To celebrate the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage in the United States this year, Rabbi Carole Balin, Ph.D., is sharing eight chapters of an "alternative Book of Numbers” designed to tell the stories of Jewish women who combined civic engagement with Jewish
This is exciting. This is a moment of courage and birthing. The birth of feminism: many years before the word feminism was invented and the idea behind it articulated, as we read in Parashat Pinchas, "The daughters of Zelophehad…. came forward." The daughers of Zelophehad asked to inherit their father's land, as he passed away and had no sons.
As we come towards the end of the Book of Numbers, Moses is constantly reminded that he will not be the one to lead his people into the Promised Land – along with the vast majority of the Israelites who left Egypt. In Parashat Pinchas, we find the second census of the people by the Jordan River before their crossing; those named in the first, at the beginning of the book, have almost all died in the wilderness. Joshua, one of two sole survivors, will be the one who leads them forward.
Listen to this parasha as a man by the name of Pinchas is rewarded for killing the Israelite and the Midianite woman who cursed God. Israel fights a war against the Midianites and another census is taken!
In Parashat Pinchas, we learn the intriguing fact that “the sons of Korach did not die.” This conflicts with an account about Korach in an earlier chapter, which states that the ground opened up and swallowed him, his household and his followers. What does this discrepancy mean?