Those who have the custom to say the Yotzros for Musaf on Shabbos Shekalim finish off each stanza with the following words:

אור פניך עלינו אדון נשא, ושקל אשא בבית נכון ונשא

Hey, wait a second, wasn't it a Machtzis HaShekel - so why does it say V'Shekel?

  • 1
    Incidentally, I wonder about the fifth word in that line. Shouldn't it be נסה (as in 'נסה עלינו אור פניך ה, Ps. 4:7)?
    – Alex
    Commented Feb 20, 2012 at 4:15

2 Answers 2


In the terminology used in the Mishnah, the Biblical shekel is called a sela, and the former half-shekel is called a shekel. (Examples are legion - see, for example, Shekalim 1:6: הנותן סלע ונוטל שקל - one who gives a sela and asks for a shekel as change.)

So it's quite correct to say that we will give a shekel.


I heard that there is a Gemorah: If 2 people come together to pay the half Shekel they can give a shekel and they will have to pay a Kalbon (1/48 of a shekel) for a conversion fee

I heard a vort in the name of the Belzer Rov: The Yidden wanted to give as much as they could, so they would come together on purpose to pay this extra Kalbon

אור פניך עלינו אדון נשא - we ask Hashem to favour us

ושקל אשא בבית נכון ונשא - to give us extra money so we will give a shekel and be able to pay extra

  • Welcome to MiYodeya Yehuda Leib and thanks for this first answer. Great to have you learn with us!
    – mbloch
    Commented Mar 8 at 14:27

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