shekel

שקל – shekel (shekl), pl. shekalim, “weighings”. A denomination of currency or weight-based value, often used as a measure of coinage. Depending on the period in history, the worth of a shekel was determined either by raw metallic weight, purity of the metal, or by prescribed values of even smaller denominations. It was often used as the smaller denominator to calculate the value of other amounts such as the sela (40 shekalim), the mina (60 and then later 50 shekalim) or even one talent (1,000 shekalim). Today, Israel’s currency is called the shekel.

Read more about the division of shekalim or ancient currencies in the Jewish Encyclopedia.

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