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Parsha Mitzvot: Ki Tisa: Mitzvah 105 – Concept 119

The 14th of Adar is the Yahrtzeit of Rav Ze’ev Wolf of Zhitomer, student of the Maggid of Mezeritch, author of Or Hameir, one of the early foundation texts of Chassidus (1800): “When you take a census of the Children of Israel according to their numbers, every man shall give God an atonement for his soul when counting them, so that there will not be a plague among them when counting them. This shall they five: Everyone who passes through the census, a half-shekel of the sacred shekel, the shekel is twenty geras, half a shekel as a portion to God. Everyone who passes through the census, ffrom twenty years of age and up, shall give the portion of God. The wealthy shall not increase and the destitute shall not decrease from half a shekel, to give the portion of God, to atone for your souls.” (Exodus 30:12-15) Each man must give a half shekel annually. (Rambam, Hilchot Shekalim)

In order to understand this Mitzvah we must examine the following verse: “This one will say, ‘I am God’s,’ and the other one will call in the name of Jacob; one will sign his allegiance to God, and another will adopt the name Israel.” (Isaiah 44:5) No two people are alike in their service of God, just as they are different in appearance. Each one of us has a unique role.

“This one will say, ‘I am God’s,’” describes the person who always speaks of focusing on acting for God and never speaks of focusing on himself.

“The other one will call in the name of Jacob,” is the person, who as Jacob, is able to connect the Upper and Lower worlds by acting with Wisdom, Understanding and Awareness.

“One will sign his allegiance to God,” is the person whose hand, or allegiance, is always open to opportunities to give and share. This is most people.

“Another will adopt the name Israel,” describes a person without any special qualities, who only refers to himself as Israel but does not act as Israel should. – Or HaMeir – Ki Tisa

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