Can money teach us a lesson about equality, even though no two people have the same financial situation? Parshat Ki Tisa presents an opportunity to learn about equality from that which is usually not equal. The Parsha recounts the collection of funds for the Mishkan, the sin of the golden calf, and finally the preparation of a new set of tablets to replace those that Moshe broke in anger after seeing the golden calf. In collecting funds for the Mishkan, each person regardless of their financial standing gave a half shekel. Sometimes it seems like an impossible task to be close to G-d; especially when you see others who seem to have it all figured out. No matter where you feel you are, you must contribute your half-shekel. It may feel uncomfortable to do something that may feel foreign but since we are equal in G-d’s eyes we must serve him to the best of our ability. Doing one new mitzvah may feel insurmountable but as we learn from Pirkei Avot, “one mitzvah leads to another mitzvah for the reward for a mitzvah is another mitzvah.” With G-d’s help, we can continue the path of mitzvot to bring Moshiach speedily and in our days.

Jacob Ringel
Hillels Waterloo & Laurier’s Director of Shabbat