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Parashat Pikudei – Transparency Builds Trust


The Torah devotes an entire section to record Moshe’s long detailed account of all the monies and gifts that were received and spent during the construction of the Tabernacle.

Even though Moshe was completely trusted by the Almighty, as the Torah testifies, “He (Moshe) is trusted in My entire house,” Moshe still felt a moral obligation to give an accurate accounting of all of the donations.

Indeed the sages of the Midrash say that when it came to the last inventory of the silver, Moshe had a large discrepancy and he became exceedingly anguished that he couldn’t remember where it went. Finally, he was reminded that they went to make the hooks for the posts of the courtyard on which to hang the curtains.

It is interesting that Moshe felt an obligation to allay the potentially false accusations of misappropriation and theft by giving a detailed inventory of all the donations, yet remarkably when the people donated their jewelry, gold and silver, just months before to the building of the golden calf, there is no mention that anybody needed an accounting of all the donations!

How typical of human nature? Indeed nothing has changed in 3,000 years. When it comes to fulfilling our various moral obligations of charity, our children’s Torah education and the like, we commonly calculate precisely how much we can afford but when it comes to the purchasing the latest fades, gadgets or extravagant vacations any notion of ‘what can I afford ‘ is thrown out the window and replaced with “G-d will provide!’