SCOTUS, DOMA and Zelophehad’s Daughters

Click HERE for my latest podcast on the relationship between the Torah portion (Pinchus) and the Supreme Court’s ruling on DOMA.

 

Rabbi Andrew Jacobs discusses the fascinating story of Zelophehad’s daughters who go before Moses asking for the right to inherit their father’s property. Because of their willingness to challenge the way things were – G-d determines that women should have the right to inherit their father’s property. This is a radical change! Fast forward to the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn part of the Defense of Marriage Act – we meet a modern day “daughter of Zelophehad” in Edith Windsor. Windsor attempted to seek exemption from federal estate tax after her female spouse passed away. DOMA prevented her from doing so. She fought the issue in court – all the way to the Supreme Court. It was because of her willingness to challenge the way things were that part of DOMA was deemed unconstitutional.

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