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Browse Torah Articles: Sefer Shemot: Parashat Pequdeh: Passing Judgement

Contributed by: R. Ezra Mizrahi

In parashat Pekudei, we see that Moshe Rabeynu accounts for all the money put into the building of the Mishkan. Every shekel placed into the Mishkan was used for the building of the altars, the utensils and so forth. As one reads the parasha, one is almost distracted about how many times dollar figures are mentioned.

Why?

In Masechet Taanit, Daf 11b, there is a discussion as to what Moshe Rabeynu wore during this days of putting the Mishkan together. It was known that Aharon and his children wore special clothing, explicitly described. But what did Moshe wear? The answer is given in the Gemara. Moshe wore a white seamless gown. This garment had no pockets or seams.

Why?

There was suspicion among Bnei Yisrael as to whether all the money collected by Moshe was used in the Mishkan. They suspected in a kosher individual, their own leader. This is why Moshe made sure to express exactly how much everything was valued, so that everyone would know that all the money was used for the Mishkan and not for his personal use, halila vehas. Moreover, Moshe wore a seamless white gown with no pockets, so that no one can suspect of taking anything out of the Mishkan and into his personal possession.

From this we can learn two things:

1. How easy it is to allow our instincts to lead us to suspecting someone who ultimately is good. We must strive to control what we think of others, and never pass "judgement", especially when one does not know all the facts for sure.

2. From Moshe's action we learn that when one is in a position where he/she might be suspected of wrongdoing, one must go the extra effort to show that everything being done is being done correctly, with any sort of deceit. Moshe made it difficult for people to say that he may stealing from the Mishkan, because he removed the potential by removing the possibility (i.e. a seamless garment, accounting for everything).
 

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