Home Subscribe Services Support Us
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

Chapter 141:5
Laws of the Megillah

5. Just before Purim, it is customary to donate the value of half of the standard monetary unit currently in use in one's local region (1), as a remembrance of the half-shekel ("Machtzis HaShekel") that people [were obligated] to donate [to the Beit Hamikdash (Temple)] every Adar for the purchase of the [animals used for the] communal sacrifices (2). It has become customary to donate three times the value of half [of the standard monetary unit], because in Parashas Ki Sisa (Exodus 30:11), it says the word "Terumah" ("donation") three times [in the paragraph discussing the mitzvah to donate the half-shekel].

The money should be given in the evening, before the Megillah reading. It should be distributed to the poor. A minor is exempt from this donation, but if his father contributes on his behalf one time, it becomes his obligation for life. According to some authorities, a thirteen year old boy is obligated to donate, while others rule that he is exempt until the age of twenty.


(1) A half of a dollar in the United States.

(2) From Rosh Chodesh Nissan onwards, the animals used for all the communal sacrifices had to be purchased using money collected that year. Therefore, one month before, on Rosh Chodesh Adar, announcements would be made to remind people to donate the half-shekel, so that animals could be purchased with the "new" money before Nissan. The reading of Parashas Shekalim just before (or on) Rosh Chodesh Adar also serves as a reminder of that mitzvah (See HY 140:1).


Back Paragraph 4 Table of Contents Paragraphs 6-7 Next 


Halacha-Yomi, Copyright © 2004




View Complete List

In the Bias of the Beholder
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5764

Be Creative!
Shlomo Katz - 5757

The Dawn of a New Adventure
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5760


Reality Check
Rabbi Pinchas Avruch - 5763

"If He Does Not Merit", Then "Opposite Him"
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5767

Deja Vu All Over Again . . . Then Shabbat
Shlomo Katz - 5775

> The Easy Way Out!
Rabbi Label Lam - 5770

Chaos From The Beginning
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5762

Adam Regrets His Gift to Dovid
- 5768

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Goal Tending
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5761

A Mate, not a Maid!
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5756

Knowing This World and Using it Well
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5761

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Rabbi Frand on Parshas Bereshis
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5770

Either You're With Us, Or...
Rabbi Dovid Green - 5762

A Final Solution
Rabbi Label Lam - 5760

It Was a Misunderstanding...
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5759

Project Genesis Home

Torah Portion

Jewish Law



Learn the Basics




Ask The Rabbi

Knowledge Base


About Us

Contact Us

Free Book on Geulah! Home Copyright Information