Dogma and Dynamism Parashat Ki Tissa

The Torah commandment concerning levying of taxes ends on that note but scholars present a dialogue between Moses and God on the subject.

At the beginning of this week's Torah portion, following the detailed instructions for the construction of the Portable Tabernacle, the Israelites are commanded to pay machatzit hashekel, half a shekel. This is a tax levied on each person in an egalitarian manner - "The rich shall not give more, and the poor shall not give less, than the half shekel" (Exodus 30:15 ). It is intended to enable a census...