Another sedra named after a man but this one is for women’s rights.
Part of this portion deals with the allotment of land.
Ownership of land is an essential part of organising any society – this was especially so for a people who had been slaves for generations and then nomadic for 40 years.
Men were allotted land.
Tzelafachad died leaving no sons, but five daughters – Malcha, Noah, Chaglah, Milcah and Tirtzah – they petitioned Moses to inherit the land. Moses asked G-d, who said “the plea of Tzelafachad’s daughters is just”. The order of inheritance of the deceased’s estate was then fixed as: Son, Daughters, Brothers, Father’s brothers or nearest relative.
The question is therefore what does the wife get?