The parsha this week is Pinchas, (a name) covering Numbers 25:10-30.
In Pinchas the second census is taken (ordered by Moses and Elizear at the request of G0d) of Israelite men over the age of twenty; it 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. That seemed like a fine and fair plan until the five Daughters of Zelopheha spoke up, noting that their father had no sons and claiming they (honorable, wise, scholarly women) too should have the ability to inherit land. Moses brought their concerns to G-d, for a hearing and it was ruled that they were right- women should be afforded property rights.
In Pinchas, Moses is also told where and how 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.
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
Candle lighting time for South Whibbey is 8:45 for Shabbat and 9:56 for havdalah.