P’Kudei (Accounts)

Exodus 38:21 This is the sum of the Tabernacle, the Tabernacle of Testimony, as it was recorded, according to the commandment of Moses, by the service of the Levites, under the direction of Ithamar, son to Aaron the priest. C-MATS 

Question: Everybody gave the money that was needed to Moses, and he was in charge of the whole project. Even though everyone trusted Moses and knew he was totally honest, Moses made sure to show the people exactly how every penny was spent and put to good use. This teaches us an important lesson: that we should always be extra careful and honest with other people’s money and things. Who handled the Tabernacle funds? Moses and Ithamar. Always appoint at least two people together as trustees over public funds. Even Moses, who enjoyed the full trust of יהוה–as it is written Numbers 12:7), “But it is not so with My servant Moses, who is the only faithful one in My entire house.“–figured the accounts of the Sanctuary together with others, as it says: “By the hand of Ithamar the son of Aaron.” For it is a man’s duty to be free of blame before men as before יהוה, as it is said “be guiltless before מיהוה and before Israel.”  Numbers 32:22 (Chumash)

Discuss: When handling (or counting) other people’s money, should you always have someone with you to protect you from criticism?

Question: Why should a person be honest? There are many reasons why ‘honesty is the best policy’. On a societal level, things work much more smoothly when people are on the level with each other. On a personal level, one will feel much better about himself if he knows he behaves honestly. But there is an even deeper reason. יהוה revealed to us in the Torah the mode of conduct which will bring us to the highest level of personal and spiritual development. One of the most important of these guidelines is to behave with impeccable honesty in every situation.