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Pekudei: Three Parsha Gems

Published on Friday April 2nd, 2021

Moshe Rabbeinu, a Thief ?!

“This is the distribution of the tabernacle …”(Shemot, 38, 21)

After the completion of the work of the Mishkan (tabernacle), Moshe Rabbeinu gives an account to the People of Israel, detailing how the money was used.

The Midrash (Yalkut Shimoni) explains that when Moshe Rabbeinu exited the tent of meeting, all the people were gathered around him and stared at him. There were two kinds of "observers": some praised Moshe Rabbeinu because of his closeness to Hashem, while others looked at him with disdain, as they suspected he used the money for his personal benefit!

How could some people think that Moshe Rabbeinu was a thief?

Here is an essential rule in life: a person judges the world through his own character traits. When a person is continuously worried about money and begrudges what belongs to his neighbor, he also naturally perceives this tendency in others! In this case, how can you imagine that Moshe Rabbeinu was dishonest?

We should pity this person, as he/she will never be able to notice any positive qualities in others.

Every Jew Desires to Do Good

"This is the distribution of the tabernacle …”(Shemot, 38, 21)

A fundamental question was raised by Rav Sorotzkin (of blessed memory) regarding the construction of the Mishkan. Why did the Jewish People demand detailed accounts from Moshe Rabbeinu, whereas concerning the manufacture of the golden calf, no claims were made to Aaron regarding the use of the money?

The answer is fundamentally revealing: every Jew desires doing good from the bottom of his heart.

Thus, for example, when a Jew gives Tzedakah, he wishes to know how the money was spent. But when he falls into the trap of Yetzer Hara to support causes that undermine the Torah, the use of his money is irrelevant to him. Quite to the contrary, he regrets having donated money for this purpose ...

From this assumption, it is obvious that a Jew will request details on the expenses incurred in the construction of the Mishkan because he wants his money to be put to good use. On the other hand, concerning the sin of the golden calf, he prefers not to know how his money was used because subconsciously, he regrets having supported this cause!

The Importance of Each Individual Jew

Parashat Pekudei reveals the importance of each Jew individuality. Indeed, at the time, every Jew had to give a half-shekel towards the construction of the tabernacle.

It is recounted that one day, the founder of the Rothschild dynasty in Germany became seriously ill.

The Chafetz Chaim wrote him a letter, telling him that in order to heal, he ought to donate one million Marks to benefit the Yeshivot of Russia. He also promised him a prominent place in Gan Eden.

Unfortunately, the family did not hand over the letter and the Rothschild donor died.

When he learned about the passing of this donor, the Chafetz Chaim expected a sum in favor of the Yeshivot in the donor’s will. But the Rav's family, knowing that no money was bequeathed, decided to hide the bad news to the Rav.

However, he guessed what had transpired and told his family members, "I know why things took this turn. Hashem does not want the Torah to be supported by one man alone, because He longs for the small contributions of every Jew! "

Shabbat Shalom!

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