Parsha Ki Tisa – The Half Shekel

In parsha Ki Tisa – Shmoth (Exodus) 30.12, 13 we read: “When you take the sum of the children of Israel according to their numbers, let each one give to the L-RD an atonement for his soul when they are counted; then there will be no plague among them when they are counted. This they shall give, everyone who goes through the counting: half a shekel according to the holy shekel. Twenty gerahs equal one shekel; half of [such] a shekel shall be an offering to the L-RD.”

From this passage, it can be easily deduced that the giving of the half shekel atones for the soul; and that a blood sacrifice is not necessary for atonement of the soul.

In fact, according to Hebrews 9.22 the word, (almost) σχεδόν schedon – readily admits there are exceptions to “atonement by blood sacrifices” – a flour offering atoned, (VeYikrah [Leviticus] 5.11), and a censer with incense atoned (B’midbar [Numbers] 17.12).

Nowhere does the Torah say, without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness:

Click here to listen to the Sin and Atonement Lecture by Rabbi Singer

The key to forgiveness is repentance, charity and good deeds!

The fact is, the people of Nineveh in the Sefer (Book) of Yonah (Jonah) were forgiven by “prayer and fasting” which turned away HaShem’s wrath ….

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