Join us for Shabbat Services: Friday at 6:00 pm, Saturday at 10:00 am
An egalitarian Conservative congregation serving the diverse Orange County Jewish Community

Torah: Pinchas – Women challenge the status quo in this week’s Torah reading

Torah: Women challenge the status quo in this week’s Torah reading of Pinchas. At Mount Sinai, Moses learns the laws of inheritance: sons will receive the tribal land of a deceased father. A problem arises. Zelophachad has died with no sons. His five daughters plead to Moses, “Why should our father’s name be disadvantaged in his family merely because he did not have a son?” (Numbers 27: 4). Moses turns to the Highest Authority, who states, “The daughters of Zelophachad have a just claim…Let their father’s hereditary property thus pass over to them” (27:7). Moses as a great leader turned to God to reevaluate a previous understanding.  Women’s rights to property and power will continue to unfold in Jewish law, so that a daughter will later inherit even if she has brothers.  Women’s voices were heard in our Torah reading, enabling change toward greater justice.