Jewish Moments

Counting Each Person: The Mitzvah of Donating Half a Shekel

What is the biblical commandment of donating half a shekel, connecting with the month of Adar? How can we use the values behind this mitzvah to illustrate the importance that each and every person contribute to bringing the hostages home?

There is a commandment in the Torah which calls on every person over the age of 20 to contribute a half-shekel to the community. This commandment is read in synagogues today during the regular Torah reading cycle, with an additional reading that highlights this commandment on the Shabbat leading into the month of Adar (or Adar Bet during a leap year). How can we use the values behind this mitzvah to illustrate the importance that each and every person contribute to bringing the hostages home?

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Come Home: The Jerusalem Orchestra East West, with Ninet Tayeb, filmed at the National Library of Jerusalem.
In partnership with

Dedicate this activity in honor of

Amiram Cooper Z״L 85

Amiram was taken from his home in Kibbutz Nir Oz. Hamas released a video of him while in captivity as part of the psychological terror. After eight months, on June 3, 2024, the IDF confirmed that Cooper was killed while in captivity, along with three other hostages: Chaim Peri, 79,  Yoram Metzger, 80, and Nadav Popplewell, 51. Their bodies are being held in Gaza by Hamas. 

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