Pinchas can be found in Bamidbar (Numbers) beginning at Perek
Chav-Hay, pasuk yud (Chapter 25:verse 10) through Perek Lamed,
pasuk beit (Chapter 30:verse 2).
quoting the area that speaks to this particular issue, it
should be pointed out that in Perek Chav-Vav (Chapter 26), God
begins outlining how the land is to be divided according to
the tribes of Yisrael. When
we get to the tribe of Yosef through his son Menasheh, we run
into a bit of a snag. Up
until this point, there were male heirs for the land.
Zelophehad, however, left no sons - only daughters.
According to the Law, up until this point, inheritance
could only be given to the sons.
Was this to mean that the portion for Menasheh's
descendants was to be passed to others?
The daughters of Zelophehad, son of Hepher, son of Gilead, son
of Machir, son of Manasseh, of the family of Manasseh son of
Joseph drew near -- and these are the names of his daughters -
Mahlah, Noah, Hoglah, Milcah, and Tirzah:
and they stood before Moses, before Elazar the Kohen, and
before the leaders and the entire assembly at the entrance to
the Tent of Meeting, saying:
"Our father died in the Wilderness, but he was not among
the assembly that was gathering against Hashem in the assembly
of Korach, but he died of his own sin; and he had no son:
Why should the name of our father be omitted from among his
family because he had no son? Give us a possession among our
And Moses brought their claim before Hashem:
Hashem said to Moses, saying:
"The daughters of Zelophehad speak properly. You shall
surely give them a possession of inheritance among the
brothers of their father, and you shall cause the inheritance
of their father to pass over to them:
And to the Children of Israel you shall speak, saying - If a
man will die and he has no son, you shall cause his
inheritance to pass over to his daughter:
If he has no daughter, you shall give his inheritance to his
If he has no brothers, you shall give his inheritance to the
brothers of his father:
If there are no brothers of his father, you shall give his
inheritance to the relative who is closest to him of his
family, and he shall inherit it. This shall be for the
Children of Israel as a decree of justice, as Hashem commanded
are evident from this. First,
that the lack of justice in the Law was recognized by the
author of that Law, Hashem.
Second, and no less important, God now covers all
possible contingencies so there can be no question of how to
handle these types of situations in the future.
week's Parashah, which combines Mattot and Masei, we will have
another look at the inner workings of the Law.