Shabbat Shekalim

R.E.C./Beit Tikkun Family,

During this time allow the Holy Spirit to guide you as you enter this Passover Season so I want to impart Godly wisdom!

Here are some  basic Torah/ Biblical Law, Hebrew-Jewish Wisdom : God will only give you what you can manage, not what you ask for! Why? Because when you ask for something, it implies ownership, and when you manage something it implies Stewardship! In other words God gave us Rulership not Owership! So Prosperity is not dependent on the resources God gives you, but on the ablitiy to manage what God gives you! Amen   

Shabbat Shekalim

This week begins the first of four Parshiot leading up to the festivals of Purim and Passover.  That’s right!  These two holidays are just around the corner!

Because this week’s Shabbat is called Shabbat Shekalim (שבת שקלים / Sabbath of Shekels), a special reading called a maftir is added.  Maftir shares the same root as Haftarah—FTR, which means to conclude.

This week’s special reading concludes the Parasha and is taken from Exodus 30:11–16; it pertains to the half-shekel tax for the Tabernacle.

Shekalim is the plural form of the Hebrew word shekel, which was the currency of ancient Israel.  It is also used today in the modern state of Israel.

Every Jewish adult male (20 years and older) was required to give half a Biblical shekel toward the building and maintenance of the Tabernacle.

Nationally, rich and poor alike set aside personal interests and united by contributing equally to the goal of building the Tabernacle.

In remembrance of the half shekel, at this time of year, some Jewish people contribute to institutes of Jewish learning.

Shabbat Shekalim perhaps is also a good reminder of the importance of financially contributing to the upkeep and operating costs of those who are doing the work of the Lord.

“All who cross over, those twenty years old or more, are to give an offering to the Lord.  The rich are not to give more than a half shekel and the poor are not to give less when you make the offering to the Lord to atone for your lives.  Receive the atonement money from the Israelites and use it for the service of the tent of meeting.  It will be a memorial for the Israelites before the Lord, making atonement for your lives.”  (Exodus 30:14–16)

` During the Temple times, the half-shekel tax, called machatzit hashekel, was due yearly on the first of Nissan.

The collection of this tax was significant and practical since Passover occurs in Nissan and these extra funds allowed for the purchase of cattle for the communal sacrifices.

The call for the tax was issued to the people at the start of the previous month, Adar, giving people time to prepare their payment before the annual pilgrimage to Jerusalem for Passover.

Funds also contributed to the upkeep of the Temple and its vessels, the roads and pathways to the Temple, wages, and the maintenance of the ritual baths called mikvot for the customary pre-Passover purification.  If a mikvah was not properly maintained, then it would not be kosher and could not be used for ritual purposes.

Shabbat Shekalim, then, is a wonderful time to renew our commitment to be faithful in our support of those places doing the work of the Lord and where we are being fed spiritually.

Start planning your harvest of blessings for this upcoming Passover Season now!

Shalom and blessings for your faithfulness!   

Rabbi/Pastor Hector Gomez

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