1)MISHNAH: INTRODUCTION TO SHEKALIM
(a)On the first of Adar:
1.The Shekalim were announced.
2.A warning regarding Kilayim was announced.
(b)On the fifteenth of Adar:
1.The Megilah was read.
2.The roads and Mikvaos were repaired (from winter damage).
3.General communal needs were arranged and graves were marked.
4.Agents of Beis Din went out to (destroy remaining) Kilayim.
2)THE SOURCE FOR NISAN AS THE START OF THE SHEKALIM YEAR
(a)Question: Why was this announcement made on the first of Adar?
(b)Answer: So that Bnei Yisrael might bring their Shekalim on time and the purchases made from the Terumas ha'Lishkah would be made from the new donations (on the first of Nisan).
(c)This parallels the date of the first such purchase in the Mishkan.
(d)(R. Tavi): This date is derived from a Gezeirah Shavah (Chodshei).
(e)(R. Yona, questioning R. Tavi): It comes from l'Chodshei ha'Shanah.
(f)Question: What is (or, why) Mashmi'im (let it be heard)?
(g)Answer: It means (or, because of) Machrizim (announce) as in the Pasuk.
(h)To the Mishnah which lists the differences between Adar I and Adar II, R. Simon adds our laws (the announcements).
(i)R. Yosi says that this is logically correct, since the announcements on Adar I would be too early.
(j)Then (it would seem that) those living in Bavel should announce earlier owing to their greater distance.
(k)Question: But there was no expectation that they bring their Shekalim by Nisan
1.We see from the Mishnah that purchases were made from the Lishka three times a year.
2.This implies that those at greater distance were allowed to bring their Shekalim until the third purchase, Sukkos!
(l)Answer: All the Shekalim were brought as one (by Nisan), and the Mishna only divided the purchase points to make it public.
3)THE POWERFUL DRIVE OF EVIL
(a)Three instances which show how, when good needed to be done, only the generous came forward, but when evil was in the offing, all came forward.
(b)The Prophet Tzefanya also rebuked the people regarding their alacrity in doing evil.
(c)The nature of this People is difficult to understand (they just give), as they gave generously to the Calf, as well as to the Mishkan!
(d)Actually, the Mishkan was to atone for the Calf.
(a)The Pasuk in Parshas Terumah refers to three donations:
1.Half-Shekel each towards the Adanim.
2.Half-Shekel for their Shekalim.
3.Donations for the Mishkan.
(b)Each of the donations went to its own purpose:
1.The donations to the Mishkan were unrestricted donations, with unrestricted use in the Mishkan.
2.The Shekalim could only be used for the Korbanos.
3.Every Jew's portion had to be equal as well regarding the Shekalim for the Adanim.
(c)The Pasuk in Ki Sisa also refers to the three donations.
5)READING THE MEGILA ON THE FOURTEENTH
(a)(R. Chelbo): It is permitted to read the Megilah on the fourteenth (even for those whose obligation is on the fifteenth).
(b)The Pasuk which, apparently, restricts each person to their day only, is coming to teach that on a leap year the Mitzvos are to be performed on Adar II, not Adar I (following the understanding of the Korban ha'Eida).
(c)Our Mishnah which says otherwise must be speaking l'Chatchila, while R. Chelbo was speaking b'di'Eved.
(d)Question: But, then, why should there be doubtful cities wherein we read on both days (if b'di'Eved the 14th is acceptable)?!
(e)Answer: Indeed, I also disagree with R. Chelbo.
(f)If we would not have those cities read again on the 15th, others would learn an error and the 15th would be uprooted!
6)ADAR I AND ADAR II
(a)(R. Shimon b. Gamliel): All the Mitzvos of Adar only appear on Adar II with the exceptions of fasting and eulogizing which are prohibited in both months.
(b)This is Hinhig (the law for those who ask) not Halachah (publicly announced).
(c)There is a dispute regarding dating contracts on Adar.
1.R. Meir holds that Adar II is the assumed Adar.
2.R. Yehudah holds that Adar I is the assumed Adar.