Shekalim: Who Can Weigh?

Feb 28th, 2011 by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Holidays, Portion of the Week
“Sinners were afraid in Zion; trembling seized hypocrites.

Which of us can live with consuming fire?

Which of us can live with the eternal conflagration?

One who walks with righteousness and speaks with truthfulness,

who spurns extortionate profit and shakes off his hands from holding a bribe,

who seals his ears from hearing of bloodshed,

and shuts his eyes from seeing evil.

He shall dwell in heights;

in rocky fortresses is his stronghold;

his bread will be granted, his water assured.

Your eyes will behold the King in His splendor;

they will see Him from a faraway land.

Your heart will muse in dread,

Where is the one who counts?

Where is the one who weighs (Shokail)?

Where is the one who counts the towers?

You will not see bold people,

the people whose speech is too difficult to understand,

of garbled tongue,

without comprehension (Isaiah 33:14–19).”

Isaiah promises that the righteous who will live at the time of Redemption will look back on the past and wonder, “How was it ever possible that we would reject God, the One who counts everything we do, the One who weighs every action, thought, and word?”

The “Shokail,” the One, Who weighs, only God can truly weigh all that we do.

The Half Shekel, not a full Shekel, is our statement that we are incapable of understanding the full weight of what we do, speak, and think, it is a statement of faith that only the True Judge can accurately weigh all of these things.

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