The previous four Parshahs dealt with the specifications for building the Tabernacle and its holy vestments. In this Parshah a very important detail is contributed—a calculation of the total sum of the donations received for the cause.

In this regard, the Torah acts as a competent accountant. A itemized report is provided of the gold, silver and copper that was donated, concluding with the grand total.

This aspect of our Parshah can be very instructive in our everyday lives.

Following the sin of the forbidden fruit, G‑d turned to Adam and asked, “Ayekah? Where are you?” Chassidic master Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi explains that this is question each of us must ask ourselves: Where are you? What stage are you at in life? What have you accomplished your thirty or forty years of living? This question gives us pause. Indeed, what have I accomplished in my lifetime? Am I proud of those accomplishments? Could I have done more? Am I living my life to its fullest potential?

The answers to these questions cannot be known unless we stop to take an accounting, to put together a lifelong register of failures and successes. This is the only way to view life from a comprehensive perspective; this allows us to make the adjustments that will alter (or steady) our course, ensuring that we are headed in the direction we want to go.

I conclude with an unsolicited piece of advice:

Ask yourself tonight before you go to bed, What have I accomplished today?

Don’t go to sleep until you give yourself an answer you are proud of.