Shabbat Shalom, 13 Tamuz 5774

 

The Daughters of Zelophehad: Where Are the Men?', 2010

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:

Population Change Between the Two Censuses
Tribe Numbers 1 Numbers 26 Change  % Change
Manasseh 32,200 52,700 +20,500 +63.7
Benjamin 35,400 45,600 +10,200 +28.8
Asher 41,500 53,400 +11,900 +28.7
Issachar 54,400 64,300 +9,900 +18.2
Zebulun 57,400 60,500 +3,100 +5.4
Dan 62,700 64,400 +1,700 +2.7
Judah 74,600 76,500 +1,900 +2.5
Reuben 46,500 43,730 -2,770 -6.0
Gad 45,650 40,500 -5,150 -11.3
Naphtali 53,400 45,400 -8,000 -15.0
Ephraim 40,500 32,500 -8,000 -19.8
Simeon 59,300 22,200 -37,100 -62.6
Totals 603,550 601,730 -1,820 -0.3

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:

Aish:http://www.aish.com/tp/43918887.html

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.

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