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The Torah In Haiku: Vayeishev

The Torah In Haiku: Vayeishev


Tamar, twice widowed
Deceives her father-in-law
Dressed as a harlot

Pregnant with twin boys
She avoids Judah's decree
He says, "she's righteous"

Chapter 38 of Genesis, the somewhat sordid tale of Judah and his daughter-in-law Tamar, seems like a strange interruption of the Joseph story. There's a nice, short summary included in Rabbi Alison Kobey's contribution to this week's Ten Minutes of Torah.

Writing in the new collection Unscrolled, playwright David Auburn suggests that Judah's memory of how he and his brothers deceived their father about Joseph might have influenced his decision to "fold" so quickly in the face of the evidence presented by Tamar. Perhaps that idea can provide a reason why this story is inserted into the Joseph narrative.

Image from Masterworks Fine Art, used with permission

Ed Nickow is a teacher and member of the Board of Trustees at Temple Chai, Long Grove, IL. This post is from his blog The Torah in Haiku.

Published: 11/22/2013

Categories: Learning, Torah Study
About the Author

Ed Nickow is a teacher and member of the Board of Trustees at Temple Chai in Long Grove, IL. He blogs at The Torah in Haiku.

View all posts by Ed Nickow

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