Daily Chumash Summary, Wednesday, 23rd Kisleiv: Yehuda & Tamar


1. Yehuda moves away, gets married and has children:

· At that time, Yehuda descended from amongst his brothers, and arrived to an Adulami man, whose name was Chira.

· The marriage: Yehuda saw there the daughter of a Canaanite man called Shua. He took the daughter and married her.

· The children: She became pregnant and had a son, who was named Er. She again conceived and had a son who was named Onan. She again conceived and had a son who was named Shailah. She was in Keziv when she had him.


2. The marriage of Yehuda’s sons to Tamar, and their eventual death:

· Er marries Tamar and dies: Yehuda took a wife for Er, his firstborn, and her name was Tamar. Er performed evil in the eyes of Hashem, and Hashem therefore put him to death.

· Onan marries Tamar and dies: Yehuda told Onan to be intimate with the wife of his brother, and perform Yibum to her, and establish offspring for his brother. Onan knew that the child would not be considered his. Therefore, each time he was intimate with his brother’s wife, he would destroy [his seed by spilling it] onto the earth, in order not to give offspring to his brother. What he did was evil in the eyes of Hashem, and He put also him to death.

· Tamar returns home: Yehuda told Tamar, his daughter in-law, to stay in the home of her father until Shailah is old enough [to marry her]. Yehuda said this because he feared for the life of Shailah. Tamar did as she was told.


3. Yehuda is intimate with Tamar:

· After the passing of many days, the wife of Yehuda, the daughter of Shua, passed away. Yehuda was comforted, and traveled with his friend Chirah to graze the flock in Timna.

· Tamar dresses like a harlot: Tamar was informed that her father in-law is traveling to Timna to graze the sheep. She removed her widow garments and covered herself with a veil. She sat at the crossroads leading to Timna, being that she saw that Shailah had already grown up and she was still not given to him as a wife. Yehuda saw her and mistook her for a harlot, being that her face was covered.

· The negotiations and agreements: Yehuda came towards her and asked if he could be intimate with her, as he did not know that she was his daughter in-law. She asked him “What will you give me,” and he replied that he will send her a young goat from amongst his sheep. She replied that she will only accept his offer if he gives her something as collateral until he brings her the goat. He asked what collateral she wanted, and she asked to be given his signet ring, jacket, and staff. He gave it to her and was intimate with her and she became pregnant from him.

·  Tamar returned home, removed her veil, and put back on her widow garments

· Yehuda tries to find the harlot: Yehuda sent the young goat with his friend to bring to the harlot and receive his collateral back, although she could not be found. They asked the townspeople as to the whereabouts of the harlot who sat by the crossroads and they replied that they know nothing of a harlot in that location. The friend told Yehuda that she could not be found and Yehuda replied that she should keep what she was given, as they tried to find her and if they continue searching, the matter will become publicized and humiliate them. 


4. A pregnant Tamar is almost burnt at the stake:

· Three months later Yehuda is informed that his daughter in-law Tamar is pregnant due to a promiscuous relationship. Yehuda ordered that she be burned to death.

· Yehuda confesses and saves her from death: As she was being brought to be burnt she sent her father in-law the items which he gave her, and told him “I am pregnant from the man whom these items belong to, please recognize them.” Yehuda recognized the items and responded that she be vindicated of any wrong doing being that he refused to give her to Shailah as a wife, and she is pregnant from him.

· Yehuda discontinued being intimate with her.


5. Tamar gives birth to twins:

·  Tamar gave birth to twins.

· When she gave birth, one of the children stuck out his hand. The midwife took it and tied a red string onto it, as a sign that he came out first.

· After he returned his hand, his brother came out. The [midwife] exclaimed “Why have you burst forth” and he was named Peretz.

· Afterwards, his brother, which had the red string on his hand, was born and he was named Zarach.

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