Parsha Talk- Pinhas 5781

Parashat Pinhas [Numbers 25:10-30:1] concludes the story with which last week’s parashah [Balaq (Num. 22:2-25:9)] ended, the apostasty at Baal Peor and the extra-judicial killing of Zimri and Cozbi by Pinhas.  We discuss whether or not zeal can be a good thing, and how we should evaluate Pinhas’ actions.  We spend some time on the census, noting some of the anomoalies this time around, on the appointment of Joshua as successor, and on the daughters of Zelophehad, whose query of Moshe about inheritance law leads to a change in how women who have no brothers inherit from their fathers.  As always, there is much we leave out, such as the apportionment of the land and an extended discussion of the holidays.  But, there is always next year!  Shabbat Shalom!!