The two instances of למה יגרע; the Temeim and Tzelophechad's daughters are written, in one sense, as if a new halachah of yerushah and Pesach Sheini was created for them based on their circumstances.

However, we know that HKBH also looked into the Torah to create the world and that all of the halachos were already there when these situations happened. It also appears by the response כן... דברת that the situation did just happen to be a circumstance that allowed the already existing halachah to be revealed.

Were these rules created in the spot or just revealed? Are there different opinions on this?

  • R. Avraham Ben Harambam writes in Michamos Hashem that the saying of the Sages that the Torah preceded creation by 2,000 years cannot possibly be interpreted in accordance with its simple meaning.
    – Alex
    Jul 8, 2018 at 20:04

2 Answers 2


Sifrei to Bamidbar (paragraph 133) addresses this point:

ראויה היתה פרשת נחלות שתאמר על ידי משה, אלא שזכו בנות צלפחד שנאמרה על ידן. לכך מגלגלים זכות על ידי זכאי וחובה על ידי חייב:‏

The section on inheritance was fit to be stated by Moses, but the daughters of Tzelofchad merited that it be stated through them. "Merit is effected through the meritorious and liability through the liable."

That is, Sifrei seems to assume that this law was pre-existing, and would have been taught in any event by Moshe, were it not for the daughters of Tzelophchad meriting to have it taught due to their request.

  • This is the sort of thing I'm looking for. That's the assumption I would make also. Did you look to see if other meforshim comment (or have the same assumption) on this topic?
    – Dovmo
    Sep 7, 2018 at 12:59
  • @Dovmo I wrote this a while ago. I don’t think I looked at any other mefarshim at the time...
    – Joel K
    Sep 7, 2018 at 13:36

Since Hashem is L'Malah min Hazman, Above and beyont the concept and dimension of time, everything which happened in the future, was already existent in the realm of Hashem. Thus this part of the Torah already existed also. In the physical world there is time and sequence etc. where one thing happens to cause another.

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