Friends of Beged Ivri, FBI is the online affiliate of MaShaL - Mahatzit Shekel L'chayal (Half Shekel for a Soldier), a nonsectarian program sponsored by Beged Ivri in Jerusalem. Its goal is to place a pure silver Holy Half Shekel into the hands of every soldier serving in the Israel Defense Forces, annually.

Welcome to Shekels for Soldiers

The commandment of the Holy Half Shekel is unique in one respect. Whereas all other commandments become obligatory upon majority (age 12 for girls and age 13 for boys) the mitzvah of the Holy Half Shekel becomes Biblically mandatory only at the age of  20. Why the age of 20? Because the age of 20 was the age of induction into the armed services. What was the Holy Half Shekel? It was the world's first insurance policy. It was an insurance policy for our souls. That if, during the course of military service we perpetrated harm to another, that harm did not tarnish our souls because of the atonement we gave for our souls back to HaShem when we gave the Holy Half Shekel.

A few years ago we instituted a program called MASHAL – Mahatzit Shekel L'Chayal – Holy Half Shekel for a soldier. You can now sponsor soldiers in the IDF (Israel Defense Forces). You purchase a shekel, we give it out for free to a soldier in the IDF. The packaging of the soldier's half shekel includes a fold-out teaching that brings down all the Torah teachings that connect the soldier's service with the giving of the Holy Half Shekel. You can sponsor 1 soldier, 2 soldiers, 5 soldiers, as many as you wish to. As a community you can sponsor an entire army base.

This year we instituted FBI -  Friends of Beged Ivri, recruiting agents to seek sponsors to give pure silver Holy Half Shekels to soldiers of the IDF. If you wish to become an FBI agent please contact us at to get started. You can also join us on Facebook at FBI – Friends of Beged Ivri.

For complete information about the restoration of this vital commandment please go to:


Ain Zo Agada for Beged Ivri, by Binyomin Allen

Ultimate Goal

Our ultimate goal is for the Israel Defense Forces' Chief Rabbinate to take responsibility, by law, for distributing a pure silver Holy Half Shekel to each and every soldier serving in the IDF, annually, the funds for this to be raised through this and other organizations so as not to detract from the scarce resources available to maintain the military defense of Israel.  

Interim Goal

For the last five years we have been distributing Holy Half Shekels randomly to soldiers in the IDF, corresponding to the number of shekels sponsored. This year, with the establishment of FBI - Friends of Beged Ivri, FBI "agents" have begun seeking sponsors to donate Holy Half Shekels to soldiers serving in the IDF. We anticipate that this year we will be able to begin to give Shekels to base commanders, base by base, until it reaches a level of participation that will require the IDF to take over responsibility for distribution to its own soldiers.

  • Friends of Beged Ivri (FBI) will help find sponsors for soldiers.
  • Shekels will be given to IDF base commanders for distribution.
  • Reach every military base and commander, base by base.



2 Adar 5772


A major breakthrough has occurred in the issuing of a psak din by the Sanhedrin in Jerusalem, that recognizes the weight standard of the Holy Half Shekel to be 7.776 grams of .999 fine silver.


The following is a translation of the text of the psak:


On the 2nd of Adar 5772 In the presence of members Schwartz, Stein, Yonaton, Hakak, Elbaum, Yisrael, Engel, Yishai, Kislev


It was decided: A. The Machatzit HaShekel [Holy Half Shekel] equals 7.776 grams of pure silver with a fineness of .999 pure silver according to three unrelated calculations (Prager, Yonaton, Michaelson). Therefore it is decided to recommend the findings.


Recorder Dov


ב"ה האדר תשע"ב נוכחים ה"ה שוורץ שטייין יונתן חקאק אלבום ישראל אנגל ישי כסלו החלטות: א. מחצית השקל שווה7.776 גרם של כסף טהור בשיעור 0.999 כסף טהור על פי 3 חישובים בלתי תלויים (פרגר יונתן מיכלסון).ולכן הוחלט לאמץ התוצאה. רשם דב.


from Parshat Ki Tissa

(Exodus 30:11,12 & 16)

Then the LORD said to Moses, “When you take a census of the Israelites to count them, each one must pay the LORD a ransom for his soul at the time he is counted. Then no plague will come on them when you number them. ... Receive the atonement money from the Israelites and use it for the service of the tent of meeting. It will be a memorial for the Israelites before the LORD, making atonement for your souls.”


"Love the idea. What a blessing for the soldiers to have this coin with him/her and know it is a piece of biblical history just as for the armies of ancient Israel."

~ Clarence Wagner

Read More




Become an "FBI" agent!

As a Friend of Beged Ivri, you can earn this free t-shirt!

click here for more details!

joomla counter