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Deepening our love for Hashem, Torah and Mitzvot

By: Mrs. Rina Zinkin

In Parshat Pinchas (27;1), the Torah says, “The daughters of Zelafchad, son of Hefer, son of Gilead, son of Machir, son of Menasheh, of the families of Menashe son of Yosef” stood before Moshe Rabeinu, Elazar Hacohen, the Nesiim, and  the entire Eidah and explained how their father had died in the midbar and had no sons. Tzelafchad’s five daughters asked if they could inherit their father’s portion in Eretz Yisrael. Their request was the catalyst for the presentation of the laws of inheritance. Rashi (27:1) asks why the Torah had to add “of the families of Menashe son of Yosef” when it already said “son of Menashe“ when tracing B’not Tzelafchad’s lineage. Rashi answers that it was added to stress that they were descendants of Yosef.  In Bereshit 50:25, Yosef asked his brothers to bring his bones out of Mitzrayim to bury them in Eretz Yisrael, because he loved Eretz Yisrael. Rashi answers that the Torah traces the daughters’ lineage back to Yosef because just as Yosef loved Eretz Yisrael, so too, the B’not Tzelafchad loved Eretz Yisrael. Their motivation for asking for a possession in Eretz Yisrael was out of love for the land, not out of greed or financial gain.

Rav Pam zt”l, in his sefer Atara Lamelech, points out that in contrast to the B’not Tzelafchad, the sin of the meraglim was that they lacked a true love for Eretz Yisrael. We see this in the pasuk (Shelach 14; 31) which says: “the land that you despised.” Because the meraglim did not love Eretz Yisrael, they described it as a “land that devours its inhabitants.” The meraglim described the land as they saw it; their emunah in Hashem was not strong enough to nullify their fears and worries concerning the land.

We see a difference between B’not Tzelafchad who had a love for Eretz Yisrael  and the meraglim who did not. Rav Pam zt”l explains that a person’s intense love for something can shake off the uncertainties that come up and can help one to be pushed to accomplish great things. May we be zocheh to work on deepening our love for Hashem, Torah and Mitzvot, Eretz Yisrael, and our fellow Jews. May our strengthened Ahavat Hashem and Ahavat Yisrael be a catalyst for Hashem to bring Mashiach and the geula shleima, bimhara b’yameinu!





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