Zohar Ki Tisa
“ זֶה יִתְּנוּ, כָּל-הָעֹבֵר עַל-הַפְּקֻדִים–מַחֲצִית הַשֶּׁקֶל, בְּשֶׁקֶל הַקֹּדֶשׁ: עֶשְׂרִים גֵּרָה, הַשֶּׁקֶל–מַחֲצִית הַשֶּׁקֶל, תְּרוּמָה לַיהוָה”
“Each one who is numbered in the census shall give this: half a shekel according to the shekel of the sanctuary (the shekel is twenty gerahs), half a shekel as an offering to YHVH”
Maimonides writes (Laws of Shekalim 1:5) that the half shekel mentioned in the Torah is equal to 160 grains of barley. In current measurements, it would be approximately eight to nine grams of silver.
Most rabbis estimate Half a Shekel as 10 grams of silver because it goes parallel with the total value of one Shekel that is 20 gerahs.
14 “כֹּל, הָעֹבֵר עַל-הַפְּקֻדִים, מִבֶּן עֶשְׂרִים שָׁנָה, וָמָעְלָה–יִתֵּן, תְּרוּמַת יְהוָה”
“All who are registered, 20 years of age and older, are to give, contribution of YHVH”
The head count using the half a shekel was only on those who were older than 20 years. The reason for this is that 20 represents complete cycle of 10 Sefirot coming down and going up for full revelation of light in Malchut. This verse also says “contribution of YHVH” and not contribution _to_ YHVH.
15: “ הֶעָשִׁיר לֹא-יַרְבֶּה, וְהַדַּל לֹא יַמְעִיט, מִמַּחֲצִית, הַשָּׁקֶל–לָתֵת אֶת-תְּרוּמַת יְהוָה, לְכַפֵּר עַל-נַפְשֹׁתֵיכֶם.”
“”The rich shall not pay more and the poor shall not pay less than the half shekel, when you give YHVH’s contribution to make atonement for your souls”
Because giving the Half a Shekel is related to pure spiritual connection everyone is equal. It is about connecting the soul to the source of Light.
16: “וְלָקַחְתָּ אֶת-כֶּסֶף הַכִּפֻּרִים, מֵאֵת בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל, וְנָתַתָּ אֹתוֹ, עַל-עֲבֹדַת אֹהֶל מוֹעֵד; וְהָיָה לִבְנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל לְזִכָּרוֹן לִפְנֵי יְהוָה, לְכַפֵּר עַל-נַפְשֹׁתֵיכֶם.”
“You shall take the atonement money from the people of Israel and shall give it for the service of the tent of meeting (Holy Tabernacle), that it may bring the people of Israel to remembrance before YHVH, so as to make atonement for your souls.””
The Hebrew word for ‘money’ is כסף numerically 160, and it also means ‘silver’. We learned earlier that half a shekel has the weight of 160 grains of barley. One Shekel has the silver weight of 320 grains of barley. The Zohar teaches us that the growth of barley in the world is directly under the control of YHVH and not any angel or minister. 320 represents the world after the end of the Tikkun. We are able to correct only 288 sparks of Light and the 10th is 32 sparks that will be done by YHVH to complete the process after the revelation of Mashiach. 32 is the aspect of Creation and the entire Torah.
The word Shekel שקל is numerically 430, same as for ‘soul’ נפש. It also means ‘weight’. It reveals the direct connection between the redemption of the soul and the Shekel.
The word for ‘half’ is מחצית and it reveals a lot of related secrets.
The middle letter צ, numerically 90, is the aspect of Yessod that provides for us the gate to the upper world. The letters in green on the right and left of צ Yessod forms the word חי, ‘Life’ , numerically 18 (1+8=9) . The first and last letters are far from Yessod and spell מת, ‘dead’.
When we give half a shekel, we connect our lower level to the upper level and receive the energy of life. The second half of the Shekel has the greater ‘weight’ because it is what makes our souls whole. That is the “contribution of YHVH”, which is the connection to the upper three Sefirot.
We give half a shekel on Purim’s eve before the reading of the scroll of Esther. In this reading we find that Haman gave the king 10,000 talents of silver to kill the Jews. He used the word ‘silver’ כסף and ‘weight’ אשקול (Esther 3:9). We want to make our connection before the reading, to eliminate all aspects of ‘Haman’ from bringing negativity on us.
How do we make the connection of Half a Shekel?
We use silver coins to connect to the right column, Chessed. (No gold because it is the aspect of Left column, Gevurah. No money bills either). We use the right hand only.
We take the three coins and raise them above the head or at least above level of the eyes.
The consciousness is ‘remembering’ the Half of a Shekel in the Torah and to elevate our soul from the lower level to its root in the spiritual level.
Three elevations to connect Chessed, Gevurah and Tiferet to Chokmah, Binah and Da’at through Chessed of the right hand. When Da’at is named as one of the upper three Sefirot then we know that we have a state of higher connection and flow of light to the lower level.
The money that was collected through the giving of Half a Shekel was used in the Holy Temple to purchase the animals for the sacrifices that benefited the people with cleansing light. For the same reason the money that is given for half a shekel connection should be used only for spreading light to benefit people and the world.