The Israel Antiquities Authority has announced that a rare half-shekel silver coin was found in an excavation in Jerusalem.
A silver coin that was used to pay the half-shekel head tax to the Temple was found in what was the main drainage channel of Jerusalem in the Second Temple period.
Before reading the Scroll of Esther, all devout Jews will contribute a sum of money, “a reminder of the half shekel” which was paid by every household in ancient times for the purpose of maintaining the Temple. Today, this sum is translated into local currency and donated to the needy.
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