Shekalim 22 - Temple curtain and shekalim today

The curtain in the Temple was one hand-breadth thick; it was woven with the thread of seventy-two strands; it was twenty amot (about 30 feet) by forty (about sixty feet); it was made at the cost of 820,000 gold coins, and another reading has it that 82 maidens were weaving it; it was replaced twice a year, and three hundred Kohanim were needed to hold it. Some say that 300 Kohanim was just an exaggeration, and perhaps this refers also to the cost. The Talmud also discussed how it was ritually purified in a mikveh, and how other utensils were purified.

The mitzvah of shekalim applies only in the time of the Temple. What happens if one designates his shekel as the Temple shekel offering? - Even though the mitzvah does not apply, the shekel does become consecrated. What is he to do, seeing that there is no Temple where it can be used? - He must drop it in the Dead Sea. In truth, any sea will do, except that no boats were traversing the Dead Sea, and therefore there was no danger that the coins deposited there would be found an used. In the other seas, the coins have to be ground first.

Art: Dead Sea with the mountains of Moab by Gustave Bauernfeind