29 Adar II 5757 (4/5/97)

The Honorable Moshe Katsav
Minister of Tourism
Chairman of the Ministerial Committee for Symbols and Ceremonies
The Knesset

RE: The promotion of the Restoration of the Half-Shekel as the soul of the 50th Year Celebrations.

Dear Minister Katsav,

Shalom Aleichem! It is my great honor to inform you that we have restored, after an absence of 1928 years, the custom of giving a Holy Half-Shekel to Jerusalem, to commence with Purim of 5758, to coincide with the 50th year celebrations of the State of Israel.

Production of the ceremonial coins, dated the year 50, began on 14 Adar II, Purim, and will continue until Rosh Chodesh Adar next year.

The rich can not give more and the poor can not give less. Whether that speaks of material wealth or ritual observance, all are equal in the fulfilment of this Commandment. The Half Shekel comes to teach the unaffiliated that they are at least Half a Shekel, and the ultra-religious that they are only Half a Shekel, thus creating a plane where all are on an equal footing.

As it is the stated aim of our Prime Minister and this current government to bring all the Jews together and heal the rifts that seperate us one from another, the Restoration of the giving of the Half-Shekel is the ultimate manifestation of these aims.

A complete archive of this project can be found on the Internet at: israelvisit.co.il/beged-ivri

We are making no request for budgeting, the project was started by private donations and is self-sufficient. We are requesting that it be promoted fully as the soul of the 50th year celebrations, to be included in every promotional advert that your committee issues.

The Half-Shekel project will enable Jews everywhere in the world to participate in the State celebrations in an unprecedented manner.

I request permission to personally present the project to the "Ministerial Committee for Symbols and Ceremonies" to give you an opportunity to understand, on the deepest levels, the full significance of this historical restoration.

I look foward to your positive reply.

G-d Bless,

Reuven Prager
Beged Ivri


    Mr. Bobby Brown, Prime Minister's Office
    Mr. Michael Kahanov, Brink's

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