Shekalim 2: The Magical Power of Love
The Sages taught that when one does Teshuva from fear, he could transform his deliberate sins into mistakes, which demand a lower level of forgiveness. However, when one returns to God in love and a desire to be close and repair any damage to the relationship,
he actually transforms his deliberate sins into acts of merit. (Yoma 86b).
The Half Shekel is explained as “Kofer Nafsho”- redemption of the soul. It can be used as an expression of a desire to restore the full relationship between the soul and its source – God. When someone offers his Half Shekel with the intention to restore the full power of the relationship with God, he can achieve Teshuva Mei Ahavah – Returning in Love – and thereby alter his sins into merits. (Kehillat Yaakov, Shekalim 2)
This Mitzvah must be fulfilled with love and excitement that he has an opportunity to fully restore his relationship with God. This is the intention the person must have when giving his Half Shekel on Purim. A person should use Shabbat Shekalim to focus on love of God, and appreciation for the opportunities offered by God to repair any damage to the relationship.