Numbers 27:6-23 (18 p'sukim)
6 and Adonai spoke to Moses saying, 7 “The daughters of Zelophehad are right in saying you should give them property by inheritance among their father’s relatives. You are to turn over the inheritance of their father to them.”
8 “Furthermore, you are to speak to Bnei-Yisrael saying: If a man dies without a son, you are to transfer his inheritance to his daughter. 9 If he has no daughter, you are to give his inheritance to his brothers. 10 If he has no brothers, you are to give it to his father’s brothers. 11 If his father had no brothers, you are to give it to the nearest relative in his family that he might possess it. This is to be a legal statute for Bnei-Yisrael, just as Adonai commanded to Moses.”
Commissioning of Joshua
12 Then Adonai said to Moses, “Go up this mountain of the Abarim range and look at the land that I have given to Bnei-Yisrael. 13 When you have seen it, you will be gathered to your people, just as Aaron your brother was gathered. 14 For in the wilderness of Zin during the strife of the community, you both rebelled against My Word instead of honoring Me as holy at the waters before their eyes.” (These were the waters of Meribah at Kadesh in the wilderness of Zin.)
15 Moses spoke to Adonai saying, 16 “May Adonai, God of the spirits of all flesh, appoint a man over the community 17 to go out and come in before them, who will lead them out and bring them out so that the people of Adonai will not be like sheep without a shepherd.”
18 Adonai said to Moses, “Take Joshua son of Nun, a man in whom is the Ruach, and lay your hand on him. 19 You will have him stand before Eleazar the kohen and the entire assembly and commission him before their eyes. 20 Give to him some of your authority so that the whole community of Bnei-Yisrael will obey him. 21 He will stand before Eleazar the kohen, who will pray and obtain judgments for him by Urim and before Adonai. At his mouth, they will go out and at his mouth they will come in, he and all the community of Bnei-Yisrael with him.”
22 Moses did as Adonai commanded him. He took Joshua, stood him before Eleazar the kohen and all the entire assembly. 23 Then he laid his hands on him and commissioned him just as Adonai had spoken, by Moses’ hand.
6 וַיֹּ֥אמֶר יְהוָ֖ה אֶל־מֹשֶׁ֥ה לֵּאמֹֽר׃
7 כֵּ֗ן בְּנ֣וֹת צְלָפְחָד֮ דֹּבְרֹת֒ נָתֹ֨ן תִּתֵּ֤ן לָהֶם֙ אֲחֻזַּ֣ת נַחֲלָ֔ה בְּת֖וֹךְ אֲחֵ֣י אֲבִיהֶ֑ם וְהַֽעֲבַרְתָּ֛ אֶת־נַחֲלַ֥ת אֲבִיהֶ֖ן לָהֶֽן׃
8 וְאֶל־בְּנֵ֥י יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל תְּדַבֵּ֣ר לֵאמֹ֑ר אִ֣ישׁ כִּֽי־יָמ֗וּת וּבֵן֙ אֵ֣ין ל֔וֹ וְהַֽעֲבַרְתֶּ֥ם אֶת־נַחֲלָת֖וֹ לְבִתּֽוֹ׃
9 וְאִם־אֵ֥ין ל֖וֹ בַּ֑ת וּנְתַתֶּ֥ם אֶת־נַחֲלָת֖וֹ לְאֶחָיו׃
10 וְאִם־אֵ֥ין ל֖וֹ אַחִ֑ים וּנְתַתֶּ֥ם אֶת־נַחֲלָת֖וֹ לַאֲחֵ֥י אָבִֽיו׃
11 וְאִם־אֵ֣ין אַחִים֮ לְאָבִיו֒ וּנְתַתֶּ֣ם אֶת־נַחֲלָת֗וֹ לִשְׁאֵר֞וֹ הַקָּרֹ֥ב אֵלָ֛יו מִמִּשְׁפַּחְתּ֖וֹ וְיָרַ֣שׁ אֹתָ֑הּ וְֽהָ֨יְתָ֜ה לִבְנֵ֤י יִשְׂרָאֵל֙ לְחֻקַּ֣ת מִשְׁפָּ֔ט כַּאֲשֶׁ֛ר צִוָּ֥ה יְהוָ֖ה אֶת־מֹשֶֽׁה׃ ס
12 וַיֹּ֤אמֶר יְהוָה֙ אֶל־מֹשֶׁ֔ה עֲלֵ֛ה אֶל־הַ֥ר הָעֲבָרִ֖ים הַזֶּ֑ה וּרְאֵה֙ אֶת־הָאָ֔רֶץ אֲשֶׁ֥ר נָתַ֖תִּי לִבְנֵ֥י יִשְׂרָאֵֽל׃
13 וְרָאִ֣יתָה אֹתָ֔הּ וְנֶאֱסַפְתָּ֥ אֶל־עַמֶּ֖יךָ גַּם־אָ֑תָּה כַּאֲשֶׁ֥ר נֶאֱסַ֖ף אַהֲרֹ֥ן אָחִֽיךָ׃
14 כַּאֲשֶׁר֩ מְרִיתֶ֨ם פִּ֜י בְּמִדְבַּר־צִ֗ן בִּמְרִיבַת֙ הָֽעֵדָ֔ה לְהַקְדִּישֵׁ֥נִי בַמַּ֖יִם לְעֵינֵיהֶ֑ם הֵ֛ם מֵֽי־מְרִיבַ֥ת קָדֵ֖שׁ מִדְבַּר־צִֽן׃ פ
15 וַיְדַבֵּ֣ר מֹשֶׁ֔ה אֶל־יְהוָ֖ה לֵאמֹֽר׃
16 יִפְקֹ֣ד יְהוָ֔ה אֱלֹהֵ֥י הָרוּחֹ֖ת לְכָל־בָּשָׂ֑ר אִ֖ישׁ עַל־הָעֵדָֽה׃
17 אֲשֶׁר־יֵצֵ֣א לִפְנֵיהֶ֗ם וַאֲשֶׁ֤ר יָבֹא֙ לִפְנֵיהֶ֔ם וַאֲשֶׁ֥ר יוֹצִיאֵ֖ם וַאֲשֶׁ֣ר יְבִיאֵ֑ם וְלֹ֤א תִהְיֶה֙ עֲדַ֣ת יְהוָ֔ה כַּצֹּ֕אן אֲשֶׁ֥ר אֵין־לָהֶ֖ם רֹעֶֽה׃
18 וַיֹּ֨אמֶר יְהוָ֜ה אֶל־מֹשֶׁ֗ה קַח־לְךָ֙ אֶת־יְהוֹשֻׁ֣עַ בִּן־נ֔וּן אִ֖ישׁ אֲשֶׁר־ר֣וּחַ בּ֑וֹ וְסָמַכְתָּ֥ אֶת־יָדְךָ֖ עָלָֽיו׃
19 וְהַֽעֲמַדְתָּ֣ אֹת֗וֹ לִפְנֵי֙ אֶלְעָזָ֣ר הַכֹּהֵ֔ן וְלִפְנֵ֖י כָּל־הָעֵדָ֑ה וְצִוִּיתָ֥ה אֹת֖וֹ לְעֵינֵיהֶֽם׃
20 וְנָתַתָּ֥ה מֵהֽוֹדְךָ֖ עָלָ֑יו לְמַ֣עַן יִשְׁמְע֔וּ כָּל־עֲדַ֖ת בְּנֵ֥י יִשְׂרָאֵֽל׃
21 וְלִפְנֵ֨י אֶלְעָזָ֤ר הַכֹּהֵן֙ יַעֲמֹ֔ד וְשָׁ֥אַל ל֛וֹ בְּמִשְׁפַּ֥ט הָאוּרִ֖ים לִפְנֵ֣י יְהוָ֑ה עַל־פִּ֨יו יֵצְא֜וּ וְעַל־פִּ֣יו יָבֹ֗אוּ ה֛וּא וְכָל־בְּנֵי־יִשְׂרָאֵ֥ל אִתּ֖וֹ וְכָל־הָעֵדָֽה׃
22 וַיַּ֣עַשׂ מֹשֶׁ֔ה כַּאֲשֶׁ֛ר צִוָּ֥ה יְהוָ֖ה אֹת֑וֹ וַיִּקַּ֣ח אֶת־יְהוֹשֻׁ֗עַ וַיַּֽעֲמִדֵ֙הוּ֙ לִפְנֵי֙ אֶלְעָזָ֣ר הַכֹּהֵ֔ן וְלִפְנֵ֖י כָּל־הָעֵדָֽה׃
23 וַיִּסְמֹ֧ךְ אֶת־יָדָ֛יו עָלָ֖יו וַיְצַוֵּ֑הוּ כַּאֲשֶׁ֛ר דִּבֶּ֥ר יְהוָ֖ה בְּיַד־מֹשֶֽׁה׃ פ
Today we see two examples of the Almighty allowing mortal men and women to engage in "partnership" with God Himself in the process of establishing His Glorious Torah. In most other cases Hashem simply instructs Moshe regarding His commandments, ordinances, statutes and regulations. Noticeably, here however, God is responding to two different yet similar situations purposely waiting for His sons and daughters to come up with the right answer on their own.
If you have ever been so blessed to be a parent, then there is little doubt that you have been in this same situation. Problem solving and learning right from wrong are some of the most important lessons we can teach our children. Furthermore, we learn from our pesukim today a method of teaching and of learning. Lecturing is not always the best way to teach or to learn.
I fondly remember fishing with my father as a young boy, perhaps about 10 years old. We would go out to Lake Erie often in the summer time as my grandfather owned a 19 foot outboard motorboat in the summers. On one occasion my father simply handed me my pole, the fishing box and a can of worms and turned away baiting his own pole. This was unusual, because up until that moment my father would always put the worm on the hook for me. This time "he forgot". When I attempted to remind him of his lapse in memory, he shocking responded, "Nope, you're old enough now to do it yourself". While it wasn't easy at first and I certainly poked myself several times trying to get that squirming worm onto the hook, it was important that I participated.
The point is, whether fishing or cooking or whatever it is; its important to allow our children to participate in a project so that they learn; and even go so far as to allow them to partner with us in the problem solving process. Ask them, "what should happen next"? What is the best way to accomplish this task"? Even if we know the answer, allow them to come up with it on their own, even if it is wrong at first (and you know full well it won't work), let them make a mistake - its ok!
So it is with our pesukim. God knew full well the daughters of Zelophehad were right, infact He could've told Moshe about them long before they ever came to Moshe and stated their case! God wanted this record of Moshe going to God with a problem, and with what he thought would be the right answer.
Likewise, likely from that experience we find Moshe a second time, now progressing by suggesting to the Almighty that Joshua be his successor.
In both situations, God permitted what seems to be the idea of 5 women and Moshe himself coming up with their own solutions, and God conceding. (we assume God thought it was a good idea). Wow, my kids are pretty bright! But it is NOT that He never thought of it Himself.
May we learn the lessons of leadership, discipleship, and allowing students and children to learn on their own and even partner with us as teachers and leaders. These are good Torah principles regardless if they appear to come from human our Divine sources.