In this week’s Torah portion, Pinchas, we read about the daughters of Zelophchad. They have a legal problem because their father died without male issue and according to Jewish law it is the sons who inherit the property.
“And these were the names of his daughters: Machla, Noah, Hogla, Milka and Tirzah. And they stood before Moses, and before Eleazar the priest, and before the rulers, and all the congregation at the entrance of the tabernacle, and said, Our father died in the wilderness; but he was not of the company that formed Korah’s company against the Lord; but he died in his sin; and he had no sons. Why then should our father’s name perish among his generations, because he has no son? Give us also an inheritance among our father’s brothers!
“So Moses brought their case before the Lord. And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, The daughters of Zelophehad have spoken rightly. You shall give them an inheritance among their father’s brothers, and you shall cause their father’s inheritance to pass to them.
“And say to the children of Israel thus: If any man die and have no son, let him pass his inheritance to his daughter.” (Numbers 27:1-8)
Anyone who rolls their eyes now because women are granted a right in biblical times that is commonplace today should realize that this was far from the norm 3,500 years ago. In addition, the laws of the Bible are merely the starting point for Jewish legislation. The above verses on women’s inheritance law form the basis for subsequent rabbinical laws down the ages. Also, women were usually married at that time, so they shared in their husband’s property.
And anyone who knows a Jewish family has surely seen that women do not need official, divine rights to rule the household. And who rules the household rules the world. In this sense, rumors keep coming up that it is actually Sara Netanyahu who is running the country, and not dear Bibi.
In Israel, the general girl power is strengthened by the fact that young women join the army and gain a lot of self-confidence there. Here they are often used as instructors and make it a habit to boss young recruits around. Whether they later discard this habit as wives cannot be confirmed. So far no one has dared to complain about it.
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