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Beit Midrash Torah Portion and Tanach Pinchas

Parsha Summary: Pinchas

Rabbi Stewart WeissTamuz 21 5775
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In our Parsha, Hashem bestows His blessing of peace & the Kehuna upon Pinchas, the grandson of Ahron. Pinchas is rewarded for slaying Zimri & a Midianite princess, who engaged in an act of public immorality at the Ohel Moed. Pinchas's zealous act stopped a devastating plague upon Bnei Yisrael.

Hashem directs Moshe & Elazar, the Kohen Gadol, to conduct a census, the first held in 39 years.

The Sedra details the claim of Z’lafchad’s daughters, who petitioned for a share in Eretz Yisrael, as they had no brothers & their father had died in the desert (he was said to be the "collector of wood" who violated Shabbat & was executed). Hashem responds positively to their request, & the laws of inheritance are postulated so ancestral land stays within the tribe, & may go to surviving daughters in the absence of other heirs.

Moshe passes the mantle of national leadership to Yehoshua, symbolized by the laying of hands upon his head. The Parsha concludes with a detailing of the korbanot/offerings brought on the Festivals of the year. This section is familiar, as we read from it on Rosh Chodesh & on all Chagim as the Maftir.

The Haftora, the first of the "Haftarot of Punishment" read during the 3 Weeks, is from Yirmiyahu I.

Rabbi Stewart Weiss
Was ordained at the Hebrew Theological College in Skokie, Illinois, and led congregations in Chicago and Dallas prior to making Aliyah in 1992. He directs the Jewish Outreach Center in Ra'anana, helping to facilitate the spiritual absorption of new olim.
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