Above Suspicion?
Parshas Pekudei
March 12, 2016 – ב׳ בַּאֲדָר ב׳ תשע״ו

In this week’s Parsha, Pekudei, we read in the first pasuk: אֵלֶּה פְקוּדֵי הַמִּשְׁכָּן מִשְׁכַּן הָעֵדֻת, אֲשֶׁר פֻּקַּד עַל-פִּי מֹשֶׁה: עֲבֹדַת הַלְוִיִּם, בְּיַד אִיתָמָר, בֶּן-אַהֲרֹן הַכֹּהֵן.-These are the accounts of the tabernacle, the Mishkan of the testimony, as they were rendered according to the commandment of Moshe, through the service of the Levi’im, by the hand of Isamar, the son of Aharon the Kohen” (Shemos 38:21) The Da’as Zkeinim, by the authors of Tosfos, explains why the verse uses the phrase “testimony”. When the Mishkan was finished, the Jews audited the Mishkan and found discrepancies. They confronted Moshe with the evidence and accused him of theft and embezzlement. He responded by saying that the Mishkan itself would act as a testimony for him. Upon closer examination of the Mishkan, it was determined that in fact, they had forgotten to take into account the silver hooks of the Mishkan. A question arises. On the same pasuk, we find the Da’as Zkeinim commenting that Moshe was so scrupulous with the money that he only examined the gold, silver, and jewels of the Mishkan with Isamar, Aharon’s son, at his side. How could the Jews be so paranoid and so suspicious of Moshe Rabbeinu, the man who led them out of Egypt to Har Sinai and Matan Torah, that they would be worried that he robbed them?

We see that the nature of a human being is to throw off responsibility and refuse to accept one’s mistakes as one’s own. Even if any alternative is exceedingly implausible, people will grasp at straws and ignore any evidence to the contrary, even if it means that Moshe Rabbeinu will be besmirched in the process. This varnishing of flaws knows no bounds. When we are faced with a mistake that we have committed, it is important to avoid leaping at other people’s reputations and potentially ruining their lives.