The parsha this week is Pinchas פִּינְחָס (a name) covering Numbers 25:10-30:1.
In Pinchas the second cenus is taken ( ordered by Moses and Elizear at the request of G0d) of Israelite men over the age of twenty, which showed interesting growth trends among the 12 tribes:
|Tribe||Numbers 1||Numbers 26||Change||% Change|
The census was used by Moses to divy up land which seemed like a fine plan until the five Daughters of Zelophehadבְּנוֹת צְלָפְחָד noted that this was unfair, as their father had no sons. Moses brought their concerns to G-d, for a hearing, and THEY WON! Because of the Daughters of Zelophehad, women now had some right to hold property. Of course, the daughters were wise, honorable scholars of Torah with fine legal minds.
In Pinchas, Moses is also told where andhow he will die (on the heights of Abarim, viewing the land of Israel) and told to commission Joshua so that the Israelites will not be like shepardless sheep with his passing. It is also in Pinchas that the details for observing the following holidays are explained: Passover, Shavuot, Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur,Sukkot and Shmini Atzeret.
There is debate over the number and type of commandments in Pinchas, Mainonides noted 12 positive and 6 negative while the Sefer ha Chunich found only six positives with no negatives.
Translation via JTS:http://www.jtsa.edu/prebuilt/ParashahArchives/jpstext/pinhas.shtml
Sources of commentary can be found at:
My Jewish learning:http://www.jtsa.edu/prebuilt/ParashahArchives/jpstext/pinhas.shtml
Animated at G-dcast:http://www.g-dcast.com/pinchas
Funding for Whidbey Island Jewish Community was made possible, in part, by a grant from the Special Initiatives Fund of the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle.