Parshas Shekalim-Background & Laws

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Parshas Shekalim:

The reason for reading Parshas Shekalim:[1] The Torah requires that the sacrifices of the Temple be bought using the money of the new Shekalim fund, each year beginning from the month of Nissan. Thus, the collection of the annual Shekalim donation [which was mandatory] was announced in the month proceeding the month of Nissan, which is within the month of Adar that falls in proximity to Nissan. We thus read the portion of the half Shekel donation in proximity to the month of Adar as a reminder [and verbal fulfillment[2]] of this requirement.[3]

When:[4] The date for the reading of Parshas Shekalim is dependent on the day of the week that Rosh Chodesh Adar is situated that year. When [the second day of[5]] Rosh Chodesh Adar falls on a weekday, even if it falls on Erev Shabbos, the Parsha is read on the Shabbos before Rosh Chodesh, which is known as Shabbos Mevarchim Chodesh Adar.[6] If however [the second day of[7]] Rosh Chodesh Adar falls on Shabbos, the Parsha is read on Shabbos Rosh Chodesh.[8] In a leap year that there are two Adars, the Parsha is read [either] prior to Rosh Chodesh Adar Sheiyni [or on Rosh Chodesh Adar Sheiyni, in a case that Rosh Chodesh Adar Sheiyni falls on Shabbos].[9]

The portion to be read:[10] The portion read is from the beginning of Parshas Ki Sisa until the words “Lechaper Al Nafshoseichem” in verse 16.[11] The Haftorah for Shekalim is then read from “Veyichros Yehoyada”.[12]

How many Torah scrolls are removed and what is the order of reading:[13] When Shabbos Shekalim does not coincide with Rosh Chodesh, two scrolls are removed from the ark. From the first scroll the weekly Torah portion is read until Shevii. The second scroll is then placed on the Bima which is followed by half Kaddish.[14] Hagba is then done to the first scroll. [The Mi Shebeirach for the ill is recited after Hagba.] One may not open the second scroll until the first scroll is rolled up [and placed in its Meil[15]].[16] For Maftir the portion of Shekalim is read from the second scroll. One then performs Hagba to the second scroll and reads the Haftorah for Shekalim. [On Shabbos Mevarchim the Chazan for Musaf takes the scroll of Maftir to hold.[17] When the scrolls are being returned to the Aron, the scroll of Maftir is taken first.[18]




What is the law if a congregation read Parshas Shekalim a week early?

They are to read it again the next Shabbos.[19]


What is the law if one began reading the wrong Haftorah?[20]

If one mistakenly read the wrong Haftorah, such as the Haftorah of Rosh Chodesh or of the Parsha, then he is to read the correct Haftorah. If one only remembered after the blessings, then he is to read the Haftorah without its blessings.



[1] Taz 685:1

Other reasons: Some write the reason for reading Parshas Shekalim in proximity to the month of Adar is because Haman gave Shekalim on behalf of destroying the Jewish people and in order to counteract his Shekalim Hashem gave us a Mitzvah of giving Shekalim. [Kaf Hachaim 685:3; Megillah 13b]

[2] The Mishneh Berurah 685:2 states that the reading of the Shekalim fulfills the dictum of “to complete the sacrifices using our lips”. This verse teaches us that when we are unable to fulfill a Mitzvah in its physical sense, due to lack of a Temple, we are still able to fulfill the Mitzvah by reading the verses of the Mitzvah. Accordingly reading Parshas Shekalim even today is not just a matter of commemoration but an actual level of fulfillment of the Mitzvah.

[3] Was Parshas Shekalim read in the times of the Temple? From the Taz ibid it is implied that the portion of Shekalim was also read in the times of the Temple in order to remind the people to bring the donation, and today we continue this reading. However, from the Mishneh Berurah ibid it is implied that the reading began after the destruction so we can verbally fulfill the requirement, as stated above.

[4] 685:1 and 5

[5] Levush brought in Kaf Hachaim 685:26

[6] 685:5

[7] Levush brought in Kaf Hachaim 685:26

[8] 685:1

[9] Mentioned in Michaber of both previous Halachos which adds that he is referring to “the Adar which is close to Nissan”

[10] 685:1

[11] The Michaber writes until “Veasisa Kiyor Nechoshes” which is verse 18. However, the intent is to read until that section and not literally until those words. Upashut.

[12] So rules Michaber 685:1; Kol Bo 20 and so are the Sefaradic and Chabad customs. However, the Ashkenazim are accustomed to start the Haftorah from the words “Beshnas Sheva Liyeihu”. This follows the ruling of the Tur; Levush. [Kaf Hachaim 685:11]

Reason for reading this Haftorah: This Haftorah discusses the donation of the Shekalim.

[13] Mishneh Berurah 685:9 and 12

[14] See 282:12 for the reason why Kaddish is recited between the five Aliyos and Maftir.

[15] Orchos Chaim ibid; Kol Bo ibid; Mateh Moshe ibid; Elya Raba 139:9; M”B ibid; Kaf Hachaim 147:42

[16] Michaber 147:8; Mordechai end of Halachos Ketanos in name of Maharam Merothenberg; Tashbeitz 187 in name of Mahram; Orchos Chaim Hilchos Kerias Sefer Torah 54; Kol Bo 20; Mateh Moshe 254; Elya Raba 147:9; M”B 147:25; Kaf Hachaim 147:42; Ketzos Hashulchan 84:2; Halacha Berurah [Yosef] Vol. 2 p. 295

[17] Shaar Efraim 10:41; Piskeiy Teshuvah 150:4

Bedieved: If the Chazan accidently took the first scroll, it is not to be switched for the second scroll due to worry of Pegam. [Shaareiy Efraim ibid]

[18] See Shaar Efraim ibid

[19] Yifei Laleiv 3:1 brought in Kaf Hachaim 685:4

[20] Luach Kolel Chabad Noach; Hiskashrus 1078; See Dvar Moshe 25:3; Shaareiy Efraim 9:19; Kaf Hachaim 425:18; Ketzos Hashulchan 88:5; Ashel Avraham, in name of Devar Moshe brought in Otzer Hamifarshim 425; Kaf Hachaim 423:9

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