This parsha looks forward with eager anticipation to Israel’s entry into the land of Israel. With the nation already poised on the border (22:1), we read how “the land is to be apportioned by lottery; according to the listings of their ancestral tribe” (26:52-4), and the appointment of Joshua who will lead the nation into its national home.
This parsha presents a diverse array of powerful leaders, the zealous Pinchas, Joshua “the man who has spirit within”, and the five daughters of Zelophchad.
I love the names of the daughters of Zelophchad, each of them is indicative of movement. The name Mahla – from the root “to dance”; Noa – to move; Milka – a derivative of the verb “to walk”, Hoglah – from a root that indicates a circular motion, Tirza – contains the root “to run”. These women are literally movers and shakers.
These five women are hailed as feminist heroes, as they stake a claim to land inheritance, in a time and place where only men were the inheritors of land.
Click here to read more from Rabbi Alex Israel in this week’s Parsha Discussion on Pinchas: The Power of Few.
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