Shekalim 9 - Scooping three times

There was a procedure to the scooping: the priest would go into the chamber and call from there, "Should I scoop?" and the administrators would command him three times: "Scoop! Scoop! Scoop!" He would fill the first box and cover the money remaining in this part of the room with a hide; he would then fill the second box and again cover the remainder with a hide, and the third portion he would not cover. Why all this? The first portion was of the people of Israel, the second - for the surrounding cities, and the third - for the people Babylon, Media and far away lands.

The family of Rabban Gamliel was especially zealous: they would enter the chamber and throw the coins right before the priest doing the scooping, and he would try to make sure to scoop their coins into his box.

On this subject of extra effort, Rabbi Pinchas ben Yair outlines ten steps of spiritual growth: extra effort brings to being free from wrongdoing; that brings one to re-think his previous wrongful acts; this leads to holiness, that is, refraining even from permitted pleasures; this leads to humility; humility brings one to realize one’s shortcomings and to honest desire not to do wrong again; this brings to doing good beyond the letter of the law - which brings Divine inspiration in its wake; then he can resurrect the dead, and this in turn brings Elijah the Prophet, may he be remembered for good.

Art: Divine inspiration by Petrus Van Schendel