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Friday, December 4

The Weekly Shtikle - Vayeishev

Apropos for Daf Yomi:


When Tamar sends to Yehudah to inform him that she is pregnant from him, the pasuk states (38:25) "And she sent to her father-in-law saying by the man to whom these are, I am pregnant. And she said 'Please recognize to whom these belong.'" The gemara (Sotah 10b) learns from here that it is better for one to have himself thrown in a burning fire than to embarrass his friend, from the fact that Tamar did not say outright that she is pregnant with his child and was willing to face death if Yehudah was not prepared to face the embarrassment that such a story would cause.

 

Mahari"l Diskin is bothered by two points. First, considering the exact form of the message, it does not leave much to figure out that Yehudah is the father. She specifically sent to Yehuda that the father is the owner of these items, and please recognize to whom they belong. That makes it quite obvious. Why would she be begging Yehudah to recognize them if not that she knew that they belonged to him? Second, the word vatomer in the middle of the pasuk seems superfluous.

 

He answers that Tamar put together a very clever plan. She sent two messengers. With the first she simply sent a message "by the man to whom these are, I am pregnant," without sending the actual items. Then she sent a second messenger with the items and a message "please recognize to whom these belong." This explains the appearance of the word vatomer in the middle, introducing the message she sent with the second messenger. Also, this way, neither of the two messengers could figure out on his own that it is Yehudah who is the father. Only Yehudah could figure it out and thus, she succeeded in saving him from embarrassment.

Have a good Shabbos.

Eliezer Bulka
WeeklyShtikle@weeklyshtikle.com


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