A Foundation Of Equality
...At the time of the holiday of Purim during that era, our Sages (Megillah 13b) explain that it was the shekalim of the Jewish people - i.e., the half-shekalim that would be given every year - that nullified [the influence of] the shekalim that Haman gave to Achashverosh to destroy the Jews.
The half-shekalim were [originally] given to create a foundation for the first Sanctuary for G-d that the Jews possessed, for they were used to make the sockets [that held the beams of] the Sanctuary. Subsequently, the half-shekalim that were given were used to purchase communal offerings. And with regard to both donations, we find the command: "The wealthy should not give more, nor should the poor give less."
To explain: When Haman arose desiring to destroy the Jewish people, the appropriate response was: "Go, collect all the Jews." How could the Jews be united with the appropriate inspiration? By placing a foundation in the Beis HaMikdash in the heart of each and every Jew, [stirring the pintele yid,] the point of the Jewish soul which exists in every Jew, regardless of his affiliation. At this level, all Jews are equal: [both] a person who is rich in his knowledge, and one who is poor and simple. And when the foundation is laid, i.e., when we arouse the point of the Jewish soul, we can build a beautiful Beis HaMikdash; we can see how every Jew is a holy Sanctuary in which G-d rests. All that is necessary is to know how to awaken [this level].
With blessing for a happy Purim; "Immediately to teshuvah, immediately to Redemption."
- (Back to text) [Shmos 30:15.]
- (Back to text) [Esther 4:16.]