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July 10, 2017 / conservadox

Dvar Torah- Pinchas

This week’s portion involves the daughters of  Zelophedad.  The Torah says that normally sons should inherit from fathers, but this man died with only daughters- so who inherits from him?

The daughters argue (ultimately successfully) that they should inherit.  In the course of their argument they say that their father was not part of Korah’s group (Numbers 27:3).

Why is that relevant? Rabbi Miller writes that according to the Talmud, “when a person receives the death penalty for rebellion against the king… his possessions are taken and given to the king.”  Since Korah rebelled against Moses, his children (according to Miller) could not inherit from him.

This logic is quite dangerous; if the king can get the stuff of people who plot against him, he has an incentive to frame people for such plots in order to get their stuff – as a later king in fact did.  Even 3000 years ago, perverse incentives created perverse results.

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