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Pinchas ~ 5773 ~ פינחס
Aaron’s grandson, Pinchas, is rewarded for his act of zealotry in killing the Shimonite Prince Zimri and the Midianite Princess. G-d grants him a covenant of peace and the priesthood.
A census of the people counts 601,730 men between the ages of 20 and 60. Moses is instructed on how the Land is to be divided by lottery among the tribes and families of Israel. The five daughters of Tzelafchad petition Moses that they be granted the portion of the land belonging to their father, who died without sons; G-d accepts their claim and incorporates it into the Torah’s laws of inheritance.
Moses empowers Joshua to succeed him and lead the people into the Land of Israel. The Parashah concludes with a detailed list of the daily offerings, and the additional offerings brought on Shabbat, Rosh Chodesh (first of the month), and the festivals of Passover, Shavuot, Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Sukkot and Shemini Atzeret.
MAFTIR Numbers 29:35 – 30:1 ~ page 698
HAFTARAH Jeremiah 1:1 – 2:3 ~ page 710
Although usually read next week for Parashah Matot, this haftarah is read today because it is the first of the three ‘Haftarot of Rebuke’ which precede the Ninth of Av. In the year 626 B.C.E., during the reign of Josiah, king of Judah, the call comes to Jeremiah to prophesy to the people of Israel. He is told that he was predestined for this mission from birth. When he pleads immaturity he is told not to fear for Hashem is with him. Jeremiah has two visions. In the first, he sees the branch of an almond tree blossoming (a very early spring event) indicating that Hashem will hasten to fulfill His judgment. In the second vision, Jeremiah sees a seething cauldron tilted to the south – this indicated that the Babylonians from the north would overthrow Judah as punishment for their sins. These warnings were to be proclaimed firmly and resolutely.