I saw this article today that made me sick (no, I don’t usually read this paper. I got there from here). What is wrong with us, people? Especially with the connotation of the kadeshah, as I mentioned yesterday. Notice how Yehudah does not think of Tamar as a holy prostitute (as Rav Aryeh Kaplan notes in his Torah translation–he carefully distinguishes between the two words for harlot/prostitute in Hebrew here. The English translation does not. Hebrew rules.)
|יג וַיֻּגַּד לְתָמָר, לֵאמֹר: הִנֵּה חָמִיךְ עֹלֶה תִמְנָתָה, לָגֹז צֹאנוֹ.||13 And it was told Tamar, saying: ‘Behold, thy father-in-law goeth up to Timnah to shear his sheep.’|
|יד וַתָּסַר בִּגְדֵי אַלְמְנוּתָהּ מֵעָלֶיהָ, וַתְּכַס בַּצָּעִיף וַתִּתְעַלָּף, וַתֵּשֶׁב בְּפֶתַח עֵינַיִם, אֲשֶׁר עַל-דֶּרֶךְ תִּמְנָתָה: כִּי רָאֲתָה, כִּי-גָדַל שֵׁלָה, וְהִוא, לֹא-נִתְּנָה לוֹ לְאִשָּׁה.||14 And she put off from her the garments of her widowhood, and covered herself with her veil, and wrapped herself, and sat in the entrance of Enaim, which is by the way to Timnah; for she saw that Shelah was grown up, and she was not given unto him to wife.|
|טו וַיִּרְאֶהָ יְהוּדָה, וַיַּחְשְׁבֶהָ לְזוֹנָה: כִּי כִסְּתָה, פָּנֶיהָ.||15 When Judah saw her, he thought her to be a harlot; for she had covered her face.|
|טז וַיֵּט אֵלֶיהָ אֶל-הַדֶּרֶךְ, וַיֹּאמֶר הָבָה-נָּא אָבוֹא אֵלַיִךְ, כִּי לֹא יָדַע, כִּי כַלָּתוֹ הִוא; וַתֹּאמֶר, מַה-תִּתֶּן-לִי, כִּי תָבוֹא, אֵלָי.||16 And he turned unto her by the way, and said: ‘Come, I pray thee, let me come in unto thee’; for he knew not that she was his daughter-in-law. And she said: ‘What wilt thou give me, that thou mayest come in unto me?’|
|יז וַיֹּאמֶר, אָנֹכִי אֲשַׁלַּח גְּדִי-עִזִּים מִן-הַצֹּאן; וַתֹּאמֶר, אִם-תִּתֵּן עֵרָבוֹן עַד שָׁלְחֶךָ.||17 And he said: ‘I will send thee a kid of the goats from the flock.’ And she said: ‘Wilt thou give me a pledge, till thou send it?’|
|יח וַיֹּאמֶר, מָה הָעֵרָבוֹן אֲשֶׁר אֶתֶּן-לָךְ, וַתֹּאמֶר חֹתָמְךָ וּפְתִילֶךָ, וּמַטְּךָ אֲשֶׁר בְּיָדֶךָ; וַיִּתֶּן-לָהּ וַיָּבֹא אֵלֶיהָ, וַתַּהַר לוֹ.||18 And he said: ‘What pledge shall I give thee?’ And she said: ‘Thy signet and thy cord, and thy staff that is in thy hand.’ And he gave them to her, and came in unto her, and she conceived by him.|
|יט וַתָּקָם וַתֵּלֶךְ, וַתָּסַר צְעִיפָהּ מֵעָלֶיהָ; וַתִּלְבַּשׁ, בִּגְדֵי אַלְמְנוּתָהּ.||19 And she arose, and went away, and put off her veil from her, and put on the garments of her widowhood.|
|כ וַיִּשְׁלַח יְהוּדָה אֶת-גְּדִי הָעִזִּים, בְּיַד רֵעֵהוּ הָעֲדֻלָּמִי, לָקַחַת הָעֵרָבוֹן, מִיַּד הָאִשָּׁה; וְלֹא, מְצָאָהּ.||20 And Judah sent the kid of the goats by the hand of his friend the Adullamite, to receive the pledge from the woman’s hand; but he found her not.|
|כא וַיִּשְׁאַל אֶת-אַנְשֵׁי מְקֹמָהּ, לֵאמֹר, אַיֵּה הַקְּדֵשָׁה הִוא בָעֵינַיִם, עַל-הַדָּרֶךְ; וַיֹּאמְרוּ, לֹא-הָיְתָה בָזֶה קְדֵשָׁה.||21 Then he asked the men of her place, saying: ‘Where is the harlot, that was at Enaim by the wayside?’ And they said: ‘There hath been no harlot here.’|
Also absolutely fascinating is the place where she went, וַתֵּשֶׁב בְּפֶתַח עֵינַיִם. Of course, it’s just translated as ” in the entrance to Enayim.” But literally? At the opening of the eyes.
Smashing, don’t you think?
That’s a whole other inquiry that might prove fascinating–the use of the word eyes in the Torah. A quick look brings this reminder of how Avimelech wanted to pay off Avraham for taking Sarah by כְּסוּת עֵינַיִם; covering up the eyes. And then there was last week’s bit about Leah’s
וְעֵינֵי לֵאָה, רַכּוֹת
What is the basic meaning? Soft! Tender! Not weak. Why do we jump to the midrash that presumes weakness? And, after all, hasn’t Yaakov just cried when he meets Rachel? Does he not want someone too much like him?