Torah Portion: Ki Tisa (To Take) Exodus 30:11-34:35
HafTorah: I Kings 18:1-39
Tonight I want to start right off with the question I sent out to you. Moses takes a census of the people and as a result of this census every person age 20 and older had to pay ½ shekel for an atonement for their soul. (Exodus 30:12) How can money count as an atonement. Leviticus 17:11 tells us that only the shedding of innocent blood of an animal can atonement come. So how do we reconcile this? Another meaning for the word atonement is ransom. And if we use that word it gives us a clearer understanding of what Moses is saying here. In battle they would be shedding blood and in the Torah when you shed blood a ransom must be paid for the taking of a life.