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    The posuk in Shemos, Perek

    Lamed, posuk yud gimmel

    says that every Jew who was

    to be counted needed to give

    half a shekel. The Alshich

    says in the name of Rabbi

    Shlomo Alkabetz that there are two reasons the

    Jews were commanded to donate the machtzis

    hashekel. The first reason is to show that every

    individual is really only a half (not complete)

    when he is on his own. The second reason is

    to show that when a Jew joins the klal he then

    becomes a whole person.

    The Malbim says that as long as the Jews

    join together as one person, the zechus of the

    rabim is great. On the other hand, if you count

    the Jews separately, each individual gets judged

    by himself and then the vulnerability to plagues

    and other punishment is that much greater. To

    counteract this problem Hashem commanded

    Bnei Yisroel to bring a half a shekel, which

    shows that they are only part of a larger unit.

    Only when he joins with others will he be considered

    a whole.

    This can also explain the famous Gemara

    in Megilah, daf yud gimmel, amud bais where

    Reish Lakish said that Hashem projected ahead

    to Haman in the future who would pay shekalim

    to plot against the Jews; therefore, Hashem

    preceded Haman’s shekalim with the command

    that the Jews should donate shekalim.

    This half shekel donation served as an antidote

    to Haman’s shekalim.

    We can try to explain why the machtzis

    hashekel was sufficient to counteract the

    shekalim of Haman. The main power of how

    Amalek tried fighting against the Jews was by

    causing the Jews not to get along (pirud levavos.)

    The Yaaros Dvash in chelek alef, drush

    gimel says if the Jews are be’aguda achas (of

    one mind and agreement) then no other nation

    can rule over them. If you look in the megillah

    when Haman tries to plead his case for the annihilation

    of Bnei Yisroel he says, “There is a

    nation who is mefuzar and meforad (separated

    and spread out) between all other nations, indicating

    that the Jews are not united. Esther, to

    counteract Haman’s complaint, said the opposite

    when she asked that “knos es kol haYehudim”

    (gather together) all the Jews. If the Jews

    are together, then the Reshaim are unable to

    cause any evil to befall them.

    The Midrash Rabba, Vayikra, Perek Chof

    Vov, posuk bais tells us that during the era of

    Dovid Hamelech, the Jews would lose battles

    when going out to war as a result of the people

    who spoke lashon hora, effectively causing

    separation between oneJew and another. When

    Haman gave the ten thousand shekalim, he

    had the intention of showing that just like each

    shekel is an important coin and can’t become

    bateil, (nullified) the same concept applies to

    the Jews when they are not mevateil themselves

    to one another and people are only in it

    for themselves. Hashem counteracted this divisive

    idea with the machatzis hashekel to prove

    that we can only have a complete matbea when

    we join with one another. Only when we are

    part of a whole can we become invincible.

    This can also explain why Moshe and

    Yehoshua carried out the initial war against

    Amalek. The reason for this was that we find

    that Moshe was the greatest anav (humble person)

    to have ever lived. We also find that the

    Targum Yonasan explains why Moshe added

    a letter to Yehoshua’s name because “chama

    Moshe anvasenusei”(Moshe saw his humility.)

    Humility shows that one is a part of a whole.

    The humble man is totally united with all the

    Jews, hereby not feeling the need to be “nisgaeh”

    (think you are greater than others.) That

    was the power needed to beat Amalek.

    May we be zocheh to be united and be zocheh

    to erase Amalek and live to see the Bais

    Hamikdosh Hashlishi so we can contribute the

    machtzis hashekel. Amen!

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