July 13, 2017 / 19 Tammuz, 5777 • Parashat Pinchat
Issue 464

G-d spoke to Moses, saying, The land will be divided among these 601,730 Israelites as an inheritance.

Bemidbar 26:52-53

The land will be divided:

The relationship between G-d and the Jewish people is threefold, as is stated in the daily morning liturgy: "Happy are we: how good is our portion, how pleasant our lot, and how beautiful our inheritance."

• "Portion" refers to the contractual relationship between G-d and Israel. We have undertaken to serve G-d, and He has promised to reward us for our service. The portion we receive from G-d is commensurate with the effort we exert to earn it.

• "Lot" refers to the suprarational relationship G-d forged with us by giving us the Torah and making us the bearers of His message to humanity. This was an act of absolute free will on G-d's part; He was not compelled by any logical considerations to choose us, anymore than a lot is compelled to fall a certain way.

• "Inheritance" refers to the fact that we are a "part" of G-d. According to Jewish law, an heir assumes the the legal standing of the parent and thereby automatically assumes ownership of his parent's property. He does not earn it, nor does the parent choose to bequeath it to him; he in essence becomes his parent.

From Kehot's

Synagogue Edition