(Yevamos 62b)

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/halacha-hashkafa/daf-yomi-99/2013/10/17/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: