Shekalim: Rav Aharon Karliner
On the first of Adar, the Holy Court would make announcements regarding the giving of the Half-Shekel and regarding Kilayim (the prohibition to mix seeds). What is the connection
This world is called ‘half’. When we cleave this world to the upper-world through the commandments, then we achieve true harmony. This is the Half-Shekel.
‘And each person shall give as an atonement for their soul’, the word Kopher (atonement) means ‘cleaving’. For it is necesary for one to cleave one’s soul to G-d, and then there will be no plague. Meaning, that there will be no power of anything evil over us, God forbid. Kilayim is the concept of clarification of all things, so that one thing does not get mixed up with another. Adar, as the last month of the year (Nissan being the first), is the month when everything from the previous year needs to be sorted out, in order for that year to be elevated in complete harmony. This is why the Talmud teaches us that we make the announcement regarding the Shekalim and the Kilayim. That is to say; to clarify the good, and to denigrate the bad. Therefore Shekalim is the remedy for Kilayim. Because the main thing is to unify this world and the next world; and this can be achieved only after having clarified the things that tend to be confused. (On the Torah and Service, Rav Aharon Karliner)
Tools: As we are preparing to give our Half-Shekel, we are striving to connect this world to the upper world, our half, with God’s Half. Part of the process demands that we untangle and sort out the things that we are unsure of; first by honestly confronting our “spiritual Kilayim”, then by seeking answers that will help us achieve a higher degree of clarity.