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Friday, July 15

The Weekly Shtikle - Pinechas

This Shabbos is the Yahrzeit of R' Yaakov Yitzchack Ruderman, zt"l, the first Rosh HaYeshivah of Yeshivas Ner Yisroel. 
This Sunday is the Yahrzeit of my wife's grandmother, Mrs Shirley Yeres, Chaya Sheindel bas Alexander, for whom our daughter Shaindy, who turns 4 today, is named.
Tuesday, Shiv'ah Asar B'Tamuz, is the Yahrzeit of R' Shmuel Yaakov Weinberg, zt"l, Rosh HaYeshiva of Ner Yisroel. The shtikle is dedicated le'iluy nishmasam.

    This week's parsha contains the famous episode of the daughters of Tzelafchad who approached Moshe claiming the unfairness of the laws of inheritance. They maintained that since they had no brothers, their father's inheritance should go to them rather than to other relatives. HaShem asserts the validity of their claim by instructing Moshe (27:7) "Kein b'nos Tzelafchad doveros," the daughters of Tzelafchad speak correctly. Rashi writes here that we are taught that they saw what even Moshe Rabbeinu had not seen (for he was not aware of the halachah.) The following Rashi continues with the praises of the daughters of Tzelafchad, "praiseworthy is he/she that HaShem concurs with their words." R' Moshe Shternbuch, in Ta'am Voda'as brings up an interesting point. The daughters of Tzelafchad came to Moshe with a complaint. They did not know any more than he did. They had their own motives in mind. What is it about their behaviour that merited such extensive praise by Chaza"l?

    He answers that the daughters are not being praised because of their knowledge of halachah. Rather, the reason for praise was that, although having been taught some of the procedures dealing with the division of the land, B'nei Yisroel still saw Eretz Yisroel as a distant venture. They were still wandering the desert. They focussed themselves on the current situation and did not concern themselves with the details of the forthcoming inheritance of the land. The daughters of Tzelafchad, on the other hand, were more infused with belief and trust in HaShem's word, to the point that, to them, the inheritance was a current issue. Their haste in coming before Moshe showed an exceptional level of faith which deemed them worthy of praise.

    Although the daughters of Tzelafchad showed exemplary faith and love of Eretz Yisroel, their meritorious deeds were not completely unique. Following the census that appears at the beginning of the parsha, we are told (26:63) that of these individuals counted in the current census there was not one man who was part of the previous census because they had all died in the desert. Rashi infers from the superfluous mention of the word "ish" that the decree applied only to men and women were exempt because they showed a greater love for Eretz Yisroel.

    We are living in times where we have no choice but to turn our attention to Eretz Yisroel and the critical events that are unfolding in and around there. Let us, like B'nos Tzelafchad and the other women of the Dor HaMidbar, not forget the promise of the ultimate redemption, may it come speedily in our day. Let us pray for Divine deliverance and salvation in these troubling times and for the ultimate peace that will come with the arrival of Moshiach.

Have a good Shabbos.

Eliezer Bulka

Shtikle Blog Weekly Roundup:
Dikdukian: Keves vs. Kesev
Dikdukian:  Shabbas be'Shabbato
Al Pi Cheshbon: Probability of the Goral
AstroTorah: Happy Birthday by R' Ari Storch

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