As we approach the holiday of Purim, it is interesting to note that the festival of Purim coincides with the reading of the portion Ki Tisa.
The first mitzvah we are commanded here is for every person to contribute half a shekel towards the building of the Mishkan (The Tabernacle). The Torah is clear that the rich may not give more and the poor may not give less. Every Jew will be an equal participant in the Mishkan and in the public sacrifices. This emphasizes the unity of the Jewish people. This money was collected in the month of Adar.
Fast forward many years and the story of Purim is also celebrated in the month of Adar. Haman proposes to annihilate all the Jews from the kingdom as they are “spread out and separate from each other”. Unbeknownst to him, the Jews had just recently donated the same half a shekel to Tzedakah. This act of charity that was given by all the Jews reflected their unity and not their separateness and thus they merited to be miraculously saved from the hands of the tyrant.
In the spirit of Purim let us join together as a people by performing acts of goodness and kindness to each other. Happy Purim!
High School Judaic Studies Teacher