KI SISA – “to take a census”

The Ninth section of Exodus begins with G-d’s final instructions regarding the Tabernacle.

G-d tells Moses to take a census (two censuses) of the adult male Jews by collecting a half silver shekel coin from each one. One census was taken when he came down from Mt Sinai, and the second when the Tabernacle was erected.

G-d told Moses, “This is what everyone must give: a half shekel, of the shekel used for holy purposes, which weighs 20 geirah.” (30:13)

The half shekel was an expression of Jewish unity – rich and poor alike gave the same amount. Everyone gave only half a shekel in order to teach us that we can only achieve unity when we all recognise that we are just halves. To be a complete shekel, we must unite with our fellows.

Similarly we are also only a half on our relationship with G-d. The ten powers of the soul – our intellect and emotions – parallel the ten powers that G-d used to create the world and continues to use in order to constantly re-create it.

When we channel all ten powers of the soul – our nuance of our being – toward uniting with G-d and fulfilling our Divine mission, we align our soul powers with G-d’s  attributes. Our ten becomes twenty – a holy shekel.

Have a great week, with a fulfilling Shabbat to follow.