The Purple Sheet
Shabbat Parshat Pinchas– July 29th/30th 2016 – י’ז תמוז תשע’ו
When You’re Right, You’re Right
This week’s Torah portion contains a lesser-known episode of Jewish history. The Israelites were about to enter The Promised Land and divide it up amongst the twelve tribes when a claim of inheritance for part of it was made by the five daughters of Tzeloph’chad.
The daughters of Tzeloph’chad…came close and stood in front of Moshe, and in front of Elazar the High Priest, and in front ofthe Princes (of the 12 tribes) and in front of the entire assembly at the entrance of the Tent of Meeting. “Our father died in the desert … and he had no sons. Why should the name of our father be absent from among his family because he hadn’t a son? Give us a possession (of land) among our father’s brothers.”
Moshe brought their claim before God. God said to Moshe, “The daughters of Tzeloph’chad are totally right – you certainly must give them a possession of inheritance.”
Upon a careful reading of this passage we witness the bravery of these sisters. The Torah goes out of its way to note that these women did not mail off a petition to the government, hoping that maybe some bureaucrat might take note of their issue. No, they were not meek and feeble but spoke up and made their case in front of all the heavy-hitters: Moshe, the High Priest, the Princes of every tribe and anyone else who happened to be in earshot of the Tent of Meeting.
It was not simply that these women had a justifiable claim for that which was rightfully theirs; what is extraordinary is how much they believed in their claim and cause by their fearless behavior. It was a bold act of incredible certitude to stand before this illustrious group, and in front of the Tent of Meeting no less – a place that would have only added to the intimidation factor given that it was not only the central structure of the Jewish people, but it was from that very spot that God would speak with Moshe. The Tent of Meeting was a mini Mount Sinai.
The founder of Aish, Rabbi Noah Weinberg zt”l used to offer this event as an example of the inherent power that happens when you know you are right. If you know you are correct and your cause is just, it makes no difference what the society around you may be saying, or in this case, omitting. One should never assume that just because the powers-that-be do not take the initiative to do something, that it should not be done. Right is right even if no one is noticing.
These women did not consider, “Well one of these great people would have thought of it, if we indeed had a legitimate cause”. They were not concerned with the credentials of anybody when it came to the fact that their family was being unjustly denied and that they were the aggrieved party. They were willing to confront and take on the entire powerful establishment, at the seat of power if need be – which they did… and won.
The heroic act of these great women serves as fearless examples for us in our day and age when we are called upon to defend the land and people of Israel against the lies and distortions made against it. It matters little what the entire world may be saying about Israel and the spurious claims that settlements are the main impediment to peace with the Palestinian. We cannot and should not allow ourselves to be distracted nor swayed by the bias exhibited by the United Nations, European leftists, The New York Times, little pisher New York congressmen who liken Judea and Samaria pioneers to termites, or any other seemingly authoritative body.
We stand on the side of truth and good and therefore are on the firmest ground possible in our present-day claim for Israel and her right to simply be allowed to exist as a homeland for the Jewish people to live in freedom and security like any other nation on the planet. If these women could courageously stand up for their right to a piece of the holy land of Israel and were willing to challenge the greatest leaders of mankind such as Moshe, all the more so we must act in a similar fashion in our just cause for Israel and stand against those who are not nearly as holy, moral and upright as Moshe and company.
And just as God Himself testified to the truthfulness and justice of Tzeloph’chad’s daughters and proclaimed that they were 100% correct, so too will He do the same for us in our present-day claim of the land. All that God requires from us is that we have and exhibit the same bravery and strength of character as these great women did so many years ago.
And who is in your family tree?
Right, you’re bloody well right
You know you got a right to say…
Write your problems down in detail
Take them to a higher place…
Right, quite right, you’re bloody well right