Intermountain Jewish News

Banner
Thursday,
Jul 02nd
Home Columns Jewish on Earth Hey Buddy: Can you spare a zuz?

Hey Buddy: Can you spare a zuz?

E-mail Print PDF

Next holiday season, you might consider buying your presents without US dollars. When you decide to buy something, you can also choose what you buy it with. It’s legal in the US to create our own currencies and exchange systems, and use them for trade — as long as no one confuses the created currency with US Federal Reserve Notes, and any taxes owed from transactions can be paid in US currency.

There’s a historical precedent.

Thousands of years ago, our ancestors were using talents, minas, shekels, bekas, gerahs, pims and kesitahs. That weight-based, precious metal system might make any modern gold standard advocate happy. However, even though shekel means “weight” in Hebrew, this “basic” unit of silver could weigh anywhere from 9.56 grams upward (for more info, see Biblical Currency).

There were at least three kinds of shekels — merchant’s rate (over la-socher), sanctuary weight (ha-kodesh), and king’s stone (b’even ha-melech).

And currency values varied by time period.

During the early Roman rule of Palaestina, for example, five gerahs made a talent, four talents a shekel, two shekels a beka, and 25 beka made one mina.

After Bar Kochba and the Temple’s destruction, however, one talent equaled 60 minas, which equaled 3,000 shekels, 6,000 zuzim, 12,000 sela and 24,000 perutahs.

Today in Israel, one shekel equals 100 agurot. Period.

The rest of this article is available in the IJN's print edition only. Contact Carol to order your copy at (303) 861-2234 or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Last Updated ( Thursday, 22 March 2012 10:41 )  

IJN e-Edition

This is only a taste! Get full access to the IJN via our e-Edition, only $14.04 for IJN Print subscribers.

E-Edition subscribers get access to a complete digital replica of the IJN, which includes all special sections.

Get the IJN's free newsletter!

Shabbat Times

JTA News

Amy Winehouse, through the lens (and the bottom of a bottle)

Lisa Keys A powerful new documentary, “Amy,” looks at the Jewish songstress behind the famous beehive hairdo. ... [Link]

Cruz blasts Obama for opening embassy in Havana before Jerusalem

Ron Kampeas Declared GOP presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz contrasted the announcement of plans to open an embassy in Havana with the U.S. refusal to move its Israel embassy to Jerusalem. ... [Link]

Report: Alan Gross never debriefed after release from Cuba

Marcy Oster In May, Gross spoke at a fundraiser for New Cuba PAC, which calls for easing trade and travel restrictions between the island nation and the United States. ... [Link]

Olmert appeals conviction, sentence in Talansky Affair

Marcy Oster Olmert asked Israel’s Supreme Court to delay the start of his eight-month prison term pending his appeal. ... [Link]

 Israel signs $111 million deal to upgrade Argentinean tanks

Marcy Oster The work on the 74  Argentinean Medium Tanks will be done by Israeli engineers in Argentina. ... [Link]

Steven Salaita hired by American University of Beirut

Marcy Oster Salaita, whose appointment as a professor at the University of Illinois was rescinded over his anti-Israel tweets, announced on Twitter that he will teach in the fall. ... [Link]

Home of Har Nof synagogue terrorist sealed

Marcy Oster The home of one of the Palestinian terrorists who murdered four rabbis and a policeman in an attack on a Jerusalem synagogue was sealed by the Israeli military. ... [Link]

Hezbollah operative planning attacks on Jewish targets sentenced in Cyprus

Ron Kampeas The dual Lebanese-Canadian citizen was given a six-year prison term after material used for explosives was found in his home. ... [Link]

Intermountain Jewish News • 1177 Grant Street • Denver, CO 80203 • 303 861 2234 • FAX 303 832 6942
email@ijn.com • larry@ijn.com • lori@ijn.com