by Rabbi Yisrael Kaniel – March 2, 2011
The Torah section of Pekudei begins (Sh’mot 38:21): “These are the accountings of the Tabernacle … which were counted at the behest of Moses.” This verse is then followed by a detailed listing of the amounts of gold, silver and copper which were contributed towards the construction of the Mishkan (Tabernacle). An accounting was made for each and every one of the elements that entered into the makeup of this holy structure that G-d asked the Israelites to construct.
In whatever we do in this world, we must make a careful accounting, no less when it comes to holy endeavors. It was incumbent upon us to keep detailed accountings of the Tabernacle. It was not enough for all to just give what they felt. We had to understand what was needed, how much of each item was needed and how much we gave. What we have may not be hoarded nor may what we have be wasted. Just as in the accountings of the Tabernacle, all of our actions and even the monies that we give to charity must be accounted for carefully. Are we doing all that we can? Do we understand the significance of the given causes that we are contributing to? Are we fulfilling all our obligations with all our heart? Or are we just making a gesture to calm our consciences? Only a proper accounting can answer the question.