In my siddur -- Siddur Tefillah Hashalem (Greenwald), page 162 has a text for separating terumah and ma'aser. In the instructions, if my understanding is correct, the text seems to require using a shilling (this is a photo https://www.snapfish.com/photo-gift/share?via=link&token=UI6iuTQ68NN4QQxjNVJUgg/SFO/27947492559060/SNAPFISH ; I hope it works).

Why would the ritual require (or prefer) using a shilling and what sort of shilling is it speaking of? Is this a generic term for some sort of coin or is it a reference to a particular item?

  • Where and when was this published?
    – Double AA
    Apr 8, 2018 at 2:31

2 Answers 2


The photo of the sefer says שוה פרוטה (Shave Perutah - value of a perutah). A Perutah is the smallest significant coin used in the time of the gemara. See Cash value of 'perutah' for a discussion as to what that is worth in modern times. Your translation of a shilling is probably because it is the currency that you are used to handling.


In years 1, 2, 4, and 5 of the Shemitta cycle, the Second Tithe is separated from produce. This tithe is to be brought up and eaten in Jerusalem in purity. If one is outside Jerusalem (or the produce is impure) one can ease the burden of travel by redeeming the holiness onto money and then treating the original produce as profane. The money is brought instead and is used to buy food in Jerusalem to be eaten in purity. (cf. Deuteronomy 14:22-27)

Nowadays since the food can't be eaten in purity, the Second Tithe produce is redeemed onto a small coin and the coin is eventually destroyed. Your text is instructing you to have a dedicated coin for this purpose (the shilling was apparently the local coin), some particulars of how much produce can be redeemed on a single coin, and how to eventually dispose of the coin. That way you don't lose the 9% of your crop which needs to be separated as Second Tithe.

  • the instructions seem to explain how to reuse the coin 24 times based on the particular value of this shilling but that doesn't clarify what kind of shilling he is talking about. This copy of my siddur has no title page with copyright info so I don't know where it was published or what the coin of the realm was.
    – rosends
    Apr 8, 2018 at 4:25
  • @rosends If you don't know where it was published then likely no one can tell you. He says it's based on the price of silver there. Go find a time and place where one shilling bought 24 perotot worth of silver = 0.6grams.
    – Double AA
    Apr 8, 2018 at 4:30

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