שֶׁמְּגַלְגְּלִים זְכוּת עַל יְדֵי זַכַּאי וְחוֹבָה עַל יְדֵי חַיָּיב that merit is brought about by means of one who is meritorious and liability by means of one who is liable. Accordingly, the daughters of Zelophehad merited that the Torah portion concerning a positive matter be written through them, and the wood gatherer deserved that a portion concerning a negative matter be written through him. This concludes Rabbi Ḥideka’s citation of Rabbi Shimon HaShikmoni.
וְאִי סָלְקָא דַּעְתָּךְ אֶרֶץ יִשְׂרָאֵל מוּחְזֶקֶת מַאי קָא מִסְתַּפְּקָא לֵיהּ The Gemara states its objection: And if it enters your mind to say that Eretz Yisrael was already in possession of the Jewish people even before the land was assigned, what was Moses uncertain about with regard to the right of Zelophehad’s daughters to collect a double portion; after all, Hepher’s portion in the land was in his possession, and Zelophehad was the firstborn?
הִיא גּוּפַהּ קָא מִסְתַּפְּקָא לֵיהּ דִּכְתִיב וְנָתַתִּי אֹתָהּ לָכֶם מוֹרָשָׁה אֲנִי ה׳ יְרוּשָּׁה הִיא לָכֶם מֵאֲבוֹתֵיכֶם אוֹ דִלְמָא שֶׁמּוֹרִישִׁין וְאֵינָן יוֹרְשִׁין The Gemara answers: This matter itself is what Moses was uncertain about, as it is written: “And I will give it to you for a heritage [morasha]: I am the Lord” (Exodus 6:8). Moses was unsure if the verse should be understood: It is an inheritance [yerusha] for you from your fathers, such that it is considered in the possession of those who left Egypt; or perhaps the verse indicates another matter, that the generation of those who left Egypt bequeath [morishin] the portions to others but they do not inherit [yoreshin] the portions themselves, because they are destined to die in the wilderness.
וּפְשַׁטוּ לֵיהּ תַּרְוַיְיהוּ יְרוּשָּׁה לָכֶם מֵאֲבוֹתֵיכֶם וּמוֹרִישִׁין וְאֵינָן יוֹרְשִׁין וְהַיְינוּ דִּכְתִיב תְּבִיאֵמוֹ וְתִטָּעֵמוֹ בְּהַר נַחֲלָתְךָ תְּבִיאֵנוּ לֹא נֶאֱמַר אֶלָּא תְּבִיאֵמוֹ מְלַמֵּד שֶׁמִּתְנַבְּאִין וְאֵינָן יוֹדְעִין מָה מִתְנַבְּאִין The Gemara continues: And God resolved the question for him: The verse teaches both of them. It is an inheritance for you from your fathers and is considered in your possession; and also the generation that left Egypt bequeath but they do not inherit. And this is the meaning of that which is written in the song that the Jewish people sang after the splitting of the Red Sea: “You will bring them in, and plant them in the mountain of Your inheritance” (Exodus 15:17). It is not stated: You will bring us in, rather: “You will bring them in,” which teaches that in their song, the Jewish people were prophesying that their generation would never enter Eretz Yisrael, but they did not know what they were prophesying.
וַתַּעֲמֹדְנָה לִפְנֵי מֹשֶׁה וְלִפְנֵי אֶלְעָזָר הַכֹּהֵן וְלִפְנֵי הַנְּשִׂיאִים וְכׇל הָעֵדָה אֶפְשָׁר עָמְדוּ לִפְנֵי מֹשֶׁה כּוּ׳ וְלֹא אָמְרוּ לָהֶן דָּבָר וְעָמְדוּ לִפְנֵי הַנְּשִׂיאִים וְכׇל הָעֵדָה § The Gemara continues its discussion of the incident involving Zelophehad’s daughters. The verse states: “And they stood before Moses, and before Eleazar the priest, and before the princes and all the congregation” (Numbers 27:2). The Gemara asks: Is it possible that Zelophehad’s daughters stood before Moses and then Eleazar to ask their question, and they said nothing to them; and then the daughters stood before the princes and all the congregation to ask them? How would the princes or the congregation know an answer if Moses and Eleazar did not?
אֶלָּא סָרֵס הַמִּקְרָא וְדׇרְשֵׁהוּ דִּבְרֵי רַבִּי יֹאשִׁיָּה אַבָּא חָנָן אָמַר מִשּׁוּם רַבִּי אֱלִיעֶזֶר בְּבֵית הַמִּדְרָשׁ הָיוּ יוֹשְׁבִין וְהָלְכוּ וְעָמְדוּ לָהֶן לִפְנֵי כּוּלָּן The Gemara answers: Rather, transpose the verse and interpret it: First, the daughters went to the congregation and ultimately came to Moses, this is the statement of Rabbi Yoshiya. Abba Ḥanan says in the name of Rabbi Eliezer: Those enumerated in the verse were all sitting in the house of study, and Zelophehad’s daughters went and stood before all of them at once. They were not asked separately; rather, the order of the verse reflects their stature.
בְּמַאי קָמִיפַּלְגִי מָר סָבַר חוֹלְקִין כָּבוֹד לְתַלְמִיד בִּמְקוֹם הָרַב וּמַר סָבַר אֵין חוֹלְקִין The Gemara clarifies: With regard to what do they disagree? One Sage, Abba Ḥanan, holds that one may show honor to a student in the presence of the teacher, such that the verse would mention all the others even though they were in the presence of Moses; and one Sage, Rabbi Yoshiya, holds one may not show honor to a student in the presence of the teacher, such that only Moses would have been mentioned if they were all in the same place.
וְהִלְכְתָא חוֹלְקִין וְהִלְכְתָא אֵין חוֹלְקִין קַשְׁיָא הִלְכְתָא אַהִלְכְתָא הִלְכְתָא אַהִלְכְתָא לָא קַשְׁיָא הָא דִּפְלִיג לֵיהּ רַבֵּיהּ יְקָרָא הָא דְּלָא פְּלִיג לֵיהּ רַבֵּיהּ יְקָרָא The Gemara concludes: And the halakha is that one may show honor to a student, and the halakha is that one may not show honor. The Gemara asks: This is difficult, as there is a contradiction between the one halakha and the other halakha. The Gemara answers: The contradiction between the one halakha and the other halakha is not difficult, as this ruling, that one may show honor, was stated where his teacher himself accords the student honor. In such a case, others also may show the student honor. And that ruling, that one may not show honor, was stated where his teacher does not accord him honor.
תָּנָא בְּנוֹת צְלָפְחָד חַכְמָנִיּוֹת הֵן דַּרְשָׁנִיּוֹת הֵן צִדְקָנִיּוֹת הֵן § The Sages taught: The daughters of Zelophehad are wise, they are interpreters of verses, and they are righteous.
חַכְמָנִיּוֹת הֵן שֶׁלְּפִי שָׁעָה דִּבְּרוּ דְּאָמַר רַבִּי שְׁמוּאֵל בַּר רַב יִצְחָק מְלַמֵּד שֶׁהָיָה מֹשֶׁה רַבֵּינוּ יוֹשֵׁב וְדוֹרֵשׁ בְּפָרָשַׁת יְבָמִין שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר כִּי יֵשְׁבוּ אַחִים יַחְדָּו אָמְרוּ לוֹ אִם כְּבֵן אָנוּ חֲשׁוּבִין תְּנָה לָנוּ נַחֲלָה כְּבֵן אִם לָאו תִּתְיַבֵּם אִמֵּנוּ מִיָּד וַיַּקְרֵב מֹשֶׁה אֶת מִשְׁפָּטָן לִפְנֵי ה׳ The Gemara proves these assertions. That they are wise can be seen from the fact that they spoke in accordance with the moment, i.e., they presented their case at an auspicious time. As Rabbi Shmuel bar Rav Yitzḥak says: Tradition teaches that Moses our teacher was sitting and interpreting in the Torah portion about men whose married brothers had died childless, as it is stated: “If brothers dwell together, and one of them dies, and has no child, the wife of the dead shall not be married abroad to one not of his kin; her husband’s brother shall come to her, and take her for him as a wife” (Deuteronomy 25:5). The daughters of Zelophehad said to Moses: If we are each considered like a son, give us each an inheritance like a son; and if not, our mother should enter into levirate marriage. Immediately upon hearing their claim, the verse records: “And Moses brought their cause before the Lord” (Numbers 27:5).
דַּרְשָׁנִיּוֹת הֵן שֶׁהָיוּ אוֹמְרוֹת אִילּוּ הָיָה לוֹ בֵּן לֹא דִּבַּרְנוּ וְהָתַנְיָא בַּת אָמַר רַבִּי יִרְמְיָה סְמִי מִכָּאן בַּת אַבָּיֵי אָמַר אֲפִילּוּ הָיָה בַּת לַבֵּן לֹא דִּבַּרְנוּ That they are interpreters of verses can be seen from the fact that they were saying: If our father had had a son, we would not have spoken; but because he had no son, we are filling the role of the heir. The Gemara asks: But isn’t it taught in a baraita: They would say, if he had had a daughter, we would not have spoken? Rabbi Yirmeya said: Delete from the baraita here the word: Daughter. As they were themselves daughters, this cannot have been their claim. Abaye said that the baraita need not be emended, and should be understood as follows: Even if there was a daughter of a son of Zelophehad, we would not have spoken, for she would have been the heir.
צִדְקָנִיּוֹת הֵן שֶׁלֹּא נִישְּׂאוּ אֶלָּא לְהָגוּן לָהֶן תָּנֵי רַבִּי אֱלִיעֶזֶר בֶּן יַעֲקֹב אֲפִילּוּ קְטַנָּה שֶׁבָּהֶן לֹא נִשֵּׂאת פְּחוּתָה מֵאַרְבָּעִים שָׁנָה That they are righteous can be seen from the fact that they did not rush to marry, but rather waited to marry those fit for them. Rabbi Eliezer ben Ya’akov teaches: Even the youngest to be married among them was not married at less than forty years of age.
אִינִי וְהָא אָמַר רַב חִסְדָּא נִיסַּת פְּחוּתָה מִבַּת עֶשְׂרִים יוֹלֶדֶת עַד שִׁשִּׁים בַּת עֶשְׂרִים יוֹלֶדֶת עַד אַרְבָּעִים בַּת אַרְבָּעִים שׁוּב אֵינָהּ יוֹלֶדֶת אֶלָּא מִתּוֹךְ שֶׁצִּדְקָנִיּוֹת הֵן נַעֲשָׂה לָהֶן נֵס כְּיוֹכֶבֶד דִּכְתִיב וַיֵּלֶךְ אִישׁ מִבֵּית לֵוִי וַיִּקַּח אֶת בַּת לֵוִי The Gemara asks: Is that so? But doesn’t Rav Ḥisda say: If a woman marries when she is less than twenty years old, she is able to give birth until she reaches the age of sixty; if she marries when she is twenty years old or older, she is able to give birth until she reaches the age of forty; if she marries when she is forty years old or older, she is no longer able to give birth at all. If so, how could Zelophehad’s daughters have waited until the age of forty to marry? Rather, since they are righteous women, a miracle was performed for them, like the one done for Jochebed. As it is written: “And a man of the house of Levi went, and took as a wife a daughter of Levi” (Exodus 2:1).