• Maverick (Avigdor) Peters

Parshas Pinchas 2018: Women’s Rights

[Disclaimer: This essay is in no way intended to express political views or to offend anyone politically or socially. It’s purpose is to examine and understand the views of the Torah (which incidentally, do not align with the liberal or conservative views in America).

Our Parsha this week relates a story of five daughters (sisters) who were left fatherless and they had no brothers. As a newly formed people, we had established that inheritance was to be passed through the males. However, Tzelafchad, the father of these girls had passed away and left only girls to carry on his legacy.

The daughters were distraught and anxious. They approached Moshe and explained their concern. They explained to him how their father died from his own sin. They also explained how he was not part of Korach’s rebellion either. He had leftover no sons to inherit his possessions or to carry out his legacy. They asked Moshe if there was any possibility that they could inherit their father’s portion in Israel (when they arrived there) and carry out his legacy.

Moshe listened and consulted with Hashem. Hashem informed Moshe that not only was it permitted but anytime a father would leave over daughters and no sons the inheritance and legacy would indeed, be carried out through his daughters.

The Torah defines what is moral and what is perverse. Today many of our sociologically accepted ideas are twisted and perverse according to Hashem.

Who would have ever thought that one day men would not only act like women but they would want to BE women and vice versa?!

As we have discussed before the Jewish people are on a plateau elevated above all other nations. Literally we are a different makeup.

Yet, a Jewish woman is the most elevated form of basic Judaism. A woman is not obligated in the mitzvahs (commandments) as a man because she is more complete spiritually. She has not sinned as the men have sinned. The abundance of mitzvahs that pertain to males are there to serve as correction and an opportunity to grow. Women on the other hand do not have that same need.

The daughters of Tzelafchad may be the first example of “women's rights.” They were not asking to be someone that they weren’t, they understood that they were elevated. They had sincere concern for not only their families’ but their own father's legacy.

It's extremely important, that we understand Hashem’s “position” on sexism in the Torah. He is not interested in whether we feel more like a male today or more like a female. He is teaching us that He assigned a sex to each of us and responsibilities that go with those sexes. He is not interested in our opinions of how He chooses to do things. In fact, He gave us exactly what we need to best accomplish the mission He sent us here for and that is why it benefits us to follow His laws and keep our “traditions”. We owe Tzelafchad’s daughters a great debt of gratitude because they asked the shailah (question) and more importantly, they were willing to accept the p’sak (ruling). They only wanted show proper kavod (honor) to their father but would only be willing to do so if it aligned with the Torah.

We as individuals, were given everything necessary to reach our maximum potential and shine as a spiritual light to guide the other nations. We can only do this is by studying the Torah and learn how to think and live like a Jew.

Have a wonderful Shabbos and weekend!

Maverick V. Peters

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