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July 7, 2014 / conservadox

Dvar Torah- Pinchas

This week’s Torah portion contains the story of the daughters of Tzelafechad, who argue that they should get an inheritance from their father who left no sons (Numb. 27).  The story assumes, of course, that if the father did leaves sons, only the sons would inherit 

Why?  Scharfstein explains that in a traditional society, most girls married very early in life and were supported by their husbands- a reasonable explanation for what today seems like an irrational and sexist law.

Today, this issue is moot even among the most halachically observant Jews, since rabbis have created ways to account for the reality that young women are often unmarried or (even with a husband) are worse off than their brothers. (Here is a more detailed discussion of these work-arounds).

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