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