Five women: Mahlah, Noah, Hoglah, Milcah, and Tirzah – the daughters of a man named Tzelofchad – stand up before Moses and Eleazar the Priest and all the people at the entrance of the Tabernacle and claim their right to inherit their father’s portion in the Land of Israel.
Unlike the Rebellion of Korach which we read in the Torah portion just two weeks ago, here in Parashat Pinchas Moses listens to their plea, consults God for an answer, and grants their request – changing the law for them and all the generations of women in Israel.
Why is the challenge which these women bring considered praiseworthy while Korach’s challenge is an affront against God? Because the daughters of Tzelofchad asks to inherit to preserve their father’s name and the rights of their family among all the households of Israel. Korach seeks power. The daughters of Tzelofchad seek justice. And for justice sake the Torah was created.
May all our disagreements be for the sake of justice for us all.
Pinchas is rewarded for killing the Israelite and the Midianite woman who cursed God. (25:10–15)
Israel fights a war against the Midianites. (25:16-18)
A second census is taken. (26:1–65)
The daughters of Zelophehad force a change in the laws of property inheritance. (27:1–11)
Joshua is chosen to be Moses’ successor. (27:15–23)
The sacrificial ritual for all festival occasions is described in detail. (28:1–30:1)