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03/04/2022 12:32:42 PM


So… Putin has a net worth of billions of dollars, but he has done a masterful job of hiding his assets. [among many reports, an article this week in CNN Business News states the Russian leader's wealth to hover around $200 billion in assets, which would make him among the wealthiest people on the planet!

“One theory of Putin's wealth suggests that he has strong armed Russia's oligarchs, threatening them with arrest or worse unless they fork over cash or stakes in their companies to him. Still, tracking his wealth has proven next to impossible. Forbes magazine, which counts sleuthing the personal fortunes of the world's elite as part of its core mission, said figuring out Putin's net worth is 'probably the most elusive riddle in wealth hunting.'"]

Too bad Putin never learned the Midrash Tanhuma on this week’s parasha: the midrash tells us that when the people would see Moshe walking, the leitsanei ha-dor, that is the “scoffers,” would say one to another: “hey, look at that man! We have been contributing all of those valuable materials for the mishkan. Surely, he has taken some of it for himself, from which he became rich!”

When Moshe heard those reports, he realized that he must give a detailed account of everything, which is why our parasha of Pequdei gives this account of everything that had been collected.  And that is why, when later on, after Moshe's siblings criticized him (Bamidbar chapter 12,) HaShem testifies that there is no one like Moses, “in all My house he is faithful.”

From here we learn that a leader is obligated to give an accounting of everything he has collected from the community. Too bad Putin never learned that!

And of course, our prayers are with the people of Ukraine: shalom `al yisrael, and peace for the whole world.

Shabbat shalom

Mon, June 27 2022 28 Sivan 5782