1

How would the moneychangers collect the shekalim? In each and every city, they positioned two chests before them. The bottoms of the chests were wide, and the tops narrow like a shofar,1 so that the money could be deposited in them, but could not be removed from them easily.

Why did they have two chests? One to deposit the [half-]shekalim of the present year, and one to deposit the [half-]shekalim of the previous year,2 for [the collectors] would demand payment from the people who did not give in the previous year.

א

כֵּיצַד כּוֹנְסִין הַשֻּׁלְחָנִים אֶת הַשְּׁקָלִים בְּכָל מְדִינָה וּמְדִינָה. מַנִּיחִין לִפְנֵיהֶם שְׁתֵּי תֵּבוֹת שׁוּלֵי הַתֵּבָה רְחָבִין מִלְּמַטָּה וּפִיהָ צַר מִלְּמַעְלָה כְּמִין שׁוֹפָר כְּדֵי שֶׁיַּשְׁלִיכוּ לְתוֹכָן וְלֹא יִהְיֶה אֶפְשָׁר לִקַּח מֵהֶן בְּנַחַת. וְלָמָּה עוֹשִׂין שְׁתֵּי תֵּבוֹת. אַחַת שֶׁמַּשְׁלִיכִין בָּהּ שְׁקָלִים שֶׁל שָׁנָה זוֹ. וְהַשְּׁנִיָּה מַנִּיחִין בָּהּ שִׁקְלֵי שָׁנָה שֶׁעָבְרָה. שֶׁגּוֹבִין מִמִּי שֶׁלֹּא שָׁקַל בְּשָׁנָה שֶׁעָבְרָה:

2

In the Temple, there were always thirteen chests, each chest [shaped] like a shofar. The first chest was for the shekalim of the present year; the second for the shekalim of the previous year; the third was for all those who where obligated to bring an offering of two turtle doves or two common doves,3 one as a burnt offering and one as a sin offering. The funds [for these offerings] were deposited in this chest.

The fourth was for those who were obligated to bring [doves] as a burnt offering only. They would deposit the funds [for these offerings] in this chest. The fifth was for those who volunteered to buy wood for the altar; the sixth, for those who donated money [to purchase] frankincense;4 the seventh, for those who donated gold for the covering [of the ark].5

The eighth6 was for the [money that] remains after [purchasing] a sin-offering - i.e., a person set aside funds [to use to purchase] a sin-offering, and money remained after purchasing it. Those funds were deposited in this [chest].

The ninth was for the [money that] remains after [purchasing] a guilt-offering; the tenth, for the [money that] remains after [purchasing] the pairs [of doves necessary] for [the offerings of] zavim, zavot,7 and women after childbirth; the eleventh, for the [money that] remains after [purchasing] the offerings of a nazirite; the twelfth, for the [money that] remains after [purchasing] the guilt offering of a leper; the thirteenth, for a person who pledged money for an animal [to be brought] as a burnt offering.8

ב

וּבַמִּקְדָּשׁ הָיָה לִפְנֵיהֶם תָּמִיד שְׁלֹשׁ עֶשְׂרֵה תֵּבוֹת. כָּל תֵּבָה כְּמִין שׁוֹפָר. רִאשׁוֹנָה לְשִׁקְלֵי שָׁנָה זוֹ. שְׁנִיָּה לְשִׁקְלֵי שָׁנָה שֶׁעָבְרָה. שְׁלִישִׁית לְכָל מִי שֶׁיֵּשׁ עָלָיו קָרְבַּן שְׁתֵּי תּוֹרִים אוֹ שְׁנֵי בְּנֵי יוֹנָה אֶחָד עוֹלָה וְאֶחָד חַטָּאת מַשְׁלִיךְ דְּמֵיהֶן לְתֵבָה זוֹ. רְבִיעִית לְכָל מִי שֶׁיֵּשׁ עָלָיו עוֹלַת הָעוֹף בִּלְבַד מַשְׁלִיךְ דָּמֶיהָ לְתֵבָה זוֹ. חֲמִישִׁית לְמִי שֶׁהִתְנַדֵּב מָעוֹת לִקְנוֹת עֵצִים לַמַּעֲרָכָה בָּהֶן. שִׁשִּׁית לְמִי שֶׁהִתְנַדֵּב מָעוֹת לִלְבוֹנָה. שְׁבִיעִית לְמִי שֶׁהִתְנַדֵּב זָהָב לַכַּפֹּרֶת. שְׁמִינִית לְמוֹתַר חַטָּאת כְּגוֹן שֶׁהִפְרִישׁ מָעוֹת לְחַטָּאתוֹ וְלָקַח חַטָּאת וְהוֹתִיר מִן הַמָּעוֹת יַשְׁלִיךְ הַשְּׁאָר לְתוֹכָהּ. תְּשִׁיעִית לְמוֹתַר אָשָׁם. עֲשִׂירִית לְמוֹתַר קִנֵּי זָבִים וְזָבוֹת וְיוֹלְדוֹת. אַחַת עֶשְׂרֵה לְמוֹתַר קָרְבְּנוֹת נָזִיר. שְׁתֵּים עֶשְׂרֵה לְמוֹתַר אֲשַׁם מְצֹרָע. שְׁלֹשׁ עֶשְׂרֵה לְמִי שֶׁהִתְנַדֵּב מָעוֹת לְעוֹלַת בְּהֵמָה:

3

The [purpose] for each category for which the funds in the chest were used was written on the outside of the chest. The court stipulated that all the monies that remained after the purchase of sacrifices for which they were designated should be used to offer animals as burnt offerings.9

It thus follows that all the funds in the latter six chests were used [to purchase] animals for burnt offerings. Their hides belonged to the priests, as did the hides [of other burnt offerings].10 All the funds in the third chest were to be used to purchase doves: half of them burnt offerings, and half of them sin offerings. All [the funds in] the fourth [chest] were to be used to purchase doves to be sacrificed as burnt offerings.

ג

וְשֵׁם כָּל דָּבָר שֶׁיִּהְיוּ מָעוֹתָיו בְּתוֹךְ הַתֵּבָה כָּתוּב עַל הַתֵּבָה מִבַּחוּץ. וּתְנַאי בֵּית דִּין הוּא עַל כָּל הַמּוֹתָרוֹת שֶׁיִּקָּרְבוּ עוֹלַת בְּהֵמָה. נִמְצֵאתָ לָמֵד שֶׁכָּל הַמָּעוֹת הַנִּמְצָאוֹת בְּשֵׁשׁ הַתֵּבוֹת הָאַחֲרוֹנוֹת לְעוֹלַת בְּהֵמָה וְעוֹרוֹתֶיהָ לַכֹּהֲנִים כִּשְׁאָר כָּל הָעוֹרוֹת. וְכָל הַמָּעוֹת שֶׁבְּתֵבָה שְׁלִישִׁית לִקַּח בָּהֶן עוֹפוֹת חֶצְיָן עוֹלוֹת וְחֶצְיָן חַטָּאוֹת. וְשֶׁבָּרְבִיעִית כֻּלָּן עוֹלַת הָעוֹף:

4

When the shekalim were collected from each and every city, they were sent to the Temple with emissaries.11 They might be exchanged for golden dinarim, so that [they would not become a] burden on the journey.12 [All the funds] were amassed in the Temple.

They were placed in one of the chambers of the Temple. All the doors to the chamber were closed [under lock and] key, and then they were covered with seals. All the shekalim that were collected there [were stored] in three large baskets. Each of the baskets was large enough to contain nine seah.13 The remainder [of the money] was left in the chamber.

The money in the baskets was referred to as terumat halishcah ("[the funds of] the chamber that were set aside").14 [The funds that] remained besides [the funds] stored in the baskets were referred to as sheyarei halishcah ("the remainder within the chamber").15

ד

בְּכָל מְדִינָה וּמְדִינָה כְּשֶׁגּוֹבִין הַשְּׁקָלִים מְשַׁלְּחִין אוֹתָן בְּיַד שְׁלוּחִים לַמִּקְדָּשׁ. וְיֵשׁ לָהֶם לְצָרֵף אוֹתָן בְּדִינְרֵי זָהָב מִפְּנֵי מַשּׂאוֹי הַדֶּרֶךְ. וְהַכּל מִתְקַבְּצִין לַמִּקְדָּשׁ וּמַנִּיחִין אוֹתָן בְּלִשְׁכָּה אַחַת מִן הַלְּשָׁכוֹת בַּמִּקְדָּשׁ וְסוֹגְרִין כָּל דַּלְתוֹתֶיהָ בְּמַפְתְּחוֹת וְחוֹתְמִין עָלֶיהָ חוֹתָמוֹת וּמְמַלְּאִין מִכָּל הַשְּׁקָלִים שֶׁיִּתְקַבְּצוּ שָׁם שָׁלֹשׁ קֻפּוֹת גְּדוֹלוֹת שִׁעוּר כָּל קֻפָּה כְּדֵי שֶׁתָּכִיל תֵּשַׁע סְאִין וְהַשְּׁאָר מַנִּיחִין אוֹתוֹ בַּלִּשְׁכָּה. וְזֶה שֶׁבְּתוֹךְ הַקֻּפּוֹת הוּא הַנִּקְרָא תְּרוּמַת הַלִּשְׁכָּה וְזֶה שֶׁיִּשָּׁאֵר שָׁם יֶתֶר עַל מַה שֶּׁיֵּשׁ בַּקֻּפּוֹת הוּא הַנִּקְרָא שְׁיָרֵי הַלִּשְׁכָּה:

5

On three occasions during the year16 funds were taken from this chamber: On Rosh Chodesh Nisan, on either the day before or the day after the festival of Rosh Chodesh Tishrei17, and fifteen days before Shavuot.18

How is the money set aside? One person enters the chamber, while the guards stand outside. He asks them: "Should I set aside the funds?" They answer him: "Set them aside; set them aside; set them aside," [repeating the answer] three times.19

The person then filled three smaller baskets, each containing three seah, from [the funds in] the three large baskets. He then took the money outside to use it until it was depleted. Afterwards, he returned and refilled the three small baskets from the three large baskets a second time before Shavuot. The money was then used until it was depleted.

ה

בִּשְׁלֹשָׁה פְּרָקִים בַּשָּׁנָה תּוֹרְמִין אֶת הַלִּשְׁכָּה. בְּרֹאשׁ חֹדֶשׁ נִיסָן. וּבְרֹאשׁ חֹדֶשׁ תִּשְׁרֵי קֹדֶם יוֹם טוֹב אוֹ אַחֲרָיו. וְקֹדֶם עֲצֶרֶת בַּחֲמִשָּׁה עָשָׂר יוֹם. וְכֵיצַד תּוֹרְמִין אוֹתָהּ. אֶחָד נִכְנַס לִפְנִים מִן הַלִּשְׁכָּה וְהַשּׁוֹמְרִין עוֹמְדִים בַּחוּץ וְהוּא אוֹמֵר לָהֶם אֶתְרֹם וְהֵן אוֹמְרִים לוֹ תְּרֹם תְּרֹם תְּרֹם שְׁלֹשָׁה פְּעָמִים. וְאַחַר כָּךְ מְמַלֵּא שָׁלֹשׁ קֻפּוֹת קְטַנּוֹת כָּל קֻפָּה מֵהֶן מְכִילָה שָׁלֹשׁ סְאִין מֵאוֹתָן שָׁלֹשׁ קֻפּוֹת הַגְּדוֹלוֹת וּמוֹצִיאָן לַחוּץ כְּדֵי לְהִסְתַּפֵּק מֵהֶן עַד שֶׁיִּכְלוּ. וְחוֹזֵר וּמְמַלֵּא אוֹתָן הַשָּׁלֹשׁ קֻפּוֹת הַקְּטַנּוֹת מִן שָׁלֹשׁ גְּדוֹלוֹת פַּעַם שְׁנִיָּה קֹדֶם עֲצֶרֶת וּמִסְתַּפְּקִין מֵהֶן עַד שֶׁיִּכְלוּ:

6

In Tishrei, he returned a third time, filled [the three small baskets] from the three large baskets, and used the funds until they were exhausted [or] until Rosh Chodesh Nisan.20 On Rosh Chodesh Nisan, [funds] were set aside from the new collection.21

If the funds in the three large containers were insufficient and were exhausted before the month of Nisan, they would set aside other funds from the remainder within the chamber.22

ו

וְחוֹזֵר וּמְמַלֵּא אוֹתָן פַּעַם שְׁלִישִׁית מִן הַשָּׁלֹשׁ קֻפּוֹת הַגְּדוֹלוֹת בְּתִשְׁרֵי וּמִסְתַּפְּקִין מֵהֶן עַד שֶׁיִּכְלוּ עַד רֹאשׁ חֹדֶשׁ נִיסָן. וּבְרֹאשׁ חֹדֶשׁ נִיסָן תּוֹרְמִין מִתְּרוּמָה חֲדָשָׁה. לֹא הִסְפִּיקוּ לָהֶן הַשְּׁקָלִים שֶׁבְּשָׁלֹשׁ קֻפּוֹת הַגְּדוֹלוֹת וְכָלוּ עַד שֶׁלֹּא הִגִּיעַ נִיסָן חוֹזְרִין וְתוֹרְמִין מִשְּׁיָרֵי הַלִּשְׁכָּה:

7

The three smaller baskets into which the funds were set aside and taken outside were labeled alef, bet, gimmel.23 [In this manner,] he would know to take [the funds] from the first until they were exhausted, and then to take from the second, and then to take from the third.

He should fill the first basket from the first large basket, and then cover the large basket with a handkerchief. Afterwards, he should fill the second basket from the second large basket and then cover the large basket with a handkerchief, and then the third basket from the third large basket.

He does not cover this large basket with a handkerchief, thus making it apparent that he concluded with it. And he would begin with it when he entered a second time before Shavuot. At that time, he would first set aside [the funds] from the large basket that was uncovered, and then he covered it. He then set aside from the large basket from which he had taken [the funds] first on the previous occasion, and covered it. He would then take funds from the large basket that is next to it.

He would not cover this basket, so that [he would know] to start from it in Tishrei, the third time he entered.24 Thus, he would have placed [funds] into the first, second, and third of the small baskets from each of the large baskets.

ז

שָׁלֹשׁ קֻפּוֹת הַקְּטַנּוֹת שֶׁהוּא תּוֹרֵם בָּהֶם וּמוֹצִיאָן לַחוּץ כָּתוּב עֲלֵיהֶן אָלֶ''ף בֵּי''ת גִּימֶ''ל כְּדֵי שֶׁיִּסְתַּפְּקוּ מִן הָרִאשׁוֹנָה עַד שֶׁתִּכְלֶה. וְאַחַר כָּךְ מִסְתַּפְּקִין מִן הַשְּׁנִיָּה. וְאַחַר כָּךְ מִסְתַּפְּקִין מִן הַשְּׁלִישִׁית. וְתוֹרֵם רִאשׁוֹנָה מִן הַקֻּפָּה הָאַחַת הַגְּדוֹלָה וּמְחַפֶּה אוֹתָהּ הַגְּדוֹלָה בְּמִטְפַּחַת. וְתוֹרֵם הַשְּׁנִיָּה מֵהַקֻּפָּה הַגְּדוֹלָה הַשְּׁנִיָּה וּמְחַפֶּה אוֹתָהּ הַגְּדוֹלָה בְּמִטְפַּחַת. וְתוֹרֵם הַשְּׁלִישִׁית מִן הַקֻּפָּה הַגְּדוֹלָה הַשְּׁלִישִׁית וְאֵינוֹ מְחַפֶּה אוֹתָהּ בְּמִטְפַּחַת כְּדֵי שֶׁתִּהְיֶה נִכֶּרֶת שֶׁבָּהּ סִיֵּם. וְיַתְחִיל מִמֶּנָּה בַּתְּחִלָּה בְּפַעַם שְׁנִיָּה כְּשֶׁיִּכָּנֵס קֹדֶם עֲצֶרֶת. וְתוֹרֵם הָרִאשׁוֹנָה מִן הַגְּדוֹלָה שֶׁהָיְתָה מְגֻלָּה וּמְחַפֶּה אוֹתָהּ. וְתוֹרֵם הַשְּׁנִיָּה מִן הַגְּדוֹלָה שֶׁתָּרַם מִמֶּנָּה בָּרִאשׁוֹנָה תְּחִלָּה וּמְחַפֶּה אוֹתָהּ. וְתוֹרֵם הַשְּׁלִישִׁית מִן הַגְּדוֹלָה הַסְּמוּכָה לָהּ וְאֵינוֹ מְחַפֶּה אוֹתָהּ כְּדֵי שֶׁיַּתְחִיל מִמֶּנָּה בַּתְּחִלָּה בְּפַעַם שְׁלִישִׁית כְּשֶׁיִּכָּנֵס בְּתִשְׁרֵי. עַד שֶׁנִּמְצָא תּוֹרֵם רִאשׁוֹנָה וּשְׁנִיָּה וּשְׁלִישִׁית הַקְּטַנּוֹת מִכָּל אַחַת וְאַחַת מִן הַגְּדוֹלוֹת:

8

When he placed the funds in these three [small] baskets, he placed the funds in the first basket on behalf of [the inhabitants of] Eretz Yisrael; in the second basket, on behalf of [the inhabitants of] the walled cities surrounding Eretz Yisrael,25 and on behalf of [the inhabitants of] the totality of Eretz Yisrael; and in the third basket, on behalf of [the inhabitants of] Babylonia, on behalf of [the inhabitants of] Media, on behalf of [the inhabitants of] other distant countries, and on behalf of the remainder of the Jewish people.26

ח

כְּשֶׁהוּא תּוֹרֵם שָׁלֹשׁ קֻפּוֹת אֵלּוּ תּוֹרֵם אֶת הָרִאשׁוֹנָה לְשֵׁם אֶרֶץ יִשְׂרָאֵל. וְהַשְּׁנִיָּה לְשֵׁם הַכְּרַכִּין הַמֻּקָּפִין לָהּ וּלְשֵׁם כָּל (אֶרֶץ) יִשְׂרָאֵל. וְהַשְּׁלִישִׁית לְשֵׁם בָּבֶל וּלְשֵׁם מָדַי וּלְשֵׁם הַמְּדִינוֹת הָרְחוֹקוֹת וּלְשֵׁם שְׁאָר כָּל יִשְׂרָאֵל:

9

When he set aside the funds, he had the intention of including [all those whose shekalim] had been collected and were present in the chamber, [all those whose shekalim] had been collected and had not reached the chamber, and [all those whose shekalim] would be collected in the future.27

[In this manner,] the shekalim that he set aside to use [to purchase the sacrifices] would serve as atonement for the entire Jewish people. It is as if their shekalim had already reached the chamber, and were included in the money that was set aside.

ט

כְּשֶׁהוּא תּוֹרֵם מִתְכַּוֵּן לִתְרֹם עַל הַגָּבוּי שֶׁיֵּשׁ בַּלִּשְׁכָּה. וְעַל הַגָּבוּי שֶׁעֲדַיִן לֹא הִגִּיעַ לַלִּשְׁכָּה. וְעַל הֶעָתִיד לִגָּבוֹת כְּדֵי שֶׁיִּהְיוּ אֵלּוּ הַשְּׁקָלִים שֶׁהוֹצִיאָן לְהִסְתַּפֵּק מֵהֶן כַּפָּרָה עַל כָּל יִשְׂרָאֵל וּכְאִלּוּ הִגִּיעוּ כָּל שִׁקְלֵיהֶן לַלִּשְׁכָּה וְנִתְרְמָה מֵהֶן תְּרוּמָה זוֹ:

10

When the person entered to set aside the funds, he should not enter wearing a garment in which he could hide money, nor wearing shoes or sandals,28 nor wearing tefillin or an amulet, lest the people suspect that he hid funds from the chamber underneath them when he set aside the funds. And they would talk to him [continuously] from the time he entered until the time he departed, so that he could not place [a coin] in his mouth.

Even though all these safeguards were taken, a poor person or someone who craved money should not [be appointed to] set aside these funds.29 [In this way,] the matter will not arouse suspicion, thus [fulfilling the advice of Numbers 32:22]: "You shall be blameless before God and before Israel."

י

כְּשֶׁיִּכָּנֵס הַתּוֹרֵם לִתְרֹם לֹא יִכָּנֵס בְּבֶגֶד שֶׁאֶפְשָׁר לְהַחְבּוֹת בּוֹ כֶּסֶף וְלֹא בְּמִנְעָל וְלֹא בְּסַנְדָּל וְלֹא בִּתְפִלָּה וְלֹא בְּקָמֵעַ שֶׁמָּא יַחְשְׁדוּ אוֹתוֹ הָעָם וְיֹאמְרוּ הֶחְבִּיא מִמְּעוֹת הַלִּשְׁכָּה תַּחְתָּיו כְּשֶׁתְּרָמָהּ. וּמְדַבְּרִים הָיוּ עִמּוֹ מִשָּׁעָה שֶׁיִּכָּנֵס עַד שָׁעָה שֶׁיֵּצֵא כְּדֵי שֶׁלֹּא יִתֵּן לְתוֹךְ פִּיו. וְאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁנִּזְהָרִים כָּל כָּךְ עָנִי אוֹ מִי שֶׁהוּא נִבְהַל לַהוֹן לֹא יִתְרֹם מִפְּנֵי הַחֲשָׁד שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (במדבר לב כב) "וִהְיִיתֶם נְקִיִּים מֵה' וּמִיִּשְׂרָאֵל":