Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
 
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

Parshas Vayakhel - Pekudei

Repetition is the Soul of Honesty

The book of Shemot is reaching its conclusion in this week’s double parsha. The final review of all of the artifacts, construction and costs of the mishkan is detailed before us. The transparency that we all claim to long for in governmental spending and budgets is realized in the Torah’s exquisite detail in accounting for all income and spending on the mishkan.

This is an example of the soul of public trust and accountability as it should be practiced. The fact that this occurs in relation to holy purposes – the construction of the mishkan and its artifacts – only intensifies the lesson that impeccable integrity is necessary in such matters. Too many times people think that for holy projects and Torah welfare somehow corners can be cut and that the responsibility for funds donated and used can be juggled.

The torah itself clearly does not tolerate such ideas and behavior. The Torah many times over warns us of the danger of corruption, even so-called “holy” corruption. It blinds us and distorts all of our achievements and accomplishments. Even the great Moshe whose face shines with the radiance of heaven itself must be publicly held accountable.

I think that is why after so many millennia after the disappearance of the mishkan from the midst of Israel these parshiyot are still read publicly in our synagogues. The message of accountability and transparency in public monetary matters is the keystone to holiness. The holiness of the mishkan is dependent upon these principles and values.

Another idea present here is the importance of repetitiveness in these matters. The Torah recounts in detail what it has already told us earlier regarding the construction of the mishkan and its artifacts. Since reading a budget or studying a data sheet is not necessarily the most fascinating reading in the world, the Torah’s insistence upon recounting these matters is at first glance most puzzling. But it is the repetition as much as the content itself that is the Torah’s message to us.

Repeating the accounting of the construction of the mishkan – its expenses and labor and talent – emphasizes to us that the holy mishkan was crafted efficiently and honestly. There is no longer any question regarding its probity when the Torah lists for us the materials and work once more.

The second accounting must coincide exactly with the first description of the materials and work involved. And repetition is the soul of honesty. One must train one’s self to be honest, to resist temptation and shoddiness. Goodness and truthfulness are conditioned by habitual behavior more so than by inspired sermons and learned treatises.

In Yiddish there was a folk saying that “truth is the best lie.” A lie requires many other lies to cover its tracks. Truth stands pristine and strong always. Therefore it is not only the first accounting that is important in public and holy matters but the later accounting is also of equal if not even more importance. This week’s double parsha certainly drives this point home.

Shabat shalom.

Rabbi Berel Wein


Crash course in Jewish history

Rabbi Berel Wein- Jewish historian, author and international lecturer offers a complete selection of CDs, audio tapes, video tapes, DVDs, and books on Jewish history at www.rabbiwein.com


 






ARTICLES ON NOACH:

View Complete List

The Hidden Blessing
Rabbi Pinchas Avruch - 5766

Wine and Window Washers
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5770

Noach's Lessons for Our Day
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5762

ArtScroll

Making It Perfect
Rabbi Pinchas Avruch - 5763

Constant Taking is Self Destructing
Rabbi Dovid Green - 5759

Unity and Conformity
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5765

Looking for a Chavrusah?

The Seven Noachide Laws
Rabbi Osher Chaim Levene - 5769

Raising Children: The Secret of Success
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5760

Noach - A 'Standard' Tzaddik
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5764

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

A Sobering Lesson
- 5768

Great In His Own Times
Rabbi Yitzchok Adlerstein - 5768

What Was Noach's Greatest Legacy?
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5772

> Language Barrier
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5760

Delight Amidst Devastation
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5762

What a Deal!
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5760

Nourishment for the Soul
Shlomo Katz - 5760



Project Genesis

Torah.org Home


Torah Portion

Jewish Law

Ethics

Texts

Learn the Basics

Seasons

Features

TORAHAUDIO

Ask The Rabbi

Knowledge Base




Help

About Us

Contact Us



Free Book on Geulah!




Torah.org Home
Torah.org HomeCapalon.com Copyright Information