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Ki Tisa 5761
March 11-17, 2001 - by Reb Yosef

Every Child of Israel is Equal

In this Parashah, God tells us many different things.  However, one of the really important lessons points out that, as far as God is concerned, each of us is equal to the next. 

The Torah says (Perek Chav-Khet - Chapter 28): 

13. This shall they give -- 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 Hashem: 

14. Everyone who passes through the census, from twenty years of age and up, shall give the portion of Hashem:

15. The wealthy shall not increase and the destitute shall not decrease from half a shekel -- to give the portion of Hashem, to atone for your souls: 

There are two very interesting points in this.  We can see that God tells us specifically that the wealthy shall not give more and the poor give less.  In other words, in this situation, the contribution to the Tent of Meeting and for the atonement of their souls, all of us are equal - no matter what our financial standing. 

The second point can be seen the the Stone Edition Chumash commentaries: 

Many commentators interpret homiletically that the requirement of half a coin alludes to the concept that no Jew is complete unless he joins with others; as long as we are in isolation, each of us is only "half" of our full potential. 

This continues to show how important it is for us to think of ourselves as a people that is only complete when all of us are counted by each other.

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Translations in Torah Portions of the week are partially taken from the ArtScroll Stone Edition Chumash and from Rav Samson Raphael Hirsch Chumash

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