Rosner’s Torah Talk: Parshat Pinchas with Rabbi Michael Wolk
Rabbi Michael Wolk grew up on Long Island and studied at the Jewish Theological Seminary and Columbia University. He attended rabbinical school at JTS and has been the rabbi of Keneseth Israel Congregation in Louisville since 2012. As someone who spent his formative years in the large Jewish community of NY, he has enjoyed learning about the deep roots of and being part of a smaller Midwestern community. Rabbi Wolk is an avid fan of European cantorial music and is proud of having learned Nusach HaTefillah in classes at JTS, HUC, and YU; the schools of three different denominations.
This week’s Torah Portion – Parashat Pinchas (Numbers 25:10-30:1) – begins with Pinchas being rewarded for his problematic act of killing the Israelite and his Midianite paramour in the previous portion. A census is then conducted and God tells Moses how to divide the land between the tribes and people of Israel. The five daughters of Tzelafchad ask Moses to grant them the land of their father, who died with no sons, and God accepts their claim and adds it to the Torah’s laws of inheritance. Moses names Joshua as his successor, and the Parasha ends with a detailed list of daily offerings and of offerings brought on different holidays. Our talk focuses on the leadership transition from Moses to Joshua.
Previous Talks on Pinchas: