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University of Colorado Boulder Program in Jewish Studies

Shabbat Nugget: Parashat Ki Tisa

In this week’s Torah portion we read about the half shekel donation for the Temple that was mandatory for each individual.

The commentaries explain the message of the donation being a half of shekel is that a person on his own is incomplete and he can only become complete by joining with the other half of shekel which symbolizes his union with G-d.

The reason a person cannot feel complete without his connection is because each person has within him a divine soul.  The divine soul does not become satiated and content unless it is united with the divine even if it has all the worldly pleasures it feels lacking.

The midrash gives a parable to this idea of a princess who marries an ordinary person.  Whatever her husband gives her she will still miss and long for the royal palace she was raised in.

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About Rabbi Pesach Scheiner

Rabbi Pesach Scheiner is the Rabbi of Boulder County Center for Judaism. In addition, he teaches extensively throughout Boulder County and is the author of "Finding the Joy in Everyday Living," a book of short chapters explaining the ways to access happiness through appreciation, gratitude, and a sense of purpose.

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