Israel: False Half Shekel by Ha-Ari Foundation, 1955
Item code: 0130021

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Israel: False Half Shekel, 1955, issued by the "Leader Ha-Ari Foundation" ("HaAri" - the initials of "Rabbi Yitzhak Lurie"); cast copper-nickel(?), 38.5mm, 33.65g, in UNC: as per the legend in Hebrew, it was minted "In preparation for the 3000th year of Jerusalem the Capital's existence" by the "Machon Nasi HaAri YaHabetz [meaning of these initials unknown]", and "Half a Shekel 5715 (1955)".

The obverse legend, featuring the image of Rabbi Yitzhak Lurie Ben Shlomo further reads "Rabbi Yitzhak Ben Zvi Ashkenazi - Member of Horowitz [family]" - this may be a play on names, using the then Israeli President's name, Yitzhak Ben Zvi; the legend continues: "Founder of the World Knesset Israel Center in Jerusalem So Says He (sic), Tel Aviv P.O.Box 3085".

The closest relevant connection to the name Horowitz is Rabbi Yeshayahu HaLevy Horowitz (1558-1630; also known as the "Hashlah" for his book "Shney Luchot HaBrit" - The Two Tablets of the Ten Commandments), who was a contemporary of Yitzhak Lurie (1534-1572): he accepted and promoted the Kabbalism taught by Rabbi Lurie.

The reverse depicts the two Tablets, the Lions of Judea, a Judaic Menorah, ancient Jewish coins and other images of Judaism; the ribbon in the center reads "Mercaz Knesset Israel HaOlamit HaAri YaHabetz" (same legend as on obverse), and is surmounted by the Hebrew legend "Half a Shekel (with the Aramaic numeral) - Remember the Holy City of Jerusalem - Kingship of Judea and Israel".

מילות מפתח: מדליות מוסדות עמותה עמותות יהודיות בית בתי ספר מרכז קהילתי ישראל יודאיקה יוקאיכה