משנה בַּחֲמִשָּׁה עָשָׁר בּוֹ שׁוּלְחָנוֹת יוֹשְׁבִין בַּמְּדִינָה. בְּעֶשְׁרִים וַחֲמִשָּׁה בוֹ יָֽשְׁבוּ בַּמִּקְדָּשׁ. מִשֶּׁיָּֽשְׁבוּ בַּמִּקְְדָּשׁ הִתְחִילוּ לְמַשְׁכֵּן. Halakha 3 · MISHNA On the fifteenth of Adar, money changers would sit at tables set up in the rest of the country, outside the Temple, to handle the collection of shekels. On the twenty-fifth of Adar, the money changers sat in the Temple. From the time when the money changers sat in the Temple, the court began to seize collateral from those who had yet to donate the half-shekel.
אֶת מִי מְמַשְְׁכְּנִין לְוִייִם וְיִשְׂרְאֵלִים וְגֵרִים וַעֲבָדִים מְשׁחְרָרִין אֲבָל לֹא נָשִׁים וְלֹא עֲבָדִים וְלֹא קְטַנִּים. וְכָל־קָטָן שֶׁהִתְחִיל אָבִיו לִשְׁקוֹל עַל יָדוֹ אֵינוֹ פּוֹסֵק. אֵין מְמַשְׁכְּנִין אֶת הַכֹּהֲנִים מִפְּנֵי דַּרְכֵּי שָׁלוֹם: From whom did they seize collateral? From Levites, Israelites, converts, and emancipated slaves. However, they did not seize collateral from women, slaves, or minors. And any minor whose father began one year to contribute a half-shekel on his behalf, despite the fact that he was not obligated to do so, he may not cease to do so in subsequent years. The court does not seize collateral from priests, although they are legally obligated to give a half-shekel like all other Jews, because of the ways of peace.
אָמַר רִבִּי יְהוּדָה הֵעִיד בֶּן כּוּכְרִי בְּיַבְנֶה שֶׁכָּל־כֹּהֵן שֶׁהוּא שׁוֹקֵל אֵינוֹ חוֹטֵא. אָמַר לוֹ רַבָּן יוֹחָנָן בֶּן זַכַּאי לֹא כִּי אֶלָּא כָּל־כֹּהֵן שֶׁאֵינוֹ שׁוֹקֵל חוֹטֵא. The mishna goes on to explain the status of priests with regard to the contribution of the half-shekel. Rabbi Yehuda said that ben Bukhri testified in Yavne: Any priest who contributes the half-shekel is not considered a sinner, despite the fact that he is not obligated to do so. Rabbi Yehuda added that Rabban Yoḥanan ben Zakkai said to ben Bukhri: Not so; rather, any priest who does not contribute the half-shekel is considered a sinner, as they are obligated like all other Jews.
אֶלָּא שֶׁהַכֹּהֲנִים דּוֹרְשִׁין מִקְרָא זֶה לְעַצְמָן וְכָל־מִנְחַת כֹּהֵן כָּלִיל תִּהְיֶה לֹא תֵאָכֵל However, Rabban Yoḥanan ben Zakkai continued, the priests who do not contribute interpret this verse to their own advantage: “And every meal-offering of the priest shall be wholly made to smoke; it shall not be eaten” (Leviticus 6:16).
הוֹאִיל וְהָעוֹמֶר וּשְׁתֵּי הַלֶּחֶם וְלֶחֶם הַפָּנִים שֶׁלָּנוּ הֵיאָךְ הֵם נֶאֱכָלִין: Those priests claim as follows: Since the omer offering and the two loaves, i.e., the public offering of two loaves from the new wheat brought on the festival of Shavuot, and the shewbread placed on the sacred table in the Sanctuary each Shabbat, which are all meal-offerings, are ours, then if we contribute shekels we will have partial ownership of these communal offerings, as they are purchased with the shekels. How, then, can they be eaten? They ought to be regarded as priests’ meal-offerings, which must be wholly burnt. But since these offerings are eaten, the priests concluded that they are not obligated to contribute the half-shekel. This argument does not, however, take into account the fact that communal offerings belong to the public, which is understood as its own entity, and are not regarded as shared offerings of all who contribute to the public purse.
הלכה בַּחֲמִשָּׁה עָשָׂר בּוֹ כול׳. הָא לִתְבּוֹעַ תּוֹבְעִין. הָדָא דְתֵימַר בְּשֶׁהֵבִיא שְׁתֵּי שְׂעָרוֹת. GEMARA: The mishna taught that the court does not seize collateral from minors for the half-shekel. The Gemara infers: This indicates that with regard to claiming the half-shekel from minors, the court does claim the money. The Gemara adds: This halakha that you say, i.e., that the court does not claim the money, applies to a young person who has grown two pubic hairs and therefore is legally an adult in other respects, but is not yet twenty years old. Before he is twenty he is obligated to donate the half-shekel only by rabbinic law, and for that the court does not seize collateral.
אֲבָל אִם לֹא הֵבִיא שְׁתֵּי שְׂעָרוֹת לְֹא בְדָא. וּלְמַשְׁכֵּן אֵין מְמַשְׁכְּנִין עַד שֶׁיָּבִיא שְׁתֵּי שְׂעָרוֹת. However, if he did not grow two hairs, the halakha does not apply to this case and he has no obligation at all to contribute a half-shekel. The Gemara continues: And as for seizing collateral, the court does not seize collateral from a minor, even if he grew two hairs, until the age of twenty.
כֵּינִי מַתְנִיתָה. אֵין מְמַשְׁכְּנִין אֶת הַכֹּהֲנִים מִפְּנֵי דֶּרֶךְ הַכָּבוֹד. The mishna taught that no collateral is taken from priests because of the ways of peace. The Gemara adds that this is how the halakha of this mishna is taught in a baraita: One may not seize collateral from priests because of the way of honor, i.e., priests must be treated with respect. This is also the meaning of the ways of peace mentioned in the mishna.
אָמַר רִבִּי יְהוּדָה הֵעִיד כול׳. אָמַר רִבִּי בֶּרֶכְיָה. טַעֲמֵיהּ דְּרַבָּן יוֹחָנָן בֶּן זַכַּאי. זֶ֣ה ׀ יִתְּנ֗וּ. שְׁנֵים עָשָׂר שְׁבָטִים יִתְּנוּ. The mishna further taught that Rabbi Yehuda said that ben Bukhri testified that any priest who contributes the half-shekel is not considered a sinner, to which Rabban Yoḥanan ben Zakkai retorted that any priest who does not contribute is a sinner. Rabbi Berekhya said: Rabbi Yoḥanan ben Zakkai’s source is the following verse: “This [zeh] they shall give, everyone who passes among them that are numbered, half a shekel after the shekel of the Sanctuary…” (Exodus 30:13). The word zeh has a numerical value of twelve, from which it is derived: Twelve tribes shall give, including the tribe of Levi, of which the priests are members.
רִבִּי טָבִי בְשֵׁם רַב הַמְנוּנָא. כֵּן מֵשִׁיבִין חֲכָמִים לְרִבִּי יְהוּדָה. חַטָּאת יָחִיד מֵתָה. אֵין חַטָּאת הַצִּיבּוּר מֵתָה. מִנְחַת הַיָּחִיד קְרֵיבָה כָלִיל וְאֵין מִנְחַת צִיבּוּר קְרֵיבָה כָלִיל. Rabbi Tavi said in the name of Rav Hamnuna that the Rabbis respond in this way to Rabbi Yehuda, who quoted Rabbi Yoḥanan ben Zakkai’s criticism of ben Bukhri’s opinion: The halakha is that the sin-offering of an individual, which for some reason cannot be sacrificed, must be left to die, by confining the animal in an enclosure and withholding food and drink from it. However, a communal sin-offering is not left to die (see Temura 16a). A similar distinction applies to meal-offerings: The meal-offering of an individual may be entirely sacrificed on the altar, e.g., when it belongs to a priest. But a communal meal-offering, i.e., the omer, the two loaves, and the shewbread, all of which come from the collection of shekels, is not entirely sacrificed, but is always eaten. If the priests are obligated to contribute the half-shekel, these meal-offerings will partly belong to them, and it is prohibited to eat the meal-offering of a priest.
וְקַשְׁיָא. מֵשִׁיבִין לָאָדָם דָּבָר שֶׁאֵינוֹ מוֹדֶה בוֹ. שֶׁאֵין חַטָּאת צִבּוּר מֵתָה. רִבִּי יְהוּדָה אוֹמֵר תָּמוּת. The Gemara asks: But this is difficult. How could this question be presented against the opinion of Rabbi Yehuda? Can one raise a difficulty against a person from a matter with which he does not agree? As we learned in a mishna (Yoma 62b) that a communal sin-offering is not left to die, and yet Rabbi Yehuda says: It is left to die. According to Rabbi Yehuda there is no distinction between a communal sin-offering and an individual sin-offering in this regard. If so, there should likewise be no difference between communal and individual meal-offerings, and it should be possible to sacrifice the communal meal-offerings in their entirety.
וְהוּא מוֹתִיב לוֹן תוּ. לֹא נִדְבַת יָחִיד הִיא. וְאִינּוּן מֵתִיבִין לֵיהּ. מִכֵּיוָן שֶׁנִּמְסְרָה לַצִּיבּוּר כְּמִי שֶׁהִיא נִדְבַת צִיבּוּר. The Gemara adds: And he, Rabbi Yehuda, responds to the difficulty of the Rabbis against his opinion: Isn’t this half-shekel given by a priest an individual donation? Since he is not obligated to donate the half-shekel, the contribution of a priest may be considered an individual donation, which separates it from the money of the rest of the community. For that reason, the communal offerings are not considered the property of the priests. And the Rabbis respond to him that since the priest’s half-shekel has been handed over to the community, it is considered part of the communal donation.
כְּתִיב כֹּ֗ל הָֽעֹבֵר֙ עַל־הַפְּקוּדִים. רִבִּי יוּדָה וְרִבִּי נְחֶמְיָה. חַד אָמַר. כָּל־דַּעֲבַר בָּיַּמָּה יִתֵּן. וְחֳרָנָה אָמַר. כָּל־דַּעֲבַר עַל פִּקּוּדַייָא יִתֵּן. The Gemara notes that there is another dispute of tanna’im along the same lines as this one. It is written: “This they shall give, everyone who passes among them that are numbered, half a shekel after the shekel of the Sanctuary” (Exodus 30:13). Rabbi Yehuda and Rabbi Neḥemya disputed the meaning of this verse. One of them said that the verse means that all who passed through the Red Sea must give a half-shekel, i.e., the entire Jewish people. And the other said that all who passed before Moshe to be numbered must give the donation, whereas those who were not counted with the rest of the Jewish people, i.e., priests and Levites, need not provide a half-shekel.
מָאן דַאֲמַר כָּל־דַּעֲבַר בָּיַּמָּא יִתֵּן. מְסַייֵעַ לְרַבָּן יוֹחָנָן בֶּן זַכַּאי. מָאן. כֹּ֗ל דַּעֲבַר עַל פִיקוּדַייָא יִתֵּן. מְסַייֵעַ לְבֶן כּובְרִי. The Gemara comments: The one who said that all who passed through the Red Sea must give a half-shekel supports the opinion of Rabbi Yoḥanan ben Zakkai, who maintains that the priests must also contribute, whereas the one who said that all who passed to be numbered must give the donation supports the opinion of ben Bukhri.