At the beginning of this week's Parsha -Ki Tisa, we learn about the commandment to give a half Shekel donation to the Tabernacle. This donation was used as a census poll indicating the population of the nation. The verse says "the rich shall not give more and the poor shall not give less". Each individual within the spectrum of society was bound and equally responsible for the building and maintaining of the Tabernacle.
In our society as well, we have many spectrums, opinions, and polarities. At the same time, we are all bound by a collective cause, a unified mission to instill the divine light of Hashem in this world so that our world will be one of goodness and kindness for all mankind.
To do so, the Torah asks of us to give. To give what? of ourselves.
The Torah says that the entire Shekel was 20 "Gera". The question is asked why doesn't the Torah say give 10 Gera instead of Half a Shekel? After all half shows incompleteness, a possible afront to the divine perfection.
The answer to this is that each person needs to give his/her 10 powers of the soul- their entire being to the collective cause of creation. Each person has a mission to fill, each mission different. While we must fully identify with our mission, we must remember that we are merely half (humility) of something else.
What is that other factor?
The other half is your friend, foe, neighbor. When we learn from the other (coexist) only then we become whole.
There are other commentators who say that the other half is Hashem (G-d). When we do all that we can do, then we have the reciprocation from above. One feels the higher power refound within.
May we see the fulfillment of this beautiful paradox of opposites soon 🙏
Shabbat Shalom 💫
Rabbi Amichai Cohen