Rabbi Mark Kaiserman is the rabbi at The Reform Temple of Forest Hills in Queens, New York. He grew up in Brooklyn and attended the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati, Ohio. Previously working at synagogues in Dallas, Texas, Livingston, New Jersey, and Fountain Valley, California, he has written a number of original Purim shpiels based on Broadway shows. He currently serves on the CCAR Ethics Committee. An amateur film buff, he has also recently visited all 30 Major League Baseball stadiums and all 50 US States.
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.
Previous Talks on Pinchas