Friday, June 28, 2013

The Daughters of Tzlafachad: True Lovers of the Land

A Torah Thought for 

Parashat Pinchas  

By Rabbi Chaim Richman 

The daughters of Tzelofchad are orphans from their father; a mysterious man who died of his own sin.  He did not participate in Korach's rebellion. Moshe sought Divine intervention to answer their question: Tzelefchad left no sons; the Land would be divided according to male heirs, but they wanted an inheritance, part of their father's portion in the Land of Israel. 

The women of this generation cherished the Land of Israel – they did not accept the spies' gossip. But these five amazing daughters of Tzelofchad were deemed by the Torah to be the finest representation of the women of their generation. The men said "Let's return to Egypt," but these women were looking forward to settling the Land. The Torah traces their lineage all the way to Yosef Hatzaddik…who is also known for his great love of the Land, requesting that "You shall bring my bones up from here." Even after the spies turned the hearts of the men against entering, and these women heard the complaints of "our wives and children will be taken captive," they still believed, and asked for a portion in the Land. This is the spirit of the brave mothers and daughters who are the backbone of Israel's communities today.

Rabbi Chaim Richman
Director, International Department
The Temple Institute
PO Box 31876 Jerusalem, Israel 

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