web analytics
January 30, 2015 / 10 Shevat, 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.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz.
Sen. Cruz Asks if Obama Behind V-15 ‘Political Campaign against Netanyahu’
Latest Judaism Stories
Rabbi Sacks

Torah opposes slavery; G-d desires the free worship of free human beings, yet slavery’s permitted-?!

Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

France allowed Islamists to flourish despite their loyalty to Islamic sharia law not French values

QuestionsandAnswers-logo

Approximately 18 years ago, my uncle called me into his office saying he had an urgent matter to discuss. I didn’t know what he had in mind.

Rabbi Avi Weiss

“Where is God?” asked the Kotzker Rebbe “God is not everywhere but only where you let Him enter”

An Explosion In The Trench
‘With A Glowing Hot Knife’
(Yevamos 120b)

Her first tactic was tefillah; she immediately began to recite one perek after another of Tehillim.

When a miracle occurs that transcends nature, Hashem has broken the laws of nature to create the miracle.

“How could you have expected my glasses to be there?” argued Mr. Weiss. “You shouldn’t have to pay.”

Rather than submit to this fate and suffer torture and humiliation, Shaul decided to fall on his sword.

How can the Da’as Zekeinim say this was Hashem’s plan to allow them to become the Torah Nation? We know it was actually a punishment.

A strange midrash of fruit trees surrounding the Nation of Israel as they walked to freedom

Leading by example must be visible, regarding where, when and how-like Nachshon entering the Red Sea

Rabbi Yaakov Nagen, a Ram at Yeshivat Otniel, notes that the verse is suggesting that retelling the story of the Exodus is so important that Hashem is performing ever-greater miracles specifically so that parents can tell their stories to future generations.

Before performing the 10th plague God makes a fundamental argument about the ultimate nature of justice.

Life Before The Printed Word
‘A Revi’is Of Blood’
(Yevamos 114a-b)

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

Rather than submit to this fate and suffer torture and humiliation, Shaul decided to fall on his sword.

Taste-of-Lomdus-logo

And if a person can take steps to perform the mitzvah, he should do so (even if he won’t be held accountable for not performing it due to circumstances beyond his control).

The Brisker Rav suggests that the barad, in fact, only fell on people, animals, and vegetation.

Why is it necessary to perform an aveirah punishable by lashes in order to be deemed a legal rashah and be pasul l’eidus m’d’Oraisa?

Why was Yaakov not afraid that granting Yosef’s sons the status of shevatim would cause jealousy among his children?

Rav Akiva Eiger is assuming that the logic of the halacha that both the son and his mother are obligated to honor his father and therefore he must honor his fathers wishes first, is a mathematical equation.

It is clear that Tosafos maintains that only someone who lives in a house must light Chanukah candles.

But how could there have been any validity to Yosef’s allegations?

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

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: