Parshat Pinhas

Parshat Pinhas is the 8th in the Book of Numbers covering most of Chapters 25-30.

It announces G-d’s promised Covenant of Peace with Pinhas following his zealotry against Zimri, prince of the Tribe of Shimon, and Kozbi, Princess of Midian.

After commanding Moshe to wage war with the Midianites, G-d called for the 3rd census of Bamidbar, a historical counting at the end of the 40-year’s wandering, in which each tribe was identified by family, and numbers per tribe were tallied, to a total of 601,730.

In addition to listing those who perished along the way (Nadab & Avihu, Korah, Datan & Aviram), this census was to be used to divide the land inheritance after the nation entered Cana’an. The Levites were counted separately but in the same way.

The five daughters of Tselofhad of the tribe of Menashe approached Moshe to ask whether they as women could inherit their father’s portion of land as he had no sons. G-d enumerated through Moshe the laws of women’s inheritance in such cases.

Then the Almighty told Moshe to ascend Mt Avarim where he could view the land that would be given to Bnei Yisrael, but where he would be gathered to his ancestors just like his brother Aharon. For failing to sanctify G-d during the rebellion that occurred at Kadesh over the Waters of Strife he was proscribed from entering Cana’an.

Moshe requested of G-d to appoint a new leader and was told to choose Joshua son of Nun, on whom he was to place his hands and transfer his aura of leadership. They were to appear before the people while Elazar the Kohen would further confirm the Divine Will behind Joshua’s appointment.

The remainder of Parshat Pinhas concerns the special seasonal sacrificial offerings including; the daily Tamid, Shabbat, Rosh Hodesh, Pesah, Shavuoth, Rosh Hashana, Yom Kippur and the 7 days of Sukkot plus Shemini Atseret.

For an interesting comment on the Legacy of Moshe’s Leadership, please click here.