web analytics
May 28, 2015 / 10 Sivan, 5775
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post


Home » Judaism » Parsha »

Inheriting Positions Of Honor


Taste-of-Lomdus-logo

In this week’s parshah the daughters of Tzelafchad requested from Moshe an inheritance in Eretz Yisrael, since their father had died and did not leave any sons. Their request was granted and a new halacha was introduced. Previously only a son would inherit from his father. The new halacha stated that if one dies and did not have sons but only daughters, the daughters would inherit from him.

The Midrash Tanchuma says that when Moshe saw that the daughters of Tzelafchad were now able to inherit from their father, Moshe asked Hashem if his sons could inherit his leadership. Hashem responded that Yehoshua served him more, honored him more, would arrive early and leave his study late, and arranged the benches and set the tables. Since he served Moshe, he is fit to serve Bnei Yisrael.

(As a side note, the Chasam Sofer (Orach Chaim 12) points out that Moshe Rabbeinu would not have asked that his sons inherit his leadership if he felt that they were not worthy of the position. Yet Hashem denied his request. The Chasam Sofer says that we see from this that although all positions of honor are passed down through inheritance, the rabbinate is not.)

We need to understand why Moshe Rabbeinu decided to ask that his sons inherit his position after this new halacha was introduced. After all, the only nuance that was introduced was that in a situation whereby there are no sons, daughters could receive their father’s inheritance. The prior halacha was that sons would inherit from their father. Why then did Moshe now ask for his sons to inherit his position?

Many Acharonim suggest that a son inherits from his father in a different manner than a daughter. They explain that a son takes his father’s place and, as a result, he inherits from him. It is as if the father is still alive when his son inherits from him (see Ba’al Ha’Maor, Baba Basra 108b).

We find an example of this in the scenario in which a non-kohen woman married a kohen who dies. The Gemara in Yevamos 67a says that if she has a son from him, she can continue to eat terumah. The Yam Shel Shlomo (9:1) explains that according to the Rambam (Hilchos Terumos 6:19), this is because while her husband, the kohen, left a son in this world, we consider the father to still be alive. Therefore, the widow can eat terumah because her husband is a kohen – even though, technically speaking, he is dead. As has been explained, when one leaves a son the son is in his father’s place – and we consider the father to be alive.

However, the Gilyonei Hashas and the Avnei Nezer (Yoreh De’ah 312, s’ifim 156 and 170) explain that this only applies to a son, not to a daughter. It is for this reason that the Gemara in Kiddushin 17b says that if one had an eved ivri (a Jewish slave) and the master died the slave would only work for a son of the master and not for the master’s daughter. This applies even if the master only had a daughter who inherited everything else that belonged to him. The only exception to her inheritance would be his Jewish slaves. The Avnei Nezer explains that only a son takes the place of his father; thus a slave can only work for the son of the deceased master.

With this the Avnei Nezer also explains the Gemara in Nazir that says that only a son will shave for his father’s nezirus. A daughter will not.

A son takes his father’s place only regarding a monetary inheritance. Although we may consider the father to still be alive concerning other aspects of his life, such as terumah obligations, it is only involving monetary matters that enables a son to inherit from the father. This would not then entitle a son to inherit his father’s position of honor.

Prior to the parshah of the inheritance of the daughters of Tzelafchad, we did not know that one would inherit his father’s position. This is because inheritance was only transferred because a son would fill his father’s place regarding his monetary holdings. But once the Torah taught that there is another form of inheritance, namely that a relative can inherit from the deceased even though he or she does not fill his position, we now learn that one will inherit a father’s position of honor.

Moshe Rabbeinu saw fit to request that his sons inherit his leadership after the parshah of the inheritance of the daughters of Tzelafchad. This is because we now learned that one can inherit a position of honor.

About the Author: For questions or comments, e-mail RabbiRFuchs@gmail.com.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Inheriting Positions Of Honor”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
J-Street
J Street: The Jewish Enemy Within
Latest Judaism Stories
Leff-052215

There is a great debate as to whether this story actually took place or is simply a metaphor, a prophetic vision shown to Hoshea by Hashem.

Staum-052215

Every person is presented with moments when he/she must make difficult decisions about how to proceed.

Torat-Hakehillah-logo-NEW

One does not necessarily share the opinions of one’s brother. One may disapprove of his actions, values, and/or beliefs. However, with brothers there is a bond of love and caring that transcends all differences.

Torah

This Shavuot let’s give G-d a gift too: Let’s make this year different by doing just 1 more mitzvah

Question: Should we wash our hands in the bathroom with soap and water, or by pouring water from a vessel with handles three times, alternating hands? I have heard it said that a vessel is used only in the morning upon awakening. What are the rules pertaining to young children? What is the protocol if […]

God and the divine origin of His Torah are facts even though we do not fully comprehend them.

So if we basically live the same life, why should he get eternal reward and not me?”

The question is: What about pidyon haben? Can one give the five sela’im required for pidyon haben to a kohen’s daughter?

In Parshas Pinchas the Torah introduces the Mussaf for Shavuos by describing it as Yom HaBikurim when we bring the new offering.

Rachel was thrown by the sight and began to caringly think whom this person might be.

The desert, with its unearthly silence & emptiness, is the condition in which the Word can be heard

The census focused on the individual, proving each is created as irreplaceable, unique images of God

Jewish survival in a dysfunctional world requires women assuming the role Hashem gave them at Sinai

The Honor Of Reading The Kesubah
‘Witnesses Sign Only After Reading…’
(Kesubos 109a)

Why does the Torah use two different words for “to count,” and what does each indicate?

From Bemidbar on and in Nevi’im, the nation is viewed primarily by its component parts, the tribes

More Articles from Rabbi Raphael Fuchs
Taste-of-Lomdus-logo

The question is: What about pidyon haben? Can one give the five sela’im required for pidyon haben to a kohen’s daughter?

Taste-of-Lomdus-logo

The mitzvah that parents must give their son a bris milah is a mitzvah that they must perform for someone else – namely their son.

The Bach writes that he mentioned his insights to many of the leading gedolim and no one disproved him.

The Bais Halevi answers that we must properly define what is considered to be “in the middle of a mitzvah.”

In this case one could reason that by applying halach achar harov we could permit the forbidden bird as well.

Why would it not be sufficient to simply state lehoros from which we derive that in such a state one may not issue any psak?

The Netziv answered that there is a difference between a piece of bread that was cut already in front of you, and one that was cut from beforehand.

Why is it necessary to invite people to eat from the korban Pesach?

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/parsha/inheriting-positions-of-honor/2014/07/10/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: