[Avodah] Paying your workers on time using electronic payments

Micha Berger micha at aishdas.org
Mon Jun 24 10:17:29 PDT 2019

On Mon, Jun 24, 2019 at 10:58:06AM -0400, Zev Sero via Avodah wrote:
: (We've discussed the history of coins before.  Secular archaeology says they
: were invented in the late Bayit Rishon era.  But this seems to conflict with
: Chazal's understanding of "Vetzarta Hakesef".)

I looked through the archives, I didn't find any reference to that pasuq.

Mostly our discussions were of Avraham's coin -- which if we look was
really a coin of Avraham, with no claim as to age, and whether Avraham
paying for Me'aras haMachpeilah with 400 sheqel "oveir lasocheir" was
indication there was coinage, or proof there wasn't. (Was a sheqel oveer
lasocheir a coin, or because there were no coins, some 1 sheqel pieces
of silver looked more reliable than others.) And a little of the fiery
machatzis hasheqel described by the Tanchuma
<https://www.sefaria.org/Midrash_Tanchuma%2C_Ki_Tisa.9.5> to explain the
"zeh" of "zeh yitenu" in Shemos 30:13, quoted by Rashi. What would they
need to be shown if not coinage? A hologram of a random lump of silver?

I assume you are talking about Berakhos 47b, which contrasts pidyon
maaser sheini on kesef "sheyeish aleha tzurah", in contrast to an asimon.

A similar contrast between coinage an an asimon appears in BM 47b, but
there is no implication that the deOraisa referred to minted coins.

Personally, I like your Mar 2018 suggestion:
> Even more balebatish: Coins hadn't yet been invented. Therefore Moshe
> had never seen one. *If* there is a requirement that the ten gerah of
> silver be minted into a coin before being given to the mishkan, Moshe
> would have to understand what such a thing looked like, and make an
> example to explain it to the people. (Ditto for pidyon maaser sheni,
> but by then they'd already seen what a "coin" was.) Perhaps this was
> the invention of the coin, and it merely took another six centuries or
> so for the idea to catch on among the nations that this Jewish ritual
> object might have secular applications.

So, pidyon and machatzis hasheqel requires this ritual thing of a coin,
and coins as currency did indeed become commoplace later.

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger                 Life isn't about finding yourself.
http://www.aishdas.org/asp   Life is about creating yourself.
Author: Widen Your Tent               - George Bernard Shaw
- https://amzn.to/2JRxnDF

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