the aggregate amount of
silver gathered for the
And the silver of those who were counted of the congregation was a 100 Kikar, and a 1775
shekel according to the shekel of the sanctuary;
A bekah for every man, that is, 1/2 a shekel, according to the shekel of the sanctuary, for every one who went to be counted, from twenty years old and upward, for
This most beautiful Rashi uses
the principles of solving linear equations to derive the number
of shekels per kikar.
The three basic principles of solving linear equations are
- The Simplication Principle:
First eliminate parenthesis by performing
all necessary computations till all you have left in the equation are numbers and variables.
- The addition Principle:
One can subtract or add equal amounts from each side of the equation;
- The Multiplication Principle: One can divide or multiply equal amounts from each side of the equation.
Rashi: Using these two principles we can use the above verses to calculate as follows:
1/2 603,550 Shekel = 100 KiKar + 1775 Shekel
|| Multiply 1/2 x 603,550
301,775 Shekel = 100 KiKar + 1775 Shekel
|| Subtract 1,775
300,000 Shekel = 100 KiKar
|| Divide by 100
3,000 Shekel = 1 Kikar
Advanced Rashi: Rashi can't really be fully understood without the
rules of elementary algebra. This example hi-lights the need for including non-verse methods such as the spreadsheet method in our list of rules.
We note that Rashi supplies additional historical information such as the fact that each Kikar contains 120 Maneh with each
Maneh containing 25 shekel. However the maneh is not a Biblical unit of currency. However interesting Rashi's additional comment is we confine ourselves in this email newsletter to Torah-itic commentary.