Why did Onan spill his seed?


Rashi (on Pasuk 8): Because the child is called after the deceased, in which case it would not be considered his child, but that of Er. 1


Seforno: Since he would have to share the merit (of having children) with his brother - to whom Tamar had been betrothed, he did not want to benefit his brother with even half a Mitzvah.


Hadar Zekenim: He did not want to ruin (lose) Er's property. If he would father a child through Tamar, the child would inherit Er. 2


See Ramban and Sifsei Chachamim.


Similarly, Ploni Almoni said "I cannot redeem, lest I destroy my inheritance" (Rus 4:6. There is slightly different, for through his refusal, he did not inherit anything from the Mes! He meant that he does not want to redeem and marry Rus, lest the child inherit what he redeems. - PF)


Why is there a Dagesh (dot) in the Lamed of [the first] Lo (in Seforim of Sefard - Minchas Shai)?


Ha'Emek Davar: The Dagesh is for emphasis. Onan did not want the child's lineage to be traced to Er. Yehudah was adamant that it be traced to Er; perhaps the child should receive the Bechorah. Onan was angry, and did what he did

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