Fan the Fires! – Rabbi Moshe Chaim Eade (Vayakhel/Shekalim)
This week we will bring out an extra Sefer Torah in honor of Parshas Shekalim. Parshas Shekalim is the first of the four special parshios we start reading from the Shabbos before Adar until the month of Nissan. The simple meaning of this special reading is because the Parsha speaks about each person donating a half shekel for the building of the mishkan, as well as for the yearly communal korbanos. So too, one month before Nisan, when all the funds for the communal korbanos are gathered we announce to the nation, “give in your half shekel”. It’s sort of like your shul membership fee for the year.
But, there is a deeper meaning behind Parshas Shekalim. The verse says: “This they shall give”. And the question is why does the verse specify “This” they shall give? Did Moshe Rabainu not know what a half shekel was? Just go out to the street and ask any kid and they will tell you what a half shekel looks like. And here the Medresh points out, that Hashem showed Moshe Rabainu a half shekel blazing on fire and said, “like this they should give”. What is the inner meaning of this Medresh of the blazing silver coin?
The Sefas Emes and many other Tzadikim point out that we all have a soul that has one portion down here on this earth, as well as a portion that is up in shomayim. Half here and half above. The half of our soul in shomayim is ablaze with fire and passion to serve Hashem and perform mitzvos, but the half down here becomes muted through the distractions of this world. Hashem told Moshe, “like this they shall give” meaning make the half of your soul down here also ablaze with fire and link it back up to the fiery half of your soul in shomayim.
May we be zoche to fan the fires of passion and desire of our soul down here and to re-connect it to its fiery source in shomayim, amen!