Sunday, July 01, 2007

Pinchas Summary

Through his zealousness Pinchas turns back G-d's anger and brings an end to the plague that has killed 24,000 of the Children of Israel. As his reward, G-d tells Moshe that from now on Pinchas and his descendants shall be Cohanim (Priests).
G-d instructs Moshe and Elazar to take a census of the Children of Israel according to their tribes and families. The total number of people amongst whom the Land of Israel will be divided is 601,730. The total number of Levites (who will not receive an inheritance of land) is 23,000.
The five daughters of Tzelafchad come to Moshe and explain that they also deserve a share in the Land of Israel. Their father died in the desert and had no sons, so they should be the ones to inherit him. Moshe brings their claim before G-d, who agrees that they should receive a portion of land. This is also fixed as the law for all future generations.
G-d tells Moshe that he should ascend Mount Avarim and look over the Land of Israel, because he will not be able to enter into it. Moshe is instructed to appoint Yehoshua bin Nun to succeed him. Moshe publicly passes on the mantle of leadership in front of the entire congregation.
The Torah then lists the various daily and festival sacrifices that are to be offered in the Temple. Shabbat and each Festival has its own specific animal sacrifice, accompanied by a flour and oil offering and a wine libation. This is in addition to the daily sacrifice each morning and afternoon.

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