hebrew
1)

Why does the Torah see fit to begin with the words "Hi Mutzeis" (she was being taken out, i.e. to be burned)?

1.

Seforno: To teach us that Tamar was as tough as a lion, in that, even in that eleventh hour, when all seemed lost, she did not lose her composure, and fended for herself with determination. 1

2.

Riva, citing R. Chananel: It says Mutzeis without an Aleph. 2 This hints to read it like an expression of kindling, [to teach that it is better to be burned than to humiliate someone].


1

See also Ba'al ha'Turim.

2

Riva: In all correct texts it is written with an Alef, but the Alef is silent, unlike "k'Motz'eis Shalom" (Shir ha'Shirim 8:10), in which the 'Tzeirei' is under the Aleph. Minchas Shai - the Aruch's text in Bava Metzi'a (59a) said that we pronounce it as if there were no Aleph; most of his Perushim are from R. Chananel.

2)

Why did Tamar not confront Yehudah directly and announce that it was from him that she was pregnant?

1.

Rashi, Rashbam and Targum Yonasan: She declined to present Yehudah with the three articles 1 and to confront him directly, in order not to embarrass him in public. 2


1

According to Targum Yonasan, she was initially unable to find them, until, after praying fervently to Hashem promising Him that, if He would help her to find the three 'witnesses', she would supply Him with three holy men, who would sanctify His Name by entering a burning furnace in the valley of Dura. At which point Hashem signaled to Micha'el to show her where they were.

2

As the Gemara says in Sotah, 10b 'It is preferable to allow oneself to be cast into a burning furnace than to shame one's friend in public' (Rashi). Moshav Zekenim (24) - Misas Sereifah is through pouring molten lead down the throat. Beis Din does not put the person in a furnace! This requires investigation.

3)

What is the significance of the words "Haker Na"?

1.

Targum Yonasan, Hadar Zekenim, Da'as Zekenim (Bereishis 37:32): This was 'Midah k'Neged Midah' - because he used exactly the same expression, when showing his father Yosef's blood-stained robe. 1


1

See above, Bereishis 37:32.

4)

Why did she add the word "Na"?

1.

Rashi: She was pleading with Yehudah to recognize Hashem, 1 and to save three people (herself and her two unborn twins) from death. 2

2.

Targum Yonasan: She was pleading with Hashem to put in Yehudah's heart to acknowledge that the three articles were indeed his.

3.

Ha'Emek Davar: Her first claim was that she had Bi'ah with a distinguished man who has such Kelim 3 , like yourself - do not think that I was Mezanah with a lowlife! It is not so disgraceful to you. Further, please admit that it was you.


1

See also Ba'al ha'Turim.

2

Da'as Zekenim (26): Because Yehudah saved one (Yosef) from a pit and three from a fire, Hashem similarly saved his descendants - Daniel from a pit, and Chananyah, Misha'el and Azaryah from a fire.

3

If Yehudah would not admit that they are his, how could he explain why believes her to overturn execution? He could say that he recognizes the owner; he would not lend or sell such Kelim - how else would she have them? (PF)

5)

What was Yehudah's initial reaction to Tamar's pleas?

1.

Targum Yonasan: Yehudah figured that it is better to be put to shame in this passing world, than in front of his fathers in the everlasting World to Come, and that it is preferable to be burned in a physical fire (with reference to becoming embarrassed) than to be burned in the consuming fire of the World to Come. 1 And he acknowledged that Hashem was punishing him Midah k'Neged Midah. 2


1

Ohr Yechezkel Darchei ha'Avodah p.222: This was due to his Midah of Emes, which includes recognizing the eternity of the world to come, as opposed to the folly of this [fleeting] world.

2

Refer to 38:25:3:1. None of this is even hinted at in the Pasuk. [Sefer ha'Itim (end of #175) writes that Chazanim, who translated during Keri'as ha'Torah, used to add Midrashim to Targum Eretz Yisrael, and they became incorporated into the Targum. Subsequently, the compilation mistakenly became called Targum Yonasan; Yonasan himself did not translate the Torah, see Megilah 3a.]

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