March 8, 2021 |

My Weekly Drash (a mini D'var Torah) - Pekudei

The double portion of VaYakhel/P'Keudei is not the most exciting of material. P'Keudei begins with Moses's expense account, "These are the records of the Tabernacle, the Tabernacle of the Pact, which were drawn up at Moses' bidding..." (Exo. 38:21) Why should we care? While only the most obsessive CPAs are likely to want to audit Moses at this late date, it does provide a model for what we now call transparency. There should never be an issue that those who have the ability to tax us (or demand "donations") are personally profiting thereby. Indeed, Midrash tells us how far the priests would go to ensure there would be no such questions. The families of those responsible for the Temple's incense would refrain from wearing perfume, lest any one think that their stores were being diverted to personal use. Those collecting the shekel offering would wear an outfit with no pockets and short sleeves, so there was no question as to where those coins went. Clearly the people have the right to be able to check up on their leaders.

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Daniel M. Kimmel

Joined: October 2, 2007

Daniel M. Kimmel is a Boston area film critic, lecturer and author. He does these weekly mini-lessons for the Mishkan Tefila Brotherhood's newsletter. You are free to use them for similar purposes.

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