The Daughters of Tzelofchad, whose story is related in the Torah portion read this Shabbat, are the quintessential Zionists par excellence.
They understood and treasured the value of Eretz Yisrael, as related in the passage: "Latet et Nachalat Tzelofchad Achinu Livnotav" (to give the inheritance of our brother Tzelofchad to his daughters). They would not tolerate one inch of our Ancestral Home being diminished. If they lived in the modern era they would have been at the forefront of oppostion to the Oslo Process. The fact they were heroine women in the Age of Moshe Rabeinu makes it even more poignant. They inspired the Nation of Israel.
The Torah makes the Daughters of Tzelofchad Story a major historic event. It is highlighted and "underlined" particularly at the very end of Sefer Bamidbar (the Book of Numbers) because it represented the transformation from the Desert Generation to the Eretz Yisrael Generation. The Netziv Z"TL expounds on the transition from direct miracles experienced by the Desert Generation to one of working the Land of Israel where Prayer would be paramount (he says this in relationship to Moshe hitting the Rock instead of praying to make the waters flow-"Vayach et Haselah Bimateihu Paamaim").
The Daughters of Tzelofchad exemplified the New Generation ready to enter Eretz Yisrael. They were ready to deal with the realities of Eretz Yisrael with Emunah (faith) and Tefila (prayer). They were not depending upon miracles to pull them through.They were ready to be the pioneers. One might ask the question where they derived this incredible passion for Eretz Yisrael? The question could be reframed as who was Tzelofchad? Rav Akiva says he was the "Ish Mekoshes Eitzim Biyom Shabbat" – the wood gatherer who desecrated Shabbat. Rav Shimon says he was among those who were defiant attempting to enter the Land of Israel after the sin of the Spies. According to Rav Shimon's view it now makes a great deal of sense how the daughters of Tzelofchad became such incredibly passionate Zionists.
Rav Zadok HaKohen expounds upon the Mapillim of which Tzelofchad was one according to Rav Shimon. Rav Zadok says their Spirit was right but their timing was off. Had they gone at the correct time their Spirit and Passion would have succeeded. Rav Zadok uses the word Chutzpah (audacity). At the right time the Jewish People can bring the Geulah (redemption) with Chutzpah.
At the wrong time it will fall flat. Tzelofchad's Daughters inherited his intensity and focus on the Land of Israel. We should all learn from Tzelofchad and his Daughters to love Eretz Yisrael with all our heart and soul. Shabbat Shalom. This Dvar Torah is in memory to Baila Bat HaRav Yaacov Aryeh Brody Z'L whose Yahrzeit is the 8th of Av.