By Rabbi Shemuel Akhamzadeh
“The plea of Selofehad’s daughters is just…” כֵּ֗ן בְּנ֣וֹת צְלָפְחָד֮ דֹּבְרֹת֒ … ׃
It seems the daughters of Selofechad are overly praised for their request of inheritance in the holy land. Why should they be praised for asking to receive a plot of land? Perhaps their request was motivated by greed?
The Midrash tells us the reason for the Torah’s admiration for Selofechad’s daughters was that this request came at a pivotal point: this was when some Jews wanted to go back to Egypt in the face of the tribulations of traveling in the desert. Moshe asked the sisters, “Why are you making claim of inheritance in the land as Jews are asking to go back to Egypt?” They responded, “We are certain that eventually the land will be in the hands of Jews, but we are making this request for the sake of Hashem, and to make a point at this time that the nation is weak in their belief in entering the land.”
A fundamental lesson is learned from the Torah’s admiration of Selofechad’s daughters. One’s actions are not just judged for their intrinsic value; the time and the situation in which the deed was performed are also part of the equation. We live in a generation in which Torah and human values are constantly under attack. Our stand for these values are worthy of greater reward and appreciation by Hashem in contrast to previous generations when these values were more accepted.