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יום הכיפורים תשפ"א באתר ישיבה
Beit Midrash Torah Portion and Tanach Pinchas

The daughters of Tzelofchad

A large section of this week's parasha deals with the daughters of Tzelofchad and their request for an inheritance in Eretz Israel.
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A large section of this week's parasha deals with the daughters of Tzelofchad and their request for an inheritance in Eretz Israel (Bamidbar 27:1-11). A central theme in the recounting of this story, both in the Torah and in the Talmud, is the importance and centrality of "yerusha" - inheritance in Eretz Israel. It is quite evident that the daughters of Tzelofchad did not present their claim merely because they wanted land. They desired to be part of Eretz Israel. "Why should the name of our father be omitted from among his family" (Bamidbar 27:4). They did not want their father’s memory and his contribution to the settlement of Eretz Israel to be forgotten.

One of the laws that we find in the Talmud is that one cannot forgo an inheritance in Eretz Israel - the heir must accept it and be responsible for it. The land can only be sold until the next Jubilee year. According to the Talmud, the daughters of Tzelofchad were wise and learned women. They knew this Halacha and therefore came to Moshe demanding that he observe it. They truly acted "le-shem Shamayim" in order to receive their inheritance in Eretz Israel, to the extent that they were willing to restrict their freedom to marry outside of their tribe.

As a result of their request, God set forth the laws of the inheritance of the land and dictated them to Moshe Rabbenu. These laws conclude with the defining statement of their importance: "And it shall be for the children of Israel a statute of judgment, as the Lord commanded to Moshe" (Bamidbar 27:11).

What more important message can there be for our time! We who live in a time when Eretz Israel has been restored to Jewish hands - dare we violate the Halacha of foregoing our inheritance?

Here and now is the time for every Jew to make Aliya and for every Jew who lives in Eretz Israel to make certain that Eretz Israel remains in our possession as the "inheitance of our people."
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