Thursday, February 22, 2024

Yoma 64a – 66a: The Half-Shekel Donation

Located within the Azarah were thirteen collection boxes, called shofaros on account of their long, curved necks which resembled a shofar. They were used to collect funds for the following purposes:

1) The half-shekel donation collected from the public each year.
2) Half-
shekel donations owed from the previous year (which would be appropriated for different uses than the current year’s shekalim).

Both of these shofaros for the half-shekel donations were kept inside the Chamber of the Shekalim (see illustration). As the donations came in, the treasurers would deposit them into these shofaros and issue a receipt to the donor. At the end of each day the coins would be transferred to a (larger) storage container, also located inside this chamber.

3) Mature bird sacrifices. One who is obligated to bring a bird-offering (such as a zav, a zavah, a woman who has given birth, or a metzora) may discharge their obligation by placing enough money to cover the cost of the birds into this box. The Kohanim check this box daily and make sure to offer the sacrifices on behalf of the owner by the end of each day.

4) Young bird sacrifices. One who has pledged a voluntary bird olah may place the cost of the offering in this box and the Kohanim will offer the sacrifice on his behalf.
5) Wood for the
Levonah [frankincense], which accompanied certain sacrifices.
7) Gold used to purchase, or produce, vessels [
klei shareis] for the Beis Hamikdash.
8-13) General donations for the purchase of additional
olah-offerings. Each of these six shofaros was designated for a specific beis av of that week’s mishmar of Kohanim who would receive the hides of the animals offered from these funds. 

Printable version of this post for others in your shul or chaburah.

*This post is meant to aid those in the Oraysa Learning Program. This site is not affiliated with or endorsed by that program.*

No comments:

Post a Comment

To prevent spam, all comments will be moderated.