Parashat Pinchas

Acquired rights

Parashat Pinchas narrates about five women, daughters of a man of the tribe of Efraim called Tzlofchad.

The man had died and since he had no sons, the women asked Moshe a portion in the Promised Land.

The women knew that according to the Jewish Law, the inheritance belongs only to the sons.

But…what will happen with their Father's rights? Should the Law transform them into creatures of second category?

Moshe didn't know well what to respond. But after consulting with G-d, Moshé received the answer: Those five women would inherit their father and would have a portion in Eretz Israel.

The Midrash (BeMidvar Rabbah 21, 10) describes this episode in a very interesting way: "Oto Ha-Dor Hayu Ha-Nashim Godrot Ma She-Ha-Anashim Portzim". (In that generation, the women amended what the men ruined).

The men danced around the Golden Calf; and the women rushed to the side. The men defamed against the Promised Land together with the spies; and the women kept respectful silence. The men wanted to choose a leader who takes them back to Egypt; and the women approached to Moshe and implored him for a portion in Eretz Israel!

Very few wanted that Land…with the exception of them.

Very often I used to think that the history of the daughters of Tzlofchad is pretty similar to our History as a nation.

During centuries, nobody wanted our Land…except us. Even those other nations that today call to this Land Holy Land, dedicated to it a poem or a portion of a dream.

While all of them saw to the desolation of the Land and ignored it, we always knew that the Land was desolate because it was waiting to us. While all, with laziness and inertia, were accustomed to their contaminated marshes, we knew that that some day we will manage to dry those marshes and Israel would become again a Land of milk and honey.

We were those who dreamed with Eretz Israel when all of them saw it like the back patio of the world. It is not by his wealth that we dreamed by centuries about her. We dreamed about her, in spite of its poverty. It is not only the promise of G-d which gives legitimacy to us as the inhabitants of this Land. We obtained that legitimacy when we wished it at the time that everybody despised it, when we cried for it, when everybody profaned it.

As it happened with the daughters of Tzlofchad.

Weekly Torah Portion