- Why do Jewish women possess such soul-love for Eretz Yisrael?
- What made the Daughters of Tzelafchad so special?
- What can we learn from Bnot Tzelafchad?
The Women Who Love Eretz Yisrael and Tzedaka
But there were women because the decree of the Spies was decreed upon the men because the men hated the Land and had said (Bamidbar 14:4): "We’ll appoint a leader and return to Egypt." But the women cherished the Land, and thus Tzelafchad’s Daughters said, "Give us a possession."
Just like you have a land that cultivates tzanuim (people who behave with personal dignity), you have a land that cultivates adulterers.
The Land does not tolerate immorality as is said in the parsha of immorality (Vayikra 18:25-27) "Because of all the abominations the people of the Land committed, the Land vomited out her inhabitants." And we have already written above that the men were licentious and because of that, they hated the Land. But the women were kosher and tzanuah....and because of that, they cherished the Land that cultivates tzanuim. And you should know that even Sheeteem, which cultivates adulterers, can still draw healing from the Holy Land as indicated in Yoel 4:18: "And a spring will come out of the House of Hashem and irrigate the River of Sheeteem"....So it states that there wasn’t a man in this number in order to tell you: "But there were women." That’s because this number hints at the tsniut of the women, which was greater than that of the men.
He goes on to explain that the men resented giving terumah and maaser, and that they possessed an “ayin tzara” regarding Hashem’s Kohanim.
But the women of that same generation were tzidkaniyot [righteous] and loved tzedakah; and likewise with the mitzvah of challah, which is unique to women and connected to the Land, and likewise with the rest of the terumot and maaserot. Therefore, they loved the Land, to go to the Place of Obligation because the average woman does not have authority and control over her husband’s possessions. Therefore, they [the women] had a desire to go to a place where the obligation to give is forced upon their husbands. And this was said by Chazal in Sotah 11: "Our forefathers were redeemed from Egypt in the merit of righteous women"....In their merit, they [Bnei Yisrael] left the Place of Exemption for the Place of Obligation, which was their [the women's] soul-yearning.
The Kli Yakar, quoting Baba Batra 119, explains that Bnot Tzelafchad were tzidkaniyot who loved tzedakah. Pointing out the Torah's emphasis on calling their tribe Menashe ben Yosef, he says that just as Yosef Hatzaddik loved the Land, so did his daughters.
According to the Kli Yakar, the inheritance of Tzelafchad’s Daughters comprised the two traits they inherited from their great-great-great-great-grandfather, Yosef Hatzaddik.
- Tzedakah – Just as Yosef Hatzaddik generously provided for his father’s entire household, Bnot Tzelafchad wanted to acquire a portion of the Land so that they would be obligated in the mitzvot of tzedakah (terumah and maaser).
- Just as Yosef Hatzaddik protected himself from licentious behavior, thus did Tzelafchad’s Daughters protect themselves from licentious behavior (by being careful to only marry men suitable to their lofty goals).
This is my own translation and any errors are also mine.