Text: Numbers 25:10 – 30:1
Parashat (Torah portion) Pinchas opens with God blessing Pinchas for his passion in defending God (by reaming an idolatrous Midianite woman with a spear), but the bulk of the portion focuses on the census, the sacrificial calendar, and the story of Tzelophechad's daughters: when Tzelophachad died, he had five daughters and no sons. In a society where only men usually inherit their father's property, the five women took up an appeal to Moses. They argued that they should be allowed to inherit their father's property and gain his share of the tribal land holdings. Moses relayed the request to God, who instructed Moses to allow the women to inherit their father's estate -- provided they marry within the tribe, so their father's property stays within the tribe. The daughters agree, setting a precedent for (at least brotherless) women's rights to familial inheritance in the Torah.